Over the course of the offseason, we’ve been looking at mock drafts around the FanSided network as well drafts from some of the other networks around the internet. The draftniks over at the worldwide leader are big participants in the mock draft game, and Mel Kiper Jr. recently released a 3-round, “Grade-A” mock draft over at ESPN (for insiders).
Kiper essentially compiled a 3-round mock where he took whatever player presented the best value for each team at the position they were drafting. Here’s what he had slotted for the Jaguars:
Top needs: QB, DE, RT, WR
Round 1 (3) LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Round 2 (39) QB Derek Carr, Fresno St.
Round 3 (70) WR Allen Robinson, Penn St.
Analysis: The new leadership group in Jacksonville has done a good job working to retool the roster in terms of overall talent and depth, and if I’m making the pick, I’m not ready yet to go against that philosophy and risk a slow learning curve for one of the quarterbacks just because so many believe I need “identity” at the position. I see the strides made in the second half of last season, and I think my first goal is: “Take a great football player.” That’s Mack, a high-impact pass-rusher and a great player in space. With Mack on board, I like the value proposition of Carr in Round 2. I don’t consider him an immediate starter, but he will compete for it soon, and I feel good about the pick because I didn’t put so much franchise stock into the position in Round 1. I considered a couple tackles at No. 70, but instead add the talented Robinson, who is closer to a first-rounder in most years, and a player who gives me a reliable size element and some field-stretching ability in my passing attack. Don’t forget, the Jags have a trio of fourth-round picks, too.
Kiper and Todd Mcshay both seem to be buying into the idea of the Jaguars passing on a QB at number 3, so taking Khalil Mack isn’t too much of surprise.
While some people might be happy with Derek Carr in the second round, I’m not exactly thrilled about it. In addition to sharing some of the weaknesses of former quarterback Blaine Gabbert, I just don’t think he’s much of an upgrade on Chad Henne at least this season. Carr is a developmental prospect, but I’d rather take a shot on another guy later in the draft. I do like the move to get Allen Robinson in the 3rd round, and he would be a nice complement to Cecil Shorts on the outside.
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89