Jaguars fail to address key need in proposed nightmare Draft Day scenario

• B/R drew up a nightmare scenario for the Jaguars in the 1st round of the NFL Draft.
Jacksonville Jaguars fans, from left, Griffin Lasch, Garrett Roberson, and Gabriel Mont react to
Jacksonville Jaguars fans, from left, Griffin Lasch, Garrett Roberson, and Gabriel Mont react to / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to address the cornerback position in the 2024 NFL Draft. At No. 17, they should have ample options, but Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report brings up a scenario in which the Jags miss out on the top prospects at the position.

Gagnon drew up a list of nightmare scenarios for each NFL team. Jacksonville's would be if Quinyon Mitchell, Terrion Arnold, and Kool-Aid KcKinstry are all gone when they're on the clock.

Given that the Jaguars may in fact want to take a cornerback in the first round, this would be a less-than-ideal scenario. During the team's pre-draft conference, general manager Trent Baalke had praise for this year's class.

"I think it's a good group," Baalke said when discussing this year's cornerback batch. "If you looked at 32 boards, you'd probably find 28 different ways to stack the top 10 corners in this draft you might find 32 different ways. I think it's that close. There's good value, there are good players. The make-up and character of these guys is all different. It's all over the board. It's going to be interesting how that falls off the board on Draft Day."

Baalke later said that the system the Jaguars will run on defense might play a role in how they value the cornerback position.

"I think system plays an important role in that as well. How you're gonna play the corners? You're gonna play them off, man, you're gonna play them on the line of scrimmage on press and run with guys. I do think that plays into it. There's really good depth and really good skill at the corner position in this draft, more so than maybe the last couple of drafts I've been involved with here. it'll be interesting how these top guys fall off the board."

Mitchell, Arnold and McKinstry are among the top cornerback prospects in this year's class. The Jags should have a favorable chance to land one of them with the 17th overall pick but if there's a run at the position early on, as Gagnon suggests, they might be out of luck.

Four of the first five picks could be quarterbacks. Maybe the Tennessee Titans will take an offensive tackle with the seventh overall selection, but starting at No. 8, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media teams could begin targeting the cornerback position. Rapoport goes on to say that Quinyon Mitchell will be the first one off the board.

The Jaguars will have options if the top CBs are gone at No. 17

The Jaguars would love to land one of the top cornerback prospects in Round 1. Ronald Darby is a reliable veteran but he's not the long-term answer at the position. Meanwhile, Tyson Campbell is coming off an injury-marred season and is set to become a free agent in 2025. Whether he bounces back or not, it would be a good idea to look for alternatives in the draft.

That said, the Jags will have options if the top corners are gone at No. 17. As Trent Baalke noted, this year's class is loaded, so they could easily address another position (wide receiver, offensive tackle or wide receiver) in the first round and take a cornerback in Rounds 2 o 3. Max Melton and Renardo Green should be available at No. 48 and both of them would be intriguing options.

Similarly, the front office could decide to move back a few spots if their choices for cornerback are gone when they're on the clock. Heck, it's not a given that Jacksonville will address the position in the first round, and they'll mostly have a contingency plan in case the draft doesn't play out the way they hope.

The bottom line is that the Jacksonville Jaguars would most definitely want to come out of the first round with a top cornerback. It won't be doom and gloom if they don't. There are other routes they can take with the 17th overall pick and most of them should be good.

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