The only thing more exciting than the thawing of the snow in April is the NFL Draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars’ currently possess to seventh overall pick, and it should be a slam dunk waiting to happen. Below are the top five guys that the Jags’ should be thinking about heading into the War Room. However, keep in mind that for accuracy purposes the projected top couple picks will not be included, and if they should be available, will shoot to the top of this list. Those players are: QB Andrew Luck (Stanford), OT Matt Kalib (Stanford), CB Morris Claiborne (LSU), and OT Riley Reiff (Iowa). Follow the jump to find out the top five!
5. OLB Dont’a Hightower, Alabama – The team desperately needs an imposing presence on the outside of their defense. Hightower is an extremely sound tackler, but his major at Alabama was getting to the quarterback. He can bolster the Jags’ linebacker core, and will be a great compliment to inside linebacker Paul Posluszny.
4. OT Jonathan Martin, Stanford – Martin will likely be the best tackle available with the above mentioned Kalib and Rieff likely off the board, but that does not mean that he is not a worthy NFL prospect. He is big and physical on the outside, and will be perfect to help cover second year quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s blindside.
3. CB Dre Kirkpatrick, Alabama - The Jacksonville defense was better than average last season, but is desperately seeking some youth in the secondary. Kirkpatrick has amazing instincts for a cornerback, and always keeps his man in front of him. His 6’3” frame will help him stay physical against NFL wideouts, and will improve an aging secondary with Rashean Mathis (32 start next year), Drew Coleman (29 years old), and Dawan Landry (29 years old).
2. WR Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina – Jeffery is on here to again emphasize the need at wide receiver. AJ will likely be the second receiver taken in this year’s draft, and it is never too early to draft a player that you need more than water breaks. He is huge, at 6’4″ 230 pounds, and is more like a tight end with receiver speed. The only concern with him is discipline problems, as he has had various complaints from coaches, and has been known to take plays off. However, he has the skills to be a dominant wideout and will instantly improve any offense this summer.
1. WR Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State – Justin is here, just in case he slips past the first six teams. He has the size (6’1” 215 pounds) and speed to be the game’s next great wideout. He has a mean streak on the field similar to that of Calvin Johnson, and can certainly lead an offense downfield. He will be the great receiver to have an impact in his first year, after Cincinnati A.J. Green broke the mold last year.
-By Adam McGill