Down to Two at Number Two
By Daniel Lago
The number two overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft has been a roadblock in mock drafts for many members of the media. With no precedence, it’s difficult to predict which direction David Caldwell and his new regime will go with their first ever selection. Fortunately, Caldwell has noted that the Jags will get a player they want at number two, implying they are down to two players for that selection. Caldwell may have also hinted that they are down to two players at two positions.
It feels like almost a month ago players like Bjoern Werner and Damontre Moore were popular picks for the Jaguars (probably because it was only a month ago). Now these two players are more likely to be the Jaguars’ pick in the second round rather than the first. The draft process is long and arduous, but it changes the landscape significantly over a short period of time. So after months of dissecting every player and every team’s needs, who are the options for the Jags at number two?
Damontre could have done a lot Moore to help his draft stock over the last few months. Yeah, I went there. USA TODAY
Damontre could have done a lot Moore to help his draft stock over the last few months. Yeah, I went there.
One of the positions is almost certainly a DE/OLB of some kind – a pass rusher. While Dion Jordan and Ezekiel Ansah technically play different positions, selecting either one has the same effect of improving the pass rush. Regardless, I believe, as do several others, that one of the two players is Dion Jordan. His versatility as an edge rusher and an every down linebacker is a dream fit for Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme and he would bring much needed athleticism to the Jaguars’ front seven.
The second position the Jaguars are considering is a total crapshoot. Mel Kiper and our own Luke Sims see the Jaguars looking at offensive tackle with their first pick, and the argument for doing so is somewhat compelling. The right tackle position was a total mess last year and Eugene Monroe doesn’t have a long term deal in place. I’m not a big fan of this logic. This move would be an indictment on Eugene Monroe’s ability to be a franchise left tackle. If you draft a tackle at number two, it’s probably because you want to replace Eugene Monroe next year. If not, you’re drafting a right tackle at number two which is a horrendous positional value pick. With the right QB in place, you can win with Monroe as your left tackle. Why artificially create a need at a position that is one of the strongest on your roster?
And good luck trying to tell this guy he’s not a franchise left tackle.
So if it’s not an offensive lineman, what other positions are under consideration? Probably defensive tackle or quarterback. Shariff Floyd or Star Lotulelei would be a good fit in Bradley’s scheme and would significantly improve the interior pass rush. For quarterbacks, the only one I would consider at number two is Geno Smith. I want no part of Matt Barkley or EJ Manuel, and players like Ryan Nassib and Tyler Wilson would be good fits in the second round.
Tyler Wilson would be a terrific pickup in the second round. Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Tyler Wilson would be a terrific pickup in the second round.
In the end, when the Jaguars are on the clock, I think Caldwell will be deciding between Dion Jordan and Geno Smith. If Caldwell and Bradley think Geno Smith can be a franchise quarterback, I have to believe he will be the pick.
But who knows. Who on earth had the Jaguars taking Tyson Alualu, Blaine Gabbert, and Justin Blackmon in the last three drafts? And when the first trade goes down, everyone might as well rip up their mock drafts on Thursday night.
– Daniel Lago