Dec 30, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive tackle Will Sutton (90) during the 2013 Holiday Bowl against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium. Texas Tech defeated Arizona State 37-23. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
With the Super Bowl being the only remaining game of the season, most teams are in full-fledged draft mode. The Jacksonville Jaguars have the privilege of getting up close and personal with several draft prospects as head coach Gus Bradley and his staff run the South team. The Jaguars have plenty of needs and the additional hands-on time with these prospects gives them insight into the players’ ability and work ethic.
Some of the top prospects are underclassmen and therefore not at the senior bowl, but there are still plenty of players who could get drafted high and contribute immediately. Here are some players Jaguar fans should keep a close eye on:
The Jaguars biggest need outside of quarterback is the pass rush. Gus Bradley is getting a first-hand look at several potential LEO candidates, including Dee Ford from Auburn and Jeremiah Attaochu of Georgia Tech. Ford and Attouchu are both speed rushers and have the ideal size and physical attributes to be a LEO off the edge. Ford had a terrific final game in the national championship and could work himself into the second round. Attouchu was underutilized as a pass rusher at Georgia Tech and could potentially be a steal in the second round as well.
Kyle Van Noy of BYU and Trent Murphy of Stanford are two guys who could also be fits at the LEO, but both players are projected to go in the first round. Murphy might not have the speed Bradley is looking for anyway, but he and Murphy could be targets if the Jaguars trade down in the first round.
The Jaguars desperately need to find speed at the linebacker position. Jonathan Brown from Illinois is a solid player in the middle who could be available in day 3 of the draft. He was one of the top tacklers in the nation last year and has shown the ability to cover in the middle of the field. Jordan Zumwalt is a big, physical presence out of UCLA in the middle of the field but he’s going to have to show he has the speed to cover in a 4-3.
The Jaguars could definitely use more depth on the interior defensive line to help keep Sen’Derrick Marks fresh. Will Sutton from Arizona State is a fringe first round guy who could be a disruptive force on the inside. If he falls to the Jaguars in the second round they should jump at him. Daniel McCullers from Tennessee is a completely different prospect, measuring in at a massive 6’7” and 348 pounds. He could be a perfect fit as a run stuffer on first and second down and his height would serve him well in disrupting passing lanes.
– Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89