Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 NFL mock drafts continue to insist on fitting Jonathan Allen into the Jaguars’ fearsome front-four.
To say that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive line is fearsome would be an understatement. In fact, the defensive line is downright terrifying. In fact, it could be a complete force of nature during a contentious 2017 season.
Even with impressive pieces like Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, and Yannick Ngakoue headlining the group, it is still common to mock defensive tackle Jonathan Allen to the Jaguars in 2017 NFL mock drafts. Theoretically the Jags don’t have holes, especially with the aforementioned players and defensive tackle Abry Jones rising up in 2016. So, why Allen?
"While the addition of Campbell is sure to be huge up front for the Jaguars, they should look to add more depth to the defensive line via the draft. Jonathan Allen is a name that was rumored to be the first overall pick when the college football season ended, but he has had a rough go in recent weeks. The problem with his shoulders has come up, and some believe it will force teams to shy away from him this month."
Weiss openly admits that this could be a depth pick. While that may not necessarily be true and there is a compelling case for Allen being the logical, easy pick at fourth overall, it isn’t based on depth. Picking a player fourth overall should never be for depth. It should be to find an immediate contributor. There are other options for immediate contributors over Allen if the Jags have him pegged as a “depth” player.
This represents the conundrum seen in many mock drafts that include Allen to the Jaguars. While the team’s defensive line features a heavy rotation and there is room for depth, Allen would not be able to make a consistent threat in that rotation. If he sees less than 50 percent of defensive snaps, then the Jags may have been better off finding someone who could contribute more. Being stacked along the defensive line causes this problem.
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For that reason, it is tempting to look elsewhere at fourth overall. A player like Leonard Fournette immediately makes the offense better. A player like defensive end Solomon Thomas improves the pass rush immediately. Even safety Jamal Adams could out-battle Tashaun Gipson or, less likely, Barry Church to be a starter immediately. Allen, however, could see less playing time because of the defensive line’s logjam of talent.
Hopefully the Jags would find room for him if he is the pick, but it is not inconceivable to see the team passing on him if they feel they have comparable talent already on the roster and he would only be rotating for limited snaps. The team moved on from Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks for precisely that reason this offseason.
There’s no question Allen bolsters the defense, but how much impact will he have?