The Jacksonville Jaguars could go in several different directions with their first round pick, but offensive tackle may be the most sensible and safe move.
While folks like myself have pounded the table for the Jacksonville Jaguars to make a flashy pick with the 29th selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, we may very well see the team take a guy who won’t play right away.
The Jaguars are fortunate in the sense that they are not counting on a rookie to come in and be a big contributor right away. They could use upgrades at certain positions, but there aren’t any glaring holes.
So it wouldn’t be surprising to see them plan for the future in the first round – which would be the safe (and boring) thing to do.
We’re seeing this logic play out in mock drafts around the web.
In his 7-round mock, Dane Brugler over at NFLDraftScout.com has the Jaguars upgrading the offensive line in the first round:
"29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Connor Williams, OT, Texas (6-5, 296, 5.05)Jacksonville spent big bucks in free agency to add Andrew Norwell to the offensive line and might not be done. Williams gives the Jaguars immediate depth at both tackle and guard."
Williams makes sense in both the short and long term if he has the flexibility to play guard. Right away he can compete for a guard spot with perennial disappointment A.J. Cann, and he’s also a developmental option at right tackle for when Jermey Parnell leaves.
Williams isn’t the only tackle option likely to be available at that spot though.
In a mock where he contends the selections are what teams should do, Adam Rank over at NFL.com has the Jaguars taking an offensive tackle:
"29. Mike McGlinchey, T, Notre Dame"
"Ah, man — I would have totally had you guys takeÂ Lamar Jackson, but there was no way he was going to last to this spot. If not theÂ Dolphins, I would have had theÂ CardinalsÂ orÂ ChargersÂ take him. Hey, I’m not the one who went out and advanced to the AFC Championship Game. And should have been theÂ Super BowlÂ ifÂ Myles JackÂ … ah, I’m getting off track. You guys are there. It might be worth the risk to go forÂ Mike Hughes, whom I expect to fall. But your best bet would be to grab McGlinchey to continue to build that offensive line."
If you’re a Jaguars fan and you don’t already know about Adam Rank, he’s firmly on team Duval and one of the more knowledgeable national folks about the Jaguars. McGlinchey is a guy we’ve heard connected to the Jaguars and the rationale is the same as Williams – he can compete for a guard spot now and take over a tackle spot later.
The Jaguars clearly want to be better up front, so these moves would make sense.
But they won’t be exciting.