It’s only February, but there have already been plenty of mock drafts thrown around with numerous possible scenarios. While intrigue lies with the top 2 picks and whether or not they will be quarterbacks, the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t too much of a mystery. They certainly won’t take a quarterback since they have Blake Bortles, and the prevailing thought so far is they will take the highest rated defensive lineman available.
Mel Kiper Jr. strayed a little bit from that line of thinking, as he slated Shane Ray out of Missouri to the Jaguars in his latest mock draft.
"No. 3: Jacksonville Jaguars select Missouri DE Shane RayAnalysis: The Jags were relentless in trying to upgrade their potential on offense in the 2014 draft, adding Blake Bortles at this same pick slot and then surrounding him with more talent at wide receiver with the additions of Allen Robinson, and Marqise Lee, and also adding Allen Hurns as an undrafted free agent. (They also improved their offensive line with Brandon Linder.) The pass rush has been an area they’ve needed to improve for several years now. In terms of pure productivity, you can make a pretty good case that Ray is the best pass-rusher in the entire draft. He can beat tackles with his quickness and ability to counter; and he won’t simply win coming around the corner, but will take advantage of any opening a blocker gives him and work back inside. You can even line him up there. He’s a relentless disruptive force and is exactly the kind of player the Jags need."
While I don’t disagree with the position, I find it odd that Kiper is projecting the Jaguars to take Shane Ray over a guy like Randy Gregory, who is available in this scenario. We’ll see how the process shakes out, but I would be shocked if Gregory wasn’t the first edge rusher off the board in the draft. He likely would have been a top 10 selection last year, and this year’s draft class is significantly weaker.
I also think if Leonard Williams is available at 3, there’s no way the Jaguars take Ray.