The Jacksonville Jaguars’ early 2017 NFL Draft grade from Mel Kiper Jr. leaves a lot of room for improvement.
Draft grades do not necessarily mean much, especially this quickly after the end of a draft, but we are still eager to read them all the time. Mel Kiper Jr. has more clout than many other analysts in his draft grades and has already released his early marks for each team.
Frankly, the Jacksonville Jaguars leave a lot to be desired based on his dissection of the draft. Kiper gave the Jags’ 2017 NFL Draft just a C+ grade hot off the heels of the draft’s ending on April 29th.
Citing going all-in on Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick, Kiper immediately identifies a key concern with the Jags’ draft, which was not adequately addressing needs:
"I understand why Tom Coughlin and the Jags went with Leonard Fournette this high — Coughlin sees him as his new Fred Taylor, a workhorse back who can make the quarterback better — but I question the need. Consider the recent history: Chris Ivory is signed through 2020 (though he could be a cap casualty), and T.J. Yeldon was taken at the top of the second round just two years ago. Before that, they paid for Toby Gerhart."
This, more than anything, is a key point of contention in the Jags’ latest draft. Fournette was at the top of a deep running back class and the Jags could have used the fourth overall pick to address other needs. Unfortunately, they chose not to do so.
In fact, some needs – most notably tight end – were not addressed at all. The Jags clearly have a different evaluation of the current health of the roster compared to outside analysts.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
The Dede Westbrook pick in the fourth round was also criticized by Kiper. He believes Westbrook could have slid to the sixth round due to character concerns (which could well have been possible) and that the Jags reached for him.
All things considered, a C+ is a fair grade to give the Jaguars this quickly after the draft. While a franchise player may have been found in Cam Robinson and Leonard Fournette, the Jags seemingly went the opposite direction from the team’s needs. It would have been nice to see more of a focus aside from special teams contributors and getting more physical.