As the NFL Draft draws closer, the Jacksonville Jaguars prepare for what could be the most important three days in the team’s recent history.
It’s almost here. With 11 days until the NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the other 31 teams in the league are finalized their big boards, calling other organizations to determine interest in potential trades, and most of all taking a deep breath.
This could be the Draft that changes the fortunes of the Jaguars for the next decade. The front office is well aware it must get this right, find the right puzzle pieces. The reality is there are too many jobs on the line this season. There cannot be a Derrick Harvey or R. Jay Soward in this class.
The Jaguars spent this offseason, as everyone knows, loading up on offensive linemen and finding their quarterback of the present and hopefully the future. It won’t take long to determine if the right buttons were pushed. NFL free agency didn’t make the Jaguars look like world beaters, but it did give the team a chance to find depth at a much-needed area of concern.
The organization also filled needs at tight end, wide receiver and linebacker. The Draft, the apex of the offseason, is about selecting players that can impact this team now and for the years to come.
Here is another mock draft I have put together which takes a stab at finding the best players available in each of the first four rounds.
Round 1, Pick 7: Montez Sweat, Defensive End, Mississippi State – At 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds, Montez Sweat is a freakish athlete who makes a good pass rushing duo with Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue even better.
I know everyone has the Jaguars grabbing a tackle at this spot, but the pass rush and lack of depth is a concern here. If Sweat is available, the Jaguars should jump all over this pick.
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Round 2, Pick 38: Cody Ford, Tackle, Oklahoma – Ford is a huge road grader who can play either at tackle or at guard. The coaching staff should like his versatility. They should also like the fact he was one of the linemen blocking for Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray.
Cody Ford should battle for the right tackle spot immediately. The Jaguars have plenty of options on the right side, but taking Ford makes the decision that much easier.
Round 3, Pick 69: Irv Smith, Jr., Tight End, Alabama – I hope and pray this kid is still around when the Jaguars move into the third round. I could see Jacksonville working the phone lines to see if they can move up to grab the Crimson Tide pass catcher.
Irv Smith, Jr. visited with the team last week and would instantly become a starter. He has good hands and could also help the team as a run blocker. If Smith is there, this might be the steal of the Draft.
Round 3, Pick 98: David Montgomery, Running Back, Iowa State – I wasn’t going to mock a runner to the Jaguars in this story, but I get the feeling if someone like David Montgomery were available, the Jaguars may jump at the chance to draft him.
At 5-foot-11 and 219 pounds, he is a solid runner who can also catch the football out of the backfield. The Jaguars did add both Alfred Blue and Benny Cunningham in free agency, but Montgomery could be better than both of them.
Round 4, Pick 109: Jaquan Johnson, Safety, Miami – The safety position is more of a need than we may think for this franchise. Jaquan Johnson has a chance to see plenty of action as a rookie.
Johnson is a big hitter with good speed. He could immediately challenge Jarrod Wilson. Johnson has been said to be a solid tackler and can come up and help with the Jaguars run defense.