Jacksonville Jaguars roster in need of depth at key spots following NFL Free Agency
The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the offseason needing to add depth at key position groups and they still need to address all of them after a quiet first week of free agency. Fortunately, the Jags can fill most of their roster holes in the 2023 NFL Draft and Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Talk recently wrote about three they should focus on.
Sikkema discussed every NFL team's biggest needs after free agency and thinks cornerback, offensive line and running back are Jackosnville's top 3. He argues that the Jaguars need to find replacements for cornerback Shaquill Griffin, who remains unsigned, and right tackle Jawaan Taylor, who signed a four-year contract worth $80 million with the Kansas City Chiefs. On top of that, Sikkema believes adding another running back to the Jags' backfield in the draft would be a good idea.
"With the expected release of Shaquill Griffin, the Jaguars solidified their top need being a starting caliber outside cornerback. They also lost starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor, though they do have Walker Little, who can step in right away, so perhaps they don't see that as a major need for this draft. Travis Etienne is the go-to-starter for them at running back, but they may look to add another young back in the middle rounds. "
Releasing Griffin gave the Jags $13.14 million in additional space, so moving on from him after he spent a significant amount of the 2022 season on Injured Reserve seems like a smart decision. Similarly, the team's brass couldn't afford to give Taylor a top-market contract after giving left tackle Cam Robinson a three-year deal worth $54 million last offseason. The silver lining is that the Jags can follow different paths to fill the respective voids Griffin and Taylor left.
The Jacksonville Jaguars will have options in the 2023 NFL Draft
The truth is that the Jaguars are in a favorable position to address most of their needs in the 2023 NFL Draft, so their lack of activity in free agency shouldn't be a cause for concern. Cornerback seems to be their biggest hole in spite. Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams will tentatively start in the boundaries in Week 1 but Jacksonville needs a nickel corner. Fortunately for them, this class is stacked at the position, so they can wait until the second or even third round to take one. Then again, they might not want to pass up the chance to take one of the top cornerback prospects with the 24th overall selection.
If the Jags don't take a cornerback in the first round, they could add a pass rusher to their rotation or fortify their defensive front. The team's brass also needs to replace Arden Key's production and prospects such as Bryan Bresee will be available at No. 24.
On the other hand, the Jaguars could opt to take an offensive line prospect such as O'Cyrus Torrence and have him compete with Walker Little for the right tackle job. However, it's possible that the front office feels comfortable with Little getting extended reps in training camp and if that's the case, they can target a swing tackle in the second or third round.
While it's true that the Jaguars need to fill several needs this offseason, there's more than one way to do it. And as long as they come out of the draft with a handful of playmakers, they should be in a position to return to the playoffs and win the AFC South for the second consecutive season.