The Jacksonville Jaguars need to get the 2017 NFL Draft exactly right with impact players, leading to a possible Leonard Fournette and Chidobe Awuzie combination.
Calling Leonard Fournette and Chidobe Awuzie a “perfect pair” is the choice of Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah and it is isn’t wholly farfetched.
While taking a running back (a minor need) followed by a cornerback (another minor need) may not be a strategy that will blow fans away, it is critical to get both of those positions right for the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags running game needs a shot in the arm and the secondary is short at least two players behind the starting pair of Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye.
Fournette to the Jaguars is not a new idea. With T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory struggling in 2016, the Jaguars may be back to the drawing board to try and fix it. With no clear offensive line talents worthy of a top-10 selection, a running back may be the next best thing to help quarterback Blake Bortles balance the offense.
Where things get interesting is with the Awuzie selection. The player has been called a “light sleeper” by Ike Taylor and could instantly improve the Jags secondary. This is due, in part, to a lack of players in general at cornerback, and also because current nickelback Aaron Colvin has not been a consistent playmaker despite his talent. Jeremiah rightly calls this a luxury pick due to the Jaguars’ rebuilt defense that should already be a top-10 unit in 2017.
More from Jaguars Draft
- Jaguars fortify OL with Jaelyn Duncan in CBS Sports’ 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- Jacksonville Jaguars don’t need to trade up in the 2023 NFL Draft to land a cornerback
- Jacksonville Jaguars address top offseason needs in CBS Sports 2-round 2023 NFL Mock Draft
- Jaguars Draft: The 24th overall pick can change the 2023 season
- Jacksonville Jaguars earn solid grade for 2022 NFL Draft class
In that regard, picking Fournette followed by Awuzie is far from a perfect pair. The Jags’ current options at those positions are serviceable and there is value to be had at both positions later in the draft.
What is nice, is that the picks represent the Jaguars moving with a different draft strategy. After talking about picking themselves into a corner elsewhere, it’s nice to see a take that has the Jags not forcing an offensive line pick directly after investing in a first-round running back. That would represent confidence in the current O-Line lineup and also in the talent later in the draft that executive vice president Tom Coughlin may have his eyes on.
Either way, both of these picks would be bold moves for the Jaguars and both, even if technically a luxury, would have an impact.