Jacksonville Jaguars double dip on O-Line help in latest PFF 2023 NFL Mock Draft
The Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line could use a boost but does that warrant using first and second-round picks in the 2023 NFL Draft? Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus seems to think so.
McGuiness put together a three-round mock draft and has Jacksonville taking Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison with the 24th overall selection and Ohio State center Luke Wypler at No. 56. Right off the bat, McGuiness concedes that these might not be popular picks but argues that it would make sense given the state of the Jaguars' roster.
"It might not be too exciting to draft offensive linemen with their first two picks, but it would make sense given the Jaguars' roster. Harrison produced 80.0-plus PFF pass-blocking grades in each of the past two seasons and allowed just nine total pressures on 447 pass-blocking snaps last year. "
Missouri edge rusher Isaiah McGuire falls to the Jags in the third round in McGuiness mock. All things considered, this wouldn't be a bad pickup. After all, Jacksonville's pass rush could use a boost, especially after failing to secure defensive end Calais Campbell in free agency. Having said that, choosing offensive linemen with back-to-back picks may raise a few eyebrows because it's not a pressing need for the Jaguars.
Anton Harrison at No. 24 wouldn't be a bad idea on paper. The former Oklahoma Sooner has the athleticism to neutralize pass rushers and the foot quickness to redirect defenders in run-blocking situations. Although he needs to get stronger and work on his footwork, Joe Marino of The Draft Network believes Harrison has the potential to become a starting offensive lineman in the NFL.
On the other hand, Wypler might be an unnecessary luxury in the second round. The Jags selected Luke Fortner in the third round of last year's draft and he went on to start every single game. Although the former Kentucky Wildcat has room for improvement, Jacksonville isn't in need of a center. The one scenario in which it would be feasible to pick Wypler is if the Jaguars plan to move him to left guard, where he could potentially compete with Ben Bartch for the starting job. But if that's the case, they might be better off going with a prospect that doesn't have to change positions.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have needs bigger than O-Line in the 2023 NFL Draft
There are different paths the Jaguars can take with the No. 24 pick and nobody should be surprised if they go with an offensive tackle to replace right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Anton Harrison would certainly be an appealing choice but he would need to switch sides, having mostly lined up on the left at Oklahoma.
If the Jags are seriously considering finding Taylor's replacement in the first round, they might be better off picking Darnell Wright, who made 13 starts at right tackle at Tennessee last season. Also, they need to add another cornerback, something they fail to do in McGuinness' mock. Whether they do it in the first, second, or even the third round, they must add someone that can line up in the slot to round out their cornerback group.
Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars shouldn't force a pick and go with the best player available whenever possible, they can't fully neglect their needs. This is why taking offensive linemen in the first two rounds of the draft might be a bad strategy.