One of the biggest challenges the Jacksonville Jaguars will face in the offseason will be keeping as many free agents as possible from leaving. This is going to be a tough task when you take into account that they won’t have as much cap space as they had last offseason. Then again, NFL clubs experience turnover on a yearly basis and the best ones have no trouble replenishing their roster.
The Jags will surely want to keep tight end Evan Engram, who’s scheduled to hit the open market after signing a one-year deal worth $9 million last season. The former Ole Miss Rebel has stated that he wants to come back to Jacksonville but he will be in demand if he hits the open market.
If Engram does leave in free agency, tight end will then be one of their biggest position needs in the offseason and they address it in this 2023 NFL Mock Draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars Mock Draft Round 1, 24th overall: Darnell Washington
The one thing that might allow the Jaguars to move on from Evan Engram is Doug Pederson’s track record of mentoring tight ends. As the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, he developed Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert. And as the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator, he had a young Travis Kelce.
If Engram does walk away, the Jaguars would be in the position to take Georgia’s Darnell Washington with the 24th overall pick. His numbers won’t pop off of the stat sheet but he made the most out of his chances, hauling in 45 receptions for 774 yards with three touchdowns.
Washington would give Trevor Lawrence a massive target but he’s an equally adept blocker, posting a Pro Football Focus run-blocking grade of 81.4 in 2022, the fifth-highest among tight ends in the FBS.