It's common for analysts to assign grades to teams for their hauls once the NFL Draft is over (guilty as charged) even though it might take a while to really assess the impact of the picks they made. This year, the Jacksonville Jaguars came out of the draft with 13 players and Pete Prisco and Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports both gave them a B- for the haul. But do the Jags deserve that grade?
Prisco liked that the Jaguars managed to land Yasir Abdulla in the fifth round, noting that he's a "tough physical player who can rush off the edge". On the other hand, he wasn't particularly enthused about their decision to take running back Tank Bigsby in the third round because he thinks Jacksonville should have used the pick on the defense instead.
On the other hand, Trapasso says that the Anton Harrison (Round 1) and Brenton Strange (Round 2) picks prevented him from giving the Jaguars a C. Trapasso points out that drafting Harrison in lieu of the Cam Robinson suspension was a smart decision. He also praised general manager Trent Baalke for training down and finding "some good picks -- like Bigsby and [Parker] Washington later".
Trapasso also gave individual grades to each pick and only linebacker Ventrell Miller (Round 4), cornerback Christian Braswell (Round 6), and offensive tackle Cooper Hodges (Round 6) got a D. When you take into account that the Jags had 13 total picks, that's a pretty solid feat.
The Jacksonville Jaguars focused on adding depth in the 2023 NFL Draft
The Jaguars entered the draft with clear needs at cornerback, offensive guard, edge rusher, and -- because of the Cam Robinson suspension -- offensive tackle. You could argue that they failed to address many of them but that would be focusing just on the negatives.
While it's true that there might be uncertainty at left guard in the upcoming months due to Ben Bartch's status for training camp in question, the team's brass might feel good about the timeline of his recovery. Similarly, it didn't matter that the Jags waited until the fifth round to draft a pass rusher, as Yasir Abdullah was a solid pickup. Moreover, there's a chance that they'll sign Yannick Ngakoue or bring back Dawuane Smoot, who's currently rehabbing a torn Achilles.
Drafting Anton Harrison with the 27th overall pick gives the Jaguars flexibility to move on from Robinson if they feel he's no longer part of their long-term future.
On the other hand, one look around the web will show you that the Tank Bigsby and Ventrell Miller picks weren't overly popular. After all, drafting Bigsby felt like an unnecessary luxury when you consider that the Jags had just signed D'Ernest Johnson in free agency and given a two-year extension to JaMycal Hasty.
Something similar happened with Miller, the Jaguars used first and third-round picks in Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma in last year's draft. Also, Foyesade Oluokun, a free-agent pickup, established himself as a key cog in the linebacker corps. If that wasn't enough, Jacksonville had a solid contributor in Shaquille Quarterman, so there doesn't currently seem to be room for Miller unless the Jags plan to trade one of their linebackers.
Then again, if you look at the decision to draft Bigsby and Miller from a depth perspective, the Jaguars solidified two position groups, so they're not necessarily bad picks.
All things considered, the Jaguars deserve the B- for their draft haul. Optimally, you want a team to find playmakers but they chose to fortify a roster that was already loaded with talent. That's not something that will get a club a high mark but the Jags are certainly in better shape than they were at the end of the 2022 season.