With the 2014 NFL regular season coming to a close, the Jacksonville Jaguars enter yet another offseason with a top 3 draft selection. In his first two years as general manager, David Caldwell selected left tackle Luke Joeckel with the 2nd overall pick in 2013 and quarterback Blake Bortles with the 3rd overall pick in 2014. In the 2015 NFL draft, Caldwell will once again have the 3rd overall pick to try and find a playmaker to elevate the Jaguars from bottom-dweller to contender.
Despite solid play from their defense, the Jaguars are in dire need of young talent along the defensive line. The Jaguars have been relying mostly on veterans (Chris Clemons, Sen’Derrick Marks, Red Bryant, Roy Miller) who were all acquired via free agency. Luckily, the defensive line might be the deepest position in the 2015 NFL Draft.
Matt Miller over at Bleacher Report constantly posts mock drafts, and in his first Post-NFL Season mock, Miller has the Jaguars taking versatile defensive lineman Leonard Williams out of USC.
"With the No. 3 pick in the 2014 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars grabbed a player they hope can be their franchise quarterback in Blake Bortles. Now, with the No. 3 pick in the 2015 draft, they need to find his counterpart on defense.Leonard Williams isn’t Ndamukong Suh, but he’s built in that same vein as an impactful gap-splitting pass-rusher. He’s awesome coming off the ball and is both athletic enough and strong enough to be a force as a pass-rusher. And while he may not be Suh, he projects in that Sheldon Richardson or Muhammad Wilkerson level of play, and that’s pretty dang good."
The Jaguars need young talent period, and they really can’t be too picky as far as positions. Williams projects as a guy who can rush the passer from any position along the defensive line, and that sounds like a massive asset for a guy like Gus Bradley. If an edge rusher like Randy Gregory is on the board, the Jaguars will have a tough decision to make. Gregory seems like the ideal LEO in Gus Bradley’s scheme, but he’s someone who might need some time to develop a repertoire of pass rushing moves. A lot of his disruption in college has come as a result of his elite athleticism.
So it begins. Get ready for a lot more draft talk. Again.