What I would do tonight if I were the Jacksonville Jaguars GM
What happens when I put on my general manager’s cap and navigate the NFL Draft for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
There are about four hours until we hear the most famous words in football. With the ninth pick in the NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select.
This is like waiting for your birthday presents at the exact time you came into this world. But as the hours tick down and the Jacksonville Jaguars continue to make front-page news with the possibility of wheeling and dealing, I thought I would jump on here and share some of my thoughts if I were the team’s general manager.
Sorry, David Caldwell. I’ve got this. Go ahead and sit the first round out.
More from Jacksonville Jaguars News
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”
- Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways
There isn’t an exact science to this selection process and most of the work you do is still predicated on what teams in front of you do. As a fan of this organization, I’ll be sitting on the edge of my seat with a laptop in hand to emit an immediate reaction.
So will thousands of other rabid fans, praying the right chess piece is moved at the right moment.
We all hope and pray the front office gets these picks right. As Caldwell said last week, it’s huge the organization has 12 picks to use in order to get better faster. I believe this is the most important NFL Draft in the history of the franchise. After last season with Josh Allen, Jawaan Taylor and Gardner Minshew establishing themselves as future stars, what happens tonight and through the weekend is even more crucial.
Here are three things I would do as Jacksonville Jaguars general manager.
Get Yannick Ngakoue out of Town
This should all come to an end this weekend, we hope. With rumors circulating that Las Vegas has become the frontrunner to land Yannick Ngakoue for the 19th pick in the first round, the Jaguars should jump all over this and make it official.
First, Ngakoue would need to sign his franchise tag tender for the deal to get done. Then the deal can be finalized. It ends a stalemate and one of the worst periods in team history. The move also gives the team three first-round draft picks to play with.
Three picks in the first 19 selections can help a team rebuild in a hurry.
Ngakoue also moves on to the Raiders who have a decent pass rush and a wealth of talent on the defensive side of the ball. There has been some talk that the Jaguars want the Raiders No. 12 pick instead. I say take what is offered and be done with it.
Send Leonard Fournette to Tampa Bay for O.J. Howard
This makes more sense to me than the deal for Ngakoue out west. First, I would love to see Leonard Fournette in a Jaguars uniform this season, but there is no way the team will pick up his fifth-year option. Trading him now is the best option out there.
Now that the Buccaneers have brought in Rob Gronkowski, O.J. Howard is expendable – he was before, now it is a foregone conclusion. The Jaguars signed Tyler Eifert in the offseason, but his injury history is still a concern. Having Eifert and Howard to go along with James O’Shaughnessy and Josh Oliver changes the tight end room in a hurry.
Fournette and a fifth-round pick to Tampa Bay for Howard and a third-rounder sounds about right.
If I am Caldwell, I am making this call to the Buccaneers front office yesterday. Fournette gives Tampa Bay a true running game. Howard could be the Day 1 starter in Jacksonville.
Continue to Move
The Jacksonville Jaguars are building for the future. This is not a one-year fix. Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone made that abundantly clear this offseason with their desire to add playmakers on offense and shore up the defense at all three levels.
Adding draft capital is the best way to do that while plugging holes that are as wide as the St. Johns River. Caldwell isn’t afraid to take some of the picks he has already acquired and turn them into sold gold.
There is a chance one or more of the wide receivers in this draft will fall to the later part of Round 2 or the top of Round 3. This is where the extra mid-round picks come into play. I would not be surprised if the wide receiver depth in this draft is the reason the team moves up in those rounds or uses them to grab extra offensive linemen.
Also, the Jaguars should consider options for adding more picks for the 2021 Draft.