Will the Jacksonville Jaguars pick a linebacker in the upcoming draft?

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Shaquem Griffin
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 01: Shaquem Griffin /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a limited number of linebackers on their roster.  No doubt Myles Jack and Telvin Smith are stars but they may look to the draft for additional linebackers.

The Jaguars might look to the draft for a linebacker. The Jaguars are blessed with a strong defensive line.  However a solid line backing core is critical to success in the NFL  Numerous possibilities are available in the upcoming draft.  Both future outside and inside linebackers graded well at the NFL combine.  The statistics and grades in this article are from WalterFootball.com and NFL.com.

Linebackers currently on the roster

Five linebackers are currently on the roster.  They are as follows; Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Blair Brown, Donald Payne, and Lerentee McCray.  They lost Paul Posluzny to retirement and only two of the five are returning starters.  The Jaguars needs at linebacker are not great but more depth is needed. Therefore a linebacker is a likely choice in a later round.

Linebackers that may be taken in the first round

Tremaine Edwards graded out at 7.17 and is projected to be chosen early in the draft.  Also Roquan Smith earned a grade of 6.74 and is an early draft pick.  The last first rounder is Rashaan Evans whose grade was 6.10.  These are the highest rated linebackers in the draft.  In fact it is unlikely these players are still,on the board at pick 29.

Linebackers that are projected for rounds two or lower

The Jaguars have a chance to draft one of the following players in a later round.  They are rated as “ has a chance to become a starter in the NFL.”

Leighton Van Esch from Boise State graded out at 6.25.  He is 6’4’’and weighs 256 pounds. Van Esch served as team captain and earned Mountain West Defensive player of the year honors.  He is not projected as a first round choice and may be available in a later round.  Next is Darius Leonard from South Carolina State. He graded 5.74 and was MEAC defensive player of the year.  Leonard is 6’2’’ and weighs 229 pounds.  In addition he is defined as a good worker and quick learner. Last is Lorenzo Carter of Georgia.  Carter is 6’5’’ and weighs 250 pounds and graded out at 5.85.  He was a five star recruit who never quite lived up to the hype out of high school.

This linebacker can’t be overlooked

Shaquem Griffin is the feel good story of the combine.  His height is 6’1’’ and weight is 227 pounds.  Griffin played at University of Central Florida and was voted defensive player of the year in the American Athletic Conference. His twin brother played for the Seattle Seahawks in 2017.  He earned a draft grade of 5.43 at the combine.  The grade predicts backup or special team player in the NFL.  That said…never count this young man out.  Although he lost a hand at age four, he became a very successful college player.  In addition he ran a very fast 4.38 forty yard dash.  Work ethic and hustle count!

Wrap up

Without a doubt there are many possibilities for the Jaguars in the upcoming draft.  Predictions are guesses at this time.  Above all many exciting and interesting players are available in the draft and the Jaguars brain trust is preparing an exciting draft board.