Jacksonville Jaguars: Early glance at 2018 NFL mock drafts

LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 25: Lamar Jackson
LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 25: Lamar Jackson /

NFL draft talk is beginning to hit its stride, as we dive into the spectrum of potential selections for the Jacksonville Jaguars in round one.

As we hit February, the 2018 NFL Draft is now less than three months away. The Jacksonville Jaguars, after an AFC Championship game appearance, will be pick number 29 in round one. It’s the first time since 2011 that the Jaguars won’t have a selection in the top five, and here’s to hoping those days are long gone.

With the draft inching closer, mock drafts have already well begun, and will only continue to fly left and right as we get nearer to April. In the spirit of gearing up for nonstop draft talk, let’s take a first glance at what some mocks are predicting for the Jaguars in the first round in 2018:

Dan Kadar, sbnation.com

"29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota StateThe Jaguars’ offense would do well with a tight end who can play similar to Travis Kelce of the Chiefs or Zach Ertz of the Eagles. That could be Goedert, who provides a mismatch on the outside with his combination of size and athleticism."

Quick take: Goedert is quickly rising up draft boards, and very well could end up the first tight end off the board. The Jaguars’ tight end group certainly needs a boost, with the cast currently consisting of veteran Marcedes Lewis and the interchangeable tandem of Ben Koyack and James O’Shaughnessy. The potential is growing that Blake Bortles will remain the team’s starter in 2018. Adding an athletic vertical threat at tight end to his repertoire would certainly help the passing game progress next season.

R.J. White, cbssports.com

"29. Jacksonville JaguarsOrlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma. The Jaguars have an outstanding defense in place, so it would be surprising if they looked to that side of the ball with this pick. Brown is a massive presence at the tackle spot and worth trying at left tackle, where Cam Robinson struggled this season. If Brown succeeds, the Jaguars would be set up well with Brown and Jermey Parnell as the bookends and Robinson inside next to center Brandon Linder."

Quick take: Offensive line will be a popular selection for Jacksonville in various mocks, but the extent of selecting a lineman, at least this early on, should be at the guard position. I disagree wholeheartedly with the notion that Cam Robinson struggled this season and should be moved inside. Robinson battled a few injuries in the season, but the offense was undoubtedly better when he was on the field.

Lance Zierlein, NFL.com

"29. Lamar Jackson – QB, LouisvilleThe Jaguars take Jackson to prepare him to be the QB of the future."

Quick take: Even if Bortles is the guy next season, the Jaguars have to invest an early round pick on a quarterback still. At pick 29, the likes of Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, and Baker Mayfield will all likely be gone. Will the front office be enamored with Jackson enough to snatch him up at the end of the first round to be THE guy in waiting? The former Heisman Trophy winner has the potential to be an explosive-caliber player, and could be a fun pairing in the backfield with Leonard Fournette.

Connor Riley, seccountry.com

"29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State QB: Blake Bortles isn’t the answer for Jacksonville. The Jaguars could look at Rudolph or Louisville product Lamar Jackson."

Quick take: Speaking of quarterback, Rudolph has been another popular pick for the Jaguars at the position. Rudolph has the size of an ideal NFL QB, so if the production and accuracy can translate to the next level, he could be just what Jacksonville needs for the years to come.

Final thoughts

All of the potential selections have been offensive players, and that shouldn’t come as a surprise. With the talent stockpiled on one of, if not the best defenses in the league, I would be shocked if the Jaguars used their first-round pick on a player on that side of the ball.

A tight end or path-clearing guard on the offensive line would definitely fill areas of need, and make an immediate impact. But if the front office falls in love with a guy at quarterback, and he is there at 29, I would not hesitate to make the move to secure the future of the position. Barring of course, the Jaguars don’t make a big splash at the position in free agency, which has seemingly become less likely.