How early should Jaguars take a linebacker in 2021 NFL Draft?

Jacksonville Jaguars 2016 NFL Draft (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars 2016 NFL Draft (Photo by Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Damien Wilson after not making major changes to the linebacker corps early in free agency. Heading into the 2021 NFL Draft, the unit looks in good shape, and won’t be a pressing need early in the process. However, they should still add another linebacker in the selection meeting.

Wilson isn’t a Pro Bowl nod but is a solid starter. Over the last two seasons, he appeared in 29 games for the Kansas City Chiefs and logged 154 total tackles, six tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, and two forced fumbles. Moreover, he earned the NFL’s Way to Play Award for playing a key role in a fourth-down stand against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55.

The 2015 fourth-round pick rounds out a linebacker group that includes Joe Schobert and Myles Jack. They both played at a high level last season but his work was overshadowed by a defense that ranked near the bottom of most meaningful defensive categories. With better talent up front and in the back end, the unit should be even more productive. This doesn’t mean this Jacksonville team should pass up the opportunity to draft a linebacker prospect though.

How early should the Jacksonville Jaguars draft a linebacker?

Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah has previously been mocked to the Jags and he might be available when they are on the clock at 25. However, signing Wilson lessens the need to add a linebacker in the first round. Baron Browning and Dylan Moses will be available in the second, and possibly Jabril Cox too, so they will have choices outside the first round.

If the Jaguars aren’t interested in adding a linebacker early in the process, they could then opt to take one on Day 2 or Day 3. Georgia’s Monty Rice and Ohio State’s Pete Werner could develop into a solid starter and both should be available in the middle of the draft.

Signing Wilson gives the Jaguars the freedom to target the best player available early in the draft. Even though Owusu-Koramoah would be a solid pick at 25, the team’s brass will be able to take different routes with their second-round pick.

Jaguars 7-round, All-SEC mock draft. dark. Next