They say hindsight is 20/20, and it's far too early to tell how the 2023 NFL draft will develop, but it's challenging to think the Jacksonville Jaguars did well this off-season. With the first-round trades back and the stockpiling of late-round picks, the Jags came across as confused and ill-prepared.
The Jaguar's draft ended up being chaotic, and it feels like they missed some significant needs and let great players slip through their fingers. Now that the dust has settled let's look at what Jacksonville could have done with their picks instead of reloading the practice squad.
After trading back with the New York Giants and then again with the Bills, the Jaguars ended up taking Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison, Jawaan Taylor's potential heir apparent at right tackle. This was a decent pick, probably the best selection by the Jags in 2023, but Harrison was a second-round pick. The Jaguars overpaid, even with the extra fourth, fifth, and seventh-round picks acquired.
The Jaguar's biggest need and the primary focus of their pre-draft plan was secondary. Most significantly, cornerback. The Giants got the 24th overall pick correctly, but it should have gone to the Jaguars.
Jaguars 2023 NFL Draft too-early do-over
With his 98 combine Athletic score and dominance last year at Maryland, Deonte Banks would have been the ideal pick in April's draft. However, considering how early Michael Mayer and Sam La Porta were drafted in the second and the fact the Bills used the second pick, we traded with them to take TE Kincaid. The best possible draft outcome for the Jaguars would have been to make the trade with the Giants and Bills and use the 27th pick on Michael Mayer.
With the no. 56 pick in the second round, the Jaguars again traded back with the Bears for the 61st and a fifth-round pick. They used that pick on Penn St. tight end Brenton Strange, and again grotesquely overpaid.
The Jaguars needed to address the tight end position, and Strange was the best available. This was an unnecessary move if they taken care of the position in the first round, leaving them open to pick from a deep secondary pool with the 56th pick.
The ideal move for the Jags with the 56th selection would have been Michigan's DJ Turner. Turner has versatility in defensive formations and would have been perfect in the nickel package.
With the third-round pick, the Jaguars used it to select Auburn's Tank Bigsby. He is an adequate third-round running back and will complement Travis Etienne well. However, with a slew of fourth-round picks, he could have been easily obtained later in the draft.
This would have been a great time to bolster the offensive line. Taking arguably the best Oklahoma OT, Wanya Morris, would have been just as valuable as Anton Harrison but with right or left tackle versatility. He has long arms, packs a punch, and carries a nastiness about him that would be great on the Jag's O-line.
Tank Bigsby would probably be available in the fourth, but with the fifth pick in the draft, it's hard to justify Yasir Abdullah when K.J Henry was still available. The former Clemson defensive end is a threat to the quarterback on every down and a stellar run defender.
Time will tell if this re-draft will prove Trent Baalke wrong, but it's in print now and will be revisited over the next few years.