As round one officially kicks off on Thursday night, how will the Jacksonville Jaguars shape up their 2018 NFL draft?
The Jacksonville Jaguars had a phenomenal season in 2017. Making the playoffs for the first time in a decade, eventually falling short at New England in the AFC title game. With the Jaguars firmly looking to reload rather than rebuild for the first time in a long time. It’s time to see who Jacksonville might take in a full seven-round Jaguars mock draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2018 NFL Mock Draft: 7 Rounds
Round One, Pick 29: Will Hernandez, G – UTEP
Will Hernandez has the ability to come in and play like a top 20 guard from right out the gate. The four year starter from UTEP is one of the meanest offensive line prospects in the last few years. The only reason he isn’t generating more buzz is because he’s in the same class as Quenton Nelson.
Hernandez already has experience of professional level coaching. His head coach for the majority of his college career was Sean Kugler, who served as the offensive line coach with the Pittsburgh Steelers before taking the head coaches position in El Paso. Hernandez is listed at 6’2″, 327 lbs and plays with every ounce of strength that huge frame allows.
An immediate upgrade over AJ Cann – who is in the last year of his rookie deal, by partnering Andrew Norwell with an elite rookie guard it keeps the overall cost against the teams’ cap down and will open up more holes for star running back Leonard Fournette.
Round Two, Pick 61: Carlton Davis, CB – Auburn
Don’t be surprised if the Jaguars make a move toward the top of round two if someone they like falls far enough. It’s something the Jaguars have had storied success with before. However, if GM Dave Caldwell decides to stick with the 61st overall pick, he should look no further than Auburn’s Carlton Davis.
The Florida native has fallen somewhat under the radar in what is a very deep cornerback class. With Aaron Colvin now a member of the Texans, the Jaguars can use Davis as an instant starter in the slot and re-establish 2017’s scariest secondary.
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Whilst Davis’ 40-yard dash time wasn’t trailblazing, it certainly wasn’t slow. In fact, his was just faster than Second Team All-Pro A.J Bouye‘s was at his UCF pro day despite being a full 20 lbs heavier. At 6″1, 206 lbs, Davis has ideal length and speed to excel in the slot. If he can translate that athleticism into production as a part of the ‘Jackson Five’, teams will be wondering how they passed on such a promising nickel corner.
Round Three, Pick 93: Josey Jewell, LB – Iowa
Whilst Josey Jewell won’t be able to match the speed of Jacksonville’s superstar OLB pairing, he could still become a vital part of Todd Wash’s front-seven by the time week one comes around. With the retirement of Jaguars legend Paul Pozluszny the Jaguars have an alarming need at middle linebacker, however it makes sense for the Jaguars to hold off on addressing the need until pick 93.
Whilst there are some linebackers who could be available in the first round, the value of Will Hernandez makes that pick a no-brainer. Jewell’s unrelenting commitment to film study means that his ability to diagnose plays and sniff out screens will come naturally to him in the next level.
Whilst he lacks some top end speed to cover tight ends one on one, if Todd Wash continues to run zone blitzes and less complex schemes, Jewell’s nose for the ball and short term burst means he will be able to hold his own in zone coverage. Drafting a linebacker who can start in the middle means that neither Blair Brown or Myles Jack need to try and force a move inside, something which will undoubtedly help the dynamic of this team moving forward.
Round Four, Pick 129: Chris Herndon IV, TE – Miami
Following the arrivals of big-bodied TE’s Austin Sefarian-Jenkins and Niles Paul, the Jaguars are still left without a bonafide red zone threat outside of their wide receiver corps. Chris Herndon IV can be that option for Jacksonville.
Whilst he might not be a three-down player, Herndon’s experience at wide receiver gives the Jaguars a pass-catching tight end with heaps of potential. At 6’4″, 253 lbs he has the natural size to be an instant mismatch against opposing linebackers and safeties.
Used often by the Hurricanes for his run-after-catch ability, if he is able to establish himself as a viable option for Blake Bortles throughout training camp then he could become a focal point of OC Nathaniel Hackett’s red-zone offense. One of the better prospects at his position outside of the three prospects getting first round attention, Herndon has a chance to be a really solid player in the NFL.
Round Six, Pick 203: J’Mon Moore, WR – Missouri
Listed at 6’3″, 207lbs and with 4.6 speed, Moore is everything you look for in a wideout from an athleticism standpoint. Whilst his route running is still a little unrefined, the Missouri product should find it easy to expand his route tree with a full off-season of NFL coaching.
Despite the fact Moore’s stock began to fall following the Senior Bowl after a string of less than impressive drops, Jacksonville are in a position where they are able to take a chance on his potential and hope that he can become another member of a wide receiver corps that thrives despite the lack of ‘star’ talent.
Round Seven, Pick 230 (From Cincinnati): Dmitri Flowers, FB – Oaklahoma
Some fullback love in consecutive drafts for Jacksonville. Whilst 2017 seventh-rounder Marquez Williams was unable to find a permanent home on the Jaguars roster, Dmitri Flowers should provide some legitimate competition for fan favourite Tommy Bohanon.
Used both as a run blocker and as a pass-catching option as a Sooner, Flowers has soft hands and has the ability to escape into open space in play-action situations. Another dependable athlete with a versatile skill-set, if Flowers can prove that he is an option in both the running and passing game as well as special teams for the Jaguars, they will be hard-pressed to find a reason not to keep him around.
Round Seven, Pick 247: Jester Weah, WR – Pittsburgh
Really emphasising the community approach Jacksonville have toward their WR group, a second receiver in the last three selections rounds out a solid draft for Dave Caldwell. Jester Weah boasts above average speed and a 129″ broad jump, and so certainly has the physical tools to make it in the NFL.