Jacksonville Jaguars 7-Round Mock Draft
By David Levin
After the excitement settles and the Jaguars find missing pieces in free agency, the team looks to the NFL Draft to add more players on the offensive side of the ball.
I’m always a bit excited when I attempt a complete seven-round mock draft. First, especially when I talk about the Jacksonville Jaguars, I have high hopes my picks will come out right. Second, it becomes a labor of love, choosing between what’s right and what my heart wants. Either way, the Jaguars, who are in the seventh spot this April, should be able to land a good player who can help one of the glaring weaknesses on this roster.
My approach this time is a bit different as I looked into the crystal ball and designed this draft with a few variables in mind.
- The Jaguars sign Nick Foles in free agency, which takes away the immediate need to draft a quarterback.
- The team signs tight end Jesse James from Pittsburgh and later comes to terms with Marcedes Lewis on a one-year deal, which assures him of retiring with Jacksonville.
- Frank Gore is convinced to drive up I-95 from Miami to sign a two-year deal. The hope is he can help Leonard Fournette mature into the player the team wants him to be.
These moves also mean Carlos Hyde is released and the chance or re-signing Corey Grant to a long-term deal diminish greatly. A.J. Cann leaves via free agency and Jermey Parnell is released because of salary cap reasons.
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The offensive line gets Tyler Shatley and Josh Wells back on one-year deals.
This should be a offensive-heavy draft, but it does not diminish the needs of this team on the defensive side of the ball. Jacksonville will need depth at pass rusher, a linebacker and help on the interior line. There is still a need for depth at safety as well.
Nonetheless, the Jaguars focus on helping the offense first, and gives new coordinator John DiFilippo new chess pieces to move around as he sees fit. And as the NFL Combine is front and center on everyone’s mind, the Jaguars have plenty of homework to do, scouting potential players that fit team needs.
Here is a look at how I see the NFL Draft breaking down for the Jaguars.
Round 1, 7th Overall – Jawaan Taylor, Tackle, Florida – Taylor is one of the rising players in this year’s draft. He won’t run at the Combine because of a hamstring issue, but his 6-foot-5, 334-pound frame makes him a good start for the Jaguars if they look to improve their offensive line play.
Jawaan Taylor’s selection could also mean current left tackle Cam Robinson is moved over to the right side. It is easier for a tackle to move from left to right than right to left. Having Taylor and Robinson could give the Jaguars two bookend tackles for the next decade.
Round 2, 38th Overall – Chris Lindstrom, Guard, Boston College – The Jaguars aren’t making sexy picks, but they are making necessary picks to help the right side of the line. Lindstrom was impressive at the Senior Bowl and immediately steps in and replaces Cann at guard.
At 6-foot-4 and 311 pounds, he is said to have a “nasty demeanor” which is something the Jaguars lacked last season on the O-line and need to become a unit defenses cannot push round. I like the fact the front office puts the team’s most pressing issue first and addresses it early and often.
Round 3, 69th Overall – Deebo Samuel, Wide Receiver, South Carolina – If there was one player at the Senior Bowl who helped himself, it was Samuel, who looks like he could be a real steal here if he falls to the Jaguars.
Samuels has good speed and if he can learn to catch the football with more consistency, the idea of him playing in the slot or outside in some situations becomes very appealing. He also becomes an immediate candidate to help on special teams in the return game.
Round 3, 98th Overall – Benny Snell, Running Back, Kentucky – Benny Snell is one of those lunch pail players who come to work every day and does his job above expectations. He may never become a true featured back in the NFL, but he fits what the Jaguars are trying to do by re-establishing the running game.
This is as much a comment on how Jacksonville wants to run the football like it planned in 2017 as it is a message to Fournette. To steal a popular phrase from former head coach Gus Bradley, Fournette must do his job. Snell is insurance for the future.
Round 4, 109th Overall – T.J. Edwards, Outside Linebacker, Wisconsin – The Jaguars got a steal in seventh rounder Leon Jacobs last season. Will they do the same with Edwards, who helps solidify a weakness on defense?
Edwards is a big guy at 6-foot-1 and 244 pounds and could easily challenge Jacobs and Nick LeDuca for the starting spot from the first day of camp. He is a tough-nosed player, the kind Tom Coughlin looks for.
Round 6, 178th Overall – Caleb Wilson, Tight End, UCLA – Wilson could be another steal of this draft. I like his size at 6-foor-4 and 235 pounds. With the signing of both James and Lewis and the losses of Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Blake Bell, this is still a need pick.
The jury is still out of the team re-signs James O’Shaughnessy. Wilson had 60 catches and 965 receiving yards this past season. The one knock on him is he needs to work on his blocking, which is something that may force him to slip to Day 3 of the Draft.
Round 7, 236th Overall -Byron Cowart, Defensive Lineman, Auburn – Cowart wasn’t the stud he was projected to be coming out of high school, but there is still potential as a defensive tackle.
Cowart, at 280 pounds, is a bit light to play inside, but he could be an interesting pick as he could play multiple positions on the line and help as a run stuffer, something he improved on while in his senior season at Auburn.