Nov 29, 2014; Bloomington, IN, USA; Indiana Hoosiers running back Tevin Coleman (6) runs the ball during the third quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Memorial Stadium. Indiana defeated Purdue 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
2) Running Back
Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon came off the board in the first round and both of them are excellent running backs. The next best backs in the 2015 NFL Draft as also very good. Guys like Tevin Coleman, Jay Ajayi, and Duke Johnson will all be available at the top of the second for the Jaguars to pick a running back. Ameer Abdullah out of Nebraska and T.J. Yeldon from Alabama are also available. It would be shocking to see a run on running backs in the second round, so one of those guys are likely to fall to the top of the third. Jay Ajayi has the best chance of being that back according to Mike Mayock’s top 100 prospects, which is fine because I like him second best out of that group. If the Jags decide to wait on a running back, it may be for a guy like Ajayi.
The running back position is not in dire straights for the Jaguars right now. Denard Robinson is turning into a reliable, NFL-caliber running back and Toby Gerhart may be better in his new fullback/halfback role and being healthy. They also have recently claimed Bernard Pierce and intriguing young runner Storm Johnson (who has yet to impress). If the Jags pick a top running back prospect in the second or third round, he could compete for the most touches from among that group but I wouldn’t expect him to come in and be a feature back right away. The only running back left that I would trust to be the feature back immediately is Tevin Coleman from Indiana and the Jags would be wise to limit his carries because of the violent way he runs and attacks defenses.
While not the most pressing need for the Jags (that would be free safety), the linebacker position will need some attention in the coming years and right now there are still some first round talents that have slipped into round two. I particularly like Eric Kendricks out of UCLA as he has the ability to become a true leader of the defense with his high football intelligence. TCU’s Paul Dawson and Denzel Perryman from The University of Miami (Florida) are also good options. The latter of which may still be around at round three.
4) Offensive Line Depth
Offensive linemen came off the board steadily in the first round despite no definitive best player behind Iowa’s Brandon Scherff. There are still some quality prospects available though. Chief among them are La’el Collins (currently in Baton Rouge at the request of the police) and T.J. Clemmings. Both players could be great additions in the second round. I would wait to see if Collins could be had in the third, though. Oregon’s Jake Fisher is also available and could be a strong addition to the Jaguars’ O-line and push the starters to succeed or replace them if need be.
The offensive line for the Jaguars finally started to rebuild this offseason with some quality starters in place for 2015. I’m not sure I like where they are behind the starters, though. I’m especially concerned at center and left and right tackle. The Jaguars should seriously consider the unsexy decision of adding a strong offensive lineman to their roster in rounds two or three.
Next: What to do with Free Safety & Closing Thoughts