As the Jacksonville Jaguars finish their selections in the fifth round of the NFL Draft, the front office continues to address areas of need and depth.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to use that draft capital they have been talking about the past few weeks to add more depth to their roster. The franchise has announced it selected safety Daniel Thomas from Auburn and wide receiver Collin Johnson from Texas with their two fifth-round draft picks on Saturday.
The Jaguars have three picks left in the Draft in the sixth and seventh rounds.
The Jaguars need depth at safety and added a player who may be one of those under-the-radar picks that will prove to be better than expected from where he was drafted. Jacksonville has Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson slotted as the started on this revamped defense under defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
“Unheralded three-star recruit who was a late scholarship offer at Auburn, but became a consistent back-end contributor,” writes Lance Zierlein of NFL.com. “He’s well-built and plays physical football, but he’s not necessarily a punisher.”
The Jaguars secondary looks much different than last season at this time with two Pro Bowl performers traded and depth a concern prior to the start of the Draft. The Jacksonville Jaguars have now used three of their draft picks to aid the secondary.
“He has a good burst downhill into run support duties, but can be a little inconsistent with his angles. Thomas can cover tight ends and has some ‘big nickel’ experience, but will be better off playing with his eyes forward in short zone or in the box. He has the size, explosiveness and special teams potential to compete for a roster spot as a backup strong safety,” Zierlein added.
As for Johnson, this was a player my colleague here at Black and Teal, Grant Gunderson, told me to watch for this past week. I should have paid more attention. He is the second player the Jaguars have taken at wide receiver. Jacksonville took Laviska Shenault Jr with their second-round pick last night.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were 16th in the league in passing last season. Johnson figures to come to camp and compete for a backup role on the roster.
At 6’6” and 222 pounds, Johnson is a tall target and could be used in the red zone or on the sideline route. His lack of speed is something that may have pushed him further down draft boards. But you cannot deny a guy who can reach over opposing defenders downfield.
“Productive outside receiver with great size and ball skills, but below-average speed. May need to find an offense that allows him to work downfield, where size overrides quickness once the ball is in the air, Zierlein added.
“He should work well against zone, but needs to play stronger to battle back against the contested catches he’s going to see. Johnson may need a more limited route-tree that allows him to open up his stride and exploit size mismatches down the field.”