Free Agency Leaves Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Options Wide Open: Tight End

GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Tight end Mike Gesicki
GLENDALE, AZ - DECEMBER 30: Tight end Mike Gesicki /

The start of the new league year represents a symbol of hope for many NFL franchises. Yet for the first time in a decade the Jacksonville Jaguars are no longer licking their wounds following another disappointing campaign, but rather looking to build on their success from 2017. 

Despite the Jacksonville Jaguars making multiple moves at the tight end position already this off-season, there is still no long-term solution at the position on the roster. Veteran Jaguar Marcedes Lewis is now searching for a new team, whilst the two Free-Agency acquisitions both arrived on short term contracts.

Austin Seferian-Jenkins has yet to realize his full potential in the NFL, however he will feature heavily in a passing attack which likes to feature tight ends. Niles Paul is an instant special teams starter and an excellent addition to the running attack, but neither strike out as a real mismatch for opponents. With the 29th overall pick, GM Dave Caldwell and co could really open up the Jaguars offense with a number of these prospects.

Free Agency Leaves Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Options Wide Open – Tight End


Mike Gesicki – Penn State

Mike Gesicki is the perfect accompaniment to the Jaguars current crop of tight ends. Whilst both Seferian-Kenkins and Paul both excel at run blocking, Gesicki is an athletic superstar with great hands. The perfect size to cause mismatch for defenders, Gesicki’s combine numbers best Evan Engram in all but the 40 yard dash, and he’s nearly 15lbs heavier.

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In a division which now boasts two first-team All-Pro safeties, Kevin Byard and Tyrann Mathieu – as well as former first rounder Malik Hooker, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett will need to utilize bigger targets in the passing game if he wants to create space for the wide receivers. A mismatch for all defenders, Gesicki is the type of player who could produce at a high level right away in Jacksonville.

Hayden Hurst – South Carolina

Hayden Hurst is a prospect getting attention as a Day 2 player for most teams, however could sneak into the first round if teams take a chance on him. The biggest drawback on Hurst is his age, the former baseball pitcher will turn 25 by the time the Jaguars play their first game next season. Many teams will likely view this is a negative because Hurst has probably already maximized his athletic potential. However, in a team that is looking to win right now, Jacksonville may not view that as a negative.

Hurst plays hard every time he plays, and fans will certainly get behind somebody who gives 110% whenever they don black and teal.

Dallas Goedert – South Dakota State

Dallas Goedert is a stud. The only tight end ranked inside of Bleacher Report Matt Miller’s Top 50, there are no knocks on Goedert’s ability or his undoubted potential.

Although he is a more competent blocker than Gesicki, he is much better utilized as a pass-catcher. The Jaguars already have the big bodies among their current tight ends to help maul Leonard Fournette downfield, which would allow Goedert to come in and become one of Blake Bortles‘ primary targets.

The Skinny:

The Jaguars are in a position where they can simply just draft the best player available. If they take this approach towards the tight ends, then Goedert is the likely pick. However, if the Jaguars front office is swayed by Gesicki’s sheer athleticism, don’t be surprised if the former Nittany Lion is shredding opposition defenses in Duval County in the years to come.

With his athletic ability, Gesicki would add a completely new element to the Jacksonville passing game. Considering Bortles is currently signed to a short term deal, adding a young, physical pass catcher to line up alongside what is a strong wide receiver corps will allow Jacksonville’s executives to evaluate their quarterback with a full compliment of receivers for the first time since he was drafted in 2014.

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