Round 5: Cedric Johnson, edge rusher, Ole Miss
By Rounds 4 and 5, the well starts to dry, and teams must rely on their scouts to identify as many development prospects as possible. In the Jaguars' case, they've been fine, not great on Day 3 of the draft these past three years. They've found solid contributors like tight end Luke Farrell (2021), cornerback Montaric Brown (2022), safety Antonio Johnson (2023), and wide receiver Parker Washington (20239.
However, they've also had their fair share of misses such as Jalen Camp, Snoop Conner, and Derek Parish. As important as it will be to find a handful of playmakers in the early round, they'll also need to hit on their Day 3 selections.
Cedric Johnson is Round 5 and gives them a pass rusher who could become a rotation piece if he can work on his overall technique when getting after the quarterback. Similarly, he'll need to gain strength to thrive in the NFL.
Round 6: Mekhi Wingo, defensive tackle
Even though the Jaguars traded their 2024 sixth-round pick in exchange for Ezra Cleveland last year, they have a couple extra ones. They got the first one, along with a seventh-rounder last year, when they traded wide receiver Laviska Shenault to the Carolina Panthers. They were also awarded a compensatory selection in the sixth round when they lost defensive end Arden Key last offseason.
They could use the first one on LSU defensive tackle Mekhi Wingo. While he lacks ideal arm length, he has enough athleticism and strength to make an impact as a rotational player if given time to work on his craft.
Round 6: J.D. Betrand, linebacker, Notre Dame
A three-year starter, J.D. Bertrand may not have had the ideal size to thrive in the NFL. He sometimes struggles to shed blocks and has limited coverage skills. That said, he's got enough explosiveness and awareness to make plays. All things considered, he may benefit from a year in the practice squad to hone his skills before he can compete for a roster spot.
Round 7: Sebastian Castro, cornerback, Iowa
Cornerback may or may not be a pressing need with the arrival of defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. Having already addressed other needs in the draft, the Jags turn their attention to their cornerback room in Round 7. Sebastian Castro, who played man coverage for the Hawkeyes, could be an interesting project for Nielsen.