The Jacksonville Jaguars had one of the best offenses in the league in 2022. Trevor Lawrence played like a top 5 quarterback near the end of the season while Christian Kirk, Zay Jones, and tight end Evan Engram posted career numbers.
What’s scary (at least for opposing teams) is that the Jags could be even better in 2023, with Lawrence entering his second year in head coach Doug Pederson’s system and the potential reinstatement of wide receiver Calvin Ridley. The defense, on the other hand, could use some major upgrades this offseason.
The problem is that Jacksonville won’t have much cap space in free agency, so they’ll need to resort to the 2023 NFL Draft to restock all three levels on defense. On the bright side, this is a good year to load up on cornerback and safety talent, two positions the Jaguars could and must address in this four-round mock draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars Post-Combine Mock Draft – Rd. 1: Antonio Johnson, DB
Cornerback is the Jaguars’ biggest position need with a caveat: They have a solid outside tandem in Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams. What they need is someone who can line up in the slot, which makes Antonio Johnson an appealing prospect at No. 24 in the draft.
Something that stands out about Johnson — and not in a good way — is that he logged just one interception during his collegiate career. However, his lack of big plays shouldn’t stop deter teams from investing a first-round selection in him.
The former Texas A&M Auggie was listed at safety but also played nickel. He allowed a solid 69 percent completion rate in coverage and posted a Pro Football Focus run defense grade of 83.7. Joe Marino of The Draft Network believes that Johnson’s flexibility to line up in different spots in conjunction with his ability to cover and stop the run makes him an intriguing prospect.