Jacksonville Jaguars 2018 NFL Mock Draft: Tight End in McShay Mock 2.0

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 7: Tight end Hayden Hurst
COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 7: Tight end Hayden Hurst /

With the 2017-2018 NFL season now officially over, it’s time to focus on the draft. Todd McShay has the Jaguars bolstering the offense in his latest mock.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had a great season and easily could have participated in the Super Bowl this past weekend had they made a few plays in the AFC Championship game (or happened to be playing in a well-refereed game), but it’s time to compartmentalize that disappointment and move on. The Jaguars still have a well-coached team with an extremely talented roster.

This offseason, they’ll have the opportunity to add even more talent through the draft and free agency. In the draft, they’ll be picking much later than they have in recent years but by all accounts this a solid crop of prospects.

Todd McShay released his second mock draft (the first of the official offseason) and this is where things get interesting since the draft order is now officially locked in. The Jaguars are in unfamiliar territory at 29, and McShay has them taking a much needed factor – a playmaking tight end.

"29. Jacksonville JaguarsHayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina*This may be a bit of a reach for Hurst, but he’s a big (6-5, 250), athletic target who can contribute immediately. A former pro baseball player, Hurst has good ball skills and can help stretch the field for Leonard Fournette and Jacksonville’s offense."

I don’t know much about Hurst, but just based off McShay’s own analysis I’ll say this is an odd selection.

One of the distinct advantages of selecting later in the draft is the ability to sit back and watch players you have ranked highly fall down the board. At 29, there’s absolutely no reason for the Jaguars to ‘reach’ on a player. Of course, Hurst could wind up relatively high on the Jaguars board, but even as recently as December, McShay didn’t even have Hurst in the first round.

In this scenario, the Jaguars have the option to upgrade the quarterback position. Both Mason Rudolph and Lamar Jackson are available here, but one or both will likely be taken at the top of the second round by a QB needy team.

Since the Jaguars are seemingly going to roll out Bortles as the starter again in 2018, I’m going to keep pounding the table for drafting a quarterback as a backup plan and/or developmental option.