While the smoke is still clearing from the chaos of the 2017 NFL Draft, some are already gearing up for the 2018 NFL Draft with some mocks.
In the lead-up to the 2017 NFL Draft, rumors were flying that the Jacksonville Jaguars were considering taking quarterback Deshaun Watson with the 4th overall pick. Usually where there’s smoke there is fire, but it seemed far too tactless to actually be true.
As it turns out, the Jaguars’ braintrust decided to give quarterback Blake Bortles one more shot in his fourth season to show he can be a functional starter. General manager David Caldwell and VP Tom Coughlin are trying to set him up for success, but as you’ll see below, almost no one believes in the former UCF Product.
Some folks (read: lunatics) have undertaken the task of putting together 2018 mock drafts already.
So who do they have the Jaguars taking?
Dan Kadar over at SBNation expects the Jaguars to look for another offensive tackle to pair with Cam Robinson:
"7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre DameAfter getting Cam Robinson in the second round this year, the Jaguars could double up and finally get bookends. Maybe Blake Bortles can bounce back and get franchised."
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Brad Weiss of FanSided thinks the Jaguars will gear up to take Blake Bortles replacement at quarterback:
"6. JOSH ALLEN, QB, WyomingThe Jacksonville Jaguars franchise is tired of losing, and this offseason, they brought back their biggest winner in former head coach Tom Coughlin. The two-time Super Bowl winner as head coach of the New York Giants is working in the front office, but you could see his finger prints on their 2017 NFL Draft. The Jaguars did a ton to bolster both sides of the ball, and while they may struggle a bit this season, it will be worth it when they pick their next franchise quarterback next April."
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report agrees, but he has the Jaguars taking a different (and worse) quarterback prospect:
"The Pick: QB Josh Rosen, UCLAJosh Rosen has some of the prettiest mechanics you’ll see from a college quarterback. In fact, his pocket movement and release remind me of Andrew Luck. The real question is if he’ll continue to develop after missing almost all of the 2016 season with an injured throwing shoulder.…The Jaguars have to figure out if Blake Bortles is the guy or not. Everything seen up until now points to him not being the answer, and he’s easy to move on from after the 2017 season if the team doesn’t pick up his fifth-year option."
Mock drafts this early are silly exercises, but there is one big takeaway – no one really thinks Blake Bortles is going to turn it around. I didn’t include them, but several other mocks around the web project the Jaguars taking a signal-caller in 2018. If the Jaguars are picking as high as these mocks suggest (top 7), then it’s likely the Jaguars will be moving on from Bortles so it makes sense.
I hope that isn’t the case, but we’ll have to wait and see.