The FanSided community 2016 NFL Mock Draft, hosted by NFL Mocks has given the Jacksonville Jaguars a stud linebacker in Myles Jack out of UCLA.
Participating in the FanSided community 2016 NFL mock draft was an excellent exercise in just how the draft could play out. The picks were rotated among FanSided experts from the respective team sites until all 31 first round picks were selected.
In this format, even subconscious bias in the mock draft process was removed by a step, allowing the draft’s first round to play out with teams making the best pick for them based on availability decided by people who regularly write for other teams.
Unfortunately, for the Jacksonville Jaguars, it didn’t play out well. When the Jags were finally on the clock, both pass rusher Joey Bosa (first overall to the Tennessee Titans) and defensive back Jalen Ramsey (fourth overall to the Dallas Cowboys) were off the board. This is almost a perfect storm scenario for the Jaguars as the two top players the team is likely to target were both off the board before they go there.
With this in mind, the selection fell to us at Black and Teal to choose whether to take a gamble on someone like pass rusher Noah Spence or to take more of a sure thing with either of the top two linebacker prospects in the draft: Jaylon Smith out of Notre Dame and Myles Jack out of UCLA. Writing for the site, I chose the latter:
"The Jacksonville Jaguars have been struggling with coverage out of their linebackers in the last few years. While stalwart middle linebacker Paul Posluszny has been a tackling machine and young Telvin Smith is following suit on the outside, the Jags could use an athletic presence in their corps, especially a player who can cover.The Jags are focusing on the defense this offseason and need players who can make plays. Perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the Jags’ 2015 unit was its inability to force turnovers or big plays that stopped the opposing offense."
The situation made the pick feel lackluster, but coming away with someone like Jack in 2016 NFL mock draft should actually be celebrated. Sure, the Jags missed on some top targets here, but there is every indication that Jack can be a definite improvement for the Jags linebacking corps and could very well be the next 10-year stud for the unit.
This pick is a wise decision by the Jaguars. It may not feel that sexy and it may not fit the current romance with a natural pass rusher like Spence, but it is definitely a step in the right direction for a team like the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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Who would you pick in a similar situation like the 2016 FanSided Community Mock Draft?