The Jacksonville Jaguars will likely move on from Julius Thomas in 2017, making a hunt for a new tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft likely.
With the Branden Albert-Julius Thomas trade finally coming together between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins, it’s becoming clear that the Jaguars will be in the tight end market in 2017. That could involve free agency, but it may be more likely that the team targets a new, young tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The draft is heavy with talented tight ends, providing a deep class for teams looking for talent at the position. The Jags should be able to find interesting players throughout.
Assuming there is no reach at fourth overall, the Jags will likely add a tight end starting in round two. With this in mind, in this post, players ranging from round two to round seven will be considered.
1) David Njoku, tight end, Miami
Assuming David Njoku’s meteoric rise up draft boards takes a predictable falter as the draft gets closer, he is unlikely to be the second tight end drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft (behind Alabama’s O.J. Howard). While it would not be completely unheard of to have two tight ends taken in the first round, it would be unusual.
With that in mind, Njoku is most likely a second-round pick at the top of the round. The Jacksonville Jaguars are perfectly placed to scoop him up if that is the case.
The kind of athlete that makes teams drool, especially at a position in which freakish athletes can create game-changing mismatches, Njoku can instantly improve a team. His 698 yards and eight touchdowns for Miami in 2016 showed that potential.
At 6’4″ and 245 pounds, Njoku is instantly creates a size mismatch. Factor in his athletic ability and he gives the Jaguars a size and athletic presence that reminds some of a young Marcedes Lewis, who the Jags made a first-round selection in 2006. That could mean great blocking skills coupled with the receiving potential to become an all-around tight end.