The Jacksonville Jaguars have stocked their roster with playmakers over the last two seasons but they’ll need to keep adding talent if they want to make the playoffs and win the AFC South for the second year in a row. In particular, they’ll need to fortify their cornerback group and their tight end unit this offseason and they take care of both needs in CBS Sport’s most recent two-round mock draft.
Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports believes the Jags will take Oregon State tight end Luke Musgrave in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft and Illinois cornerback Jartavius Martin in the second. Wilson argues that Musgrave’s stock increased after showcasing his athletic ability during Senior Bowl week.
"Musgrave was getting some late-first/early Day-2 buzz down in Mobile, and while he didn’t have a great week, it was certainly easy to see why teams liked him. He missed most of ’22 with an injury but he’s well built, long, and has the athleticism to consistently separate from both safeties and linebackers. His blocking is a work in progress but he’ll be a contributor in the passing game from Day 1."
The Jaguars could lose star tight end Evan Engram in free agency and Musgrave is one of several prospects they could take with the 24th overall pick in the draft to replace him. While the former Oregon State Beaver flashed in 2021, he only suited up for two games last season, so there’s not enough tape of him to accurately project how he’ll transition into the NFL. Conversely, his elite athleticism and size make him an intriguing option in the first round of the draft. In fact, he’s the No. 2 tight end on Pro Football Focus’ big board.
On the other hand, taking Martin at No. 56 seems a bit too high despite the fact that the’s of the most experienced cornerback prospects in the draft. The consensus projects him to be a third-round selection. Even though his ability to line up in the slot and his physicality should make him an appealing option in Round 2, Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network thinks that his limited speed in coverage and his functional short-area quickness could be cause for concern in the pros.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will have plenty of options in the 2023 NFL Draft
If the Jaguars re-sign Evan Engram, tight end no longer would be their top need in the draft and they could instead target a cornerback or a pass rusher in the first round. If Engram leaves, they’ll be in a position to take one of the top three tight end prospects, Darnell Washington, Michael Mayer, and Musgrave. Then again, they won’t force a pick and will instead choose the best player available, regardless of the position.
The advantage of waiting until the second or third round to take a cornerback is that this year’s batch is a deep one. Moreover, the Jags need a slot cornerback, not necessarily one that plays in the boundaries. Of course, they could fall in love with one of the top prospects, especially if he can line up inside and outside.
Nobody knows how the 2023 draft will unfold but the Jacksonville Jaguars will put in the work to make sure they come out of the first two rounds with a couple of playmakers, and there’s a chance it could be Musgrave and Martin.