Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 NFL Draft: Jamal Adams vs Leonard Fournette
By Owen Nelson
The Jacksonville Jaguars have a multitude of options leading into the 2017 NFL Draft. Jamal Adams and Leonard Fournette are two names commonly mocked to the Jaguars.
As mock drafts continue to proliferate in the build up to the 2017 NFL Draft, a couple of names keep coming back: Leonard Fournette and Jamal Adams. Playing on different sides of the ball and at different levels of need for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Both options are explored here.
After improving his subpar 4.56 forty at the NFL Combine to an electric 4.33 at LSU’s Pro Day, Jamal Adams has cemented his place into the top five, some would say he’s a lock for the top five. Any arguments about who is the better safety prospect has now been crushed.
During his three years at LSU, Adams versatility was seen right at the start. In total Adams posted 209 tackles and 18.00 tackles for loss with two forced fumbles. In addition, Adams picked the ball off five times, including four interceptions in his sophomore season as well as adding two sacks. These impressive stats show how effected Adams can be in all aspects of the game.
After seeing Johnathan Cyprien leave for division rivals, the Tennessee Titans, the former LSU safety would seemingly fit into the secondary. Despite signing former Dallas Cowboys safety, Barry Church to a four-year, $26 million contract it would be hard to pass on a player like Jamal Adams. Head coach Doug Marrone and defensive coordinator Todd Wash would figure out a way to make the safety tandem of Church and Adams work with some splash of Tashaun Gipson worked in.
Adding Adams to the backfield would undoubtedly give the Jaguars one of the best young secondaries in the NFL. A combination of star rookie cornerback Jalen Ramsey, free agent signing A.J. Bouye and Jamal Adams would strike fear in the quarterback’s eyes. The Legion of Boom 2.0?
The Adrian Peterson clone is another option for the Jacksonville Jaguars to pick at number four. Leonard Fournette surprised everyone at the NFL Combine; despite weighing in at 240 pounds, Fournette managed to run a 4.51 forty. This surprising speed certified Fournette as the top running back prospect in the draft and a player the Jaguars must consider at their pick.
Fournette only further cemented his place as the best running back prospect after weighing in at 228 pounds at LSU’s Pro Day. It was important for teams to see that he can lose the excess weight and he passed with flying colors.
The man who finished sixth in Heisman voting in 2015 could be the piece that quarterback Blake Bortles can rely on. Fournette could be the missing piece to the puzzle on the whole for the offense. The Jaguars have their defense sorted for the next five years, now only the offense needs to be built up.
The unnerving offensive line may be a problem for Fournette but his offensive line at LSU wasn’t the greatest either and he ran over the competition. Hopefully newly acquired left tackle Branden Albert can find the form that made him a Pro Bowler in 2013 and 2015. His veteran experience could provide more value than past efforts along the offensive line.
Perhaps, if the Jaguars do indeed draft Fournette, they may decide to invest their 35th, 68th and/or 110th picks in offensive linemen, in hopes one may break out and become a perennial Pro Bowler.
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It is still undecided on who the Jacksonville Jaguars should invest the number four pick on. It’s a great position to be in, they may even entertain an offer to trade down. Either way, its a win-win situation.
A case can be made for both players being selected by the Jaguars. But if I had to choose which player, Fournette seems more likely solely on the fact that Bortles needs help – serious help – if he wants to live up to hype that was created after being selected third overall in 2014.
Whichever way the Jaguars go on draft night, the future looks bright no matter what. The Jaguars are on the brink of something great.