Offense, offense, and more offense is the current choice of Jaguars fans, pundits, and writers. Let’s not forget the group that took us to the AFC Championship game in 2017.
The vast majority of Jaguars Nation feels that the answer is the offense when it comes to fixing the problems of this football team. It’s understandable when one considers the offense of 2018 wasn’t as good as it could have been. It’s obvious that the group needs a major overhaul.
However, the defense is no longer the juggernaut of 2017. So let’s turn the page and look at the defensive needs this offseason.
Malik Jackson and Dante Fowler have moved on and Taven Bryan is a question mark. The others on the roster are backups. We have no talented depth at edge rusher or defensive tackle. One injury could change the dynamic of the entire defense.
The safety position is a huge question mark. We have no returning starters except Ronnie Harrison who started a portion of the year. Our starters of the past are gone and this group will need time to come together as a unit. This unit could use another player or two for depth.
The linebacker group looks solid. The Jaguars have Myles Jack, Leon Jacobs, and Telvin Smith returning. The addition of Jake Ryan as the potential middle linebacker could return the group to their 2017 form. Another solid group is at cornerback. The returnees. Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye are stars and the backups have experience.
The Jaguars defensive roster has several holes that must be addressed. Defensive line and safety come to mind. Due to pressing needs on the offensive side of the ball these players need to be found in the later rounds of the draft.
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There are many prospects projected to be chosen in the later rounds. The following three potential NFL players have no significant injury or behavioral issues.
Per Walterfootball.com, these players could be available to the Jaguars in April.
Carl Granderson, DE, Wyoming: 6’4” and 246 pounds – Carl Granderson is projected as a second to third round draft choice. He had a good week at the Senior Bowl and demonstrated speed and pass rush ability.
Chris Slayton, DT, Syracuse: 6’4” and 309 pounds – Chris Slayton was the best player at the East-West Shrine Bowl. He is athletic and versatile. He should be a second or third round draft choice.
Chauncey Gardner-Johnson: S, Florida, 6’0 and 207 pounds – Gardner-Johnson, projected to be a third or fourth-round draft choice, was solid at the Combine and is an excellent tackler for the Gators.
It’s hard to pass on the great first-round defensive players but choices must be made and it looks like the offense is the choice in the 2019 draft. Many later round players become starters in the NFL.
Let’s hope the Jaguars find some great players in the later rounds. We need to hit a home run with every choice this season.