Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 dream trade targets within the AFC South

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans is tackled by Quincy Williams #56 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 19: Derrick Henry #22 of the Tennessee Titans is tackled by Quincy Williams #56 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half at TIAA Bank Field on September 19, 2019 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Instead of focusing on one team and three players the Jacksonville Jaguars could seek in trades, I look at the AFC South and players they could only dream about.

In keeping with a great story idea that has been discussed on FanSided.com, I thought I would expand the potential of dream scenarios and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Instead of trying to take three players from one team, it might be more interesting to look at the AFC South and pick one player from each team the fourth-best franchise could acquire to help them jump out of the basement of the division.

The Jaguars were horrible last season. There is no way of moving around it. The offense could not score in the red zone. The defense could not stop opponents from running over, around, and through it.

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There was suspect play-calling with John DeFilippo making the decisions and the internal turmoil within the confines of TIAA Bank Field reverberated throughout the NFL.

Winning six games was more of a miracle than anything else.

With a new season comes new opportunities for the Jacksonville Jaguars to surprise the league like it did in 2017. The sum of the parts is different. The man under center – Gardner Minshew – is only in his second season. The leaders of the past – Calais Campbell, A.J. Bouye, and Marcell Dareus – have all left the building. And a diva with an attitude, meaning Jalen Ramsey, is in Los Angeles, playing for a team that could be worse than the one here in North Florida.

Karma sometimes does that to a player.

On paper, the Jacksonville Jaguars look better but it should remain a long season. This is another season erased by the term rebuild. And for someone who fought the notion for so long, I am squarely on the bandwagon of people waiting to see what happens this season while holding my breath. And Yannick Ngakoue is still part of the Jacksonville Jaguars organization even though he is not officially a member of their roster.

Just as we discussed in my last story about Leonard Fournette being a potential dream catch for the Philadelphia Eagles, these three players could provide the same kind of scenario here in Jacksonville.

Disclaimer: I am not going to propose who should be traded for these players or what kind of draft compensation either of the Jaguars’ opponents should receive in return. This is strictly a “dream” type of scenario.

Tennessee Titans – Derrick Henry, Running Back

The hometown hero comes back to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Derrick Henry is a legend in these parts, becoming the all-time national high school rushing leader and the second player from North Florida to win the Heisman Trophy with Tim Tebow. Still, there were some who doubted whether he would become a dependable running back in the NFL.

Henry was a second-round pick in 2016. It’s hard to argue with the Jaguars selected Myles Jack ahead of Henry. T.J. Yeldon was still on the roster at the time. Had the Jaguars selected Henry or traded back into the second round to grab Henry, then the team may have drafted Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson with their first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Houston Texans – Zach Cunningham, Linebacker

Zach Cunningham may be one of the best linebackers in the NFL that no one knows about. And playing for the Texans, he is overshadowed by players with a bigger profile. He would have been a nice piece to the Jacksonville Jaguars defense.

The Vanderbilt star (how often do you say that) slipped to the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The Jaguars actually traded up in the second round to grab Cam Robinson to play left tackle.

This is truly a case of what could have been. Cunningham, Paul Posluszny, Telvin Smith, and Myles Jack. It may have been the best set of linebackers in the NFL in 2017 with that kind of foursome.  Cunningham keeps producing in Houston and the Jaguars sure could have used his services.

Indianapolis Colts – T.Y. Hilton, Wide Receiver

I have been a huge fan of Hilton since his college days and prayed to the NFL gods the Jaguars would draft him, but the rival Colts beat them to it. T.Y. Hilton was a third-round pick out of Florida International in 2012. That’s the same draft where Jacksonville took Justin Blackmon and Andre Branch in the first two rounds.

The team then took Bryan Anger in the third round over Russell Wilson, Mohammad Sanu, Nick Foles, and Hilton.

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Hilton, who is now 30 years old, would be a welcomed addition as a wizened veteran to a very young receiving corps. Imagine Hilton, DJ Chark, and Laviska Shenault all running pass routes for Gardner Minshew.