The Jacksonville Jaguars were officially on the NFL Draft clock, being eliminated from the post season last week with the loss to Tennessee.
Now that the Jacksonville Jaguars have been eliminated from the playoffs and could lose enough games to “win” the first pick in the NFL Draft, fans, prognostcators and “draftniks” are hard at work. The Jaguars currently have the fifth pick with many needs on the offensive side of the ball.
This is a draft (in April) this franchise must find the quarterback of the future, wide receiver depth, help on the offensive line and potentially a running back to add to the rotation.
Jacksonville thought enough of the talent on the roster from last season (and signed quarterback Blake Bortles to an extension) that they did not add a passer to the mix until the sixth round. Tanner Lee spent this past season on the practice squad.
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Last year’s first round pick Taven Bryan has been miscast as a pass rusher when his obvious skills are built as a three-technique player. And for those who would have liked for this team to draft guard Will Hernandez or quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Jaguars missed on help at crucial positions.
I believe the Jaguars WILL select a signal caller in the Draft early, but it might not happen in Round 1. If Tom Coughlin is still the decision maker for this roster, then expect there to be added beef on the offensive line as well as someone to groom behind a veteran quarterback.
Having an added third round pick from the Los Angeles Rams in the Dante Fowler trade helps given this team will most likely release Carlos Hyde after trading a fifth-round pick to Cleveland to get him.
Here is a look at my first three-round mock draft.
Round 1, Pick No. 5 – Jonah Williams, Tackle, Alabama – So before everyone gets on my case, let me explain my thinking.
The common denominator this season between a lack of a running game and a passing game that cannot connect on a crossing pattern has been the failed offensive line. On Sunday, A.J. Cann was the only starter from Week 1 on the field.
Jonah Williams is the best tackle prospect in the Draft and allows a healthy Cam Robinson, another Alabama tackle, to move to the right side which is more suited for his abilities.
Round 2, Pick No. 37 – Will Grier, Quarterback, West Virginia – The Jaguars could actually use their second third-round pick to move back into the first round to grab Grier, who played at Florida before transferring to West Virginia.
Grier has good size at 6-foot-2 and 223 pounds and can throw a tight and accurate spiral. He also will get a chance to apprentice behind the veteran signal caller the Jaguars bring in this offseason. I am hoping for Nick Foles but know Joe Flacco is a possibility.
Bortles was thrust into action in the third game of his rookie season. This won’t be the case. Whoever the head coach is should bring Grier along slowly before throwing him to the wolves.
Round 3, Pick No. 69 – Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, South Carolina – Everyone knows the Jaguars wide receivers have not helped the passing game this season. With Marqise Lee out all season and Dede Westbrook as the only producing pass catcher, this is a need on offense.
This unit will look much different in 2019. Samuel is a dynamic player who offers more speed on the outside or could play in the slot.
At 6-foot and 201 pounds, he is not big in height, but he can get off the line of scrimmage and has speed in the open field. Samuel earned first-team All-American and first-team All-SEC honors this past season.
Round 3, Pick No. 93 – Caleb Wilson, Tight End, UCLA – The Jaguars still need help at tight end. Wilson was a favorite of Josh Rosen a season ago and could become the best of the position for the Jaguars in a short amount of time.
A redshirt junior, he is 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. There is a lot to like about his game, which is still improving.
Wilson was a first-team All-Pac 12 selection. Even with the return of Austin Seferian-Jenkins next season, this is an area of concern to be addressed.