Jaguars take WR Deebo Samuel in recent 2019 NFL Draft re-do

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

Under former general manager Dave Caldwell, the Jacksonville Jaguars struggled to consistently find talent in the draft. One of Caldwell’s few good finds was outside linebacker Josh Allen, the seventh overall selection in 2019. However, Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus believes the Jags might have been better off selecting wide receiver Deebo Samuel, who was become a Swiss-army knife for the San Francisco 49ers.

Sikkema recently re-did the 2019 draft and while the Arizona Cardinals and the 49ers kept their original pick the rest of the top 10 changed. Wide receiver A.J. Brown, taken by the Tennessee Titans, went to the New York Jets at No. 3. Similarly, Sikemma had the Las Vegas Raiders taking Maxx Crosby, not Clelin Ferrell, with the fourth overall selection. Regarding Jacksonville’s “new pick”, Sikkema argues that Samuel is the kind of playmaker the Jags have sorely missed over the last few years.

"Though I wouldn’t say the Jaguars are unhappy with their selection of Allen by any means, Deebo Samuel has proven to be one of the top offensive weapons in all of football. There aren’t many NFL teams, if any, over the past three years who could have used a playmakers like that more than the Jaguars."

Meanwhile, Josh Allen went to the Miami Dolphins with the 13th pick in this draft do-over. Sikkema notes that the Phins’ original selection, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, has been great, so the switch is merely “for fun”.

Would the Jaguars have been better off drafting Deebo Samuel?

Josh Allen is one of the Jaguars’ most dominant players on defense. He needs to be more consistent in 2022 but he’s fully healthy and doesn’t have to worry about any potential distractions inside the building, so there’s a chance he will be as, if not more productive than he was in his rookie campaign when he logged 10.5 sacks and made the Pro Bowl. Simply, the former Kentucky product is too valuable and the Jags wouldn’t probably re-do his pick.

Sure, Deebo Samuel is a star and was arguably the best non-quarterback player in the NFL last year. A second-round selection in 2019, the former South Carolina Gamecock hauled in 77 receptions or 1,405 yards with six touchdowns. Furthermore, he toted the rock 59 times for 365 yards with eight touchdowns. The Jaguars would love to have that kind of output from the wide receiver position but Samuel might have had a hard time replicating his success in Jacksonville had he played for them in 2021.

Last season, the Jaguars were a trainwreck under Urban Meyer and ranked 32nd in points scored. Would Samuel have moved the needle? Maybe but most players saw a dip in production. As wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. said earlier this year, “no player maximized their value” under the Jags’ former head coach and it’s highly unlikely that Jacksonville would have utilized Samuel the way the Niners did.

The Jaguars would surely like to have Deebo Samuel but not at the expense of passing on Josh Allen in 2019. Plus, it’s possible that they have their own Swiss-army knife in running back Travis Etienne.

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