As it is, the Jacksonville Jaguars have many holes to fill this offseason. But they could create even more holes if they move on from wide receiver Calvin Ridley and left tackle Cam Robinson. The former is set to become a free agent and the latter could be a cap casualty. Chad Router of NFL Media thinks the Jags will move on from both and has them drafting their replacements in his latest three-round mock.
Reuter has Jacksonville selecting LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. as Ridley's potential replacement at No. 17. He argues that the 2023 Second-Team All-SEC would round out the Jaguars' wide receiver corps.
"If Calvin Ridley departs in free agency, the Jaguars will need a downfield presence to complement Christian Kirk and Parker Washington underneath."
The Jags take offensive tackle Javon Foster in the second round. Having mostly lined up at left tackle at Mizzou, he would likely be Robinson's heir apparent. Then in the third round, Jacksonville goes with Clemson edge rusher Xavier Thomas, a prospect without much college production but plenty of potential.
Thomas, a four-star recruit out of high school, has the speed to stretch the field. On top of that, he's got the size to win 50/50 balls. That said, he doesn't always go for contested catches and his route running could use some work. That's why you won't see him ranked in the same echelon as the likes of Marvin Harrison Jr., Keon Coleman, or Rome Odunze.
Javon Foster, on the other hand, has the size and athleticism you want in a starting left tackle. However, he needs to refine his footwork and hand usage. Also, he struggles at recognizing the blitz, which leads offensive line analyst Brandon Thorn to assign him a fourth-round projection.
The Jaguars may want to address more pressing needs in the draft
Not re-signing Calvin Ridley would leave a massive void on offense. While he dealt with drops and wasn't always on the same page as Trevor Lawrence, he was one of their best players last year, catching 76 passes for 1,016 yards with eight touchdowns. The advantage of letting him walk would be that the team's brass would need to look for his replacement.
Tee Higgins has routinely been linked to Jacksonville but it's not a given that he'll be available. Thus, it's fair to assume that they would turn to the draft to add a receiver. Thomas would be an option. he's projected to go in either the first or second round, so he'll probably be available at No. 17.
However, there will probably be other wideouts on the board when the Jags are on the clock. Depending on how the top 10 plays out, the Jags may also have a shot at landing Maliek Nabers, Keon Coleman, or Rome Ozunde.
Regarding Foster, the Jaguars may have more pressing needs than offensive tackle even if they move on from Cam Robinson. Walker Little could easily fill in for him and prove he deserves the starting job long-term after handling backup duty the past three years. An alternative would be to move Little to the right side and switch Anton Harrison back to left tackle.
Either way, the Jaguars' brass has alternatives at offensive tackle, so they won't probably invest an early-round pick on the position. But if Foster is available in Rounds 3 or 4, they should then consider using a pick on him. After all, they're poised to enter the draft with two fourth-round selections, and he has enough upside to warrant a mid-round selection.
When it comes to Xavier Thomas, he could round out the Jags' pass rush. The fact that he wouldn't have a feature role behind Travon Walker and Josh Allen would allow him to work on his craft and see his workload increase as he improves.
All things considered, Chad Reuter has the Jaguars going after a trio of enticing prospects. The trouble with that path is that they also need to make upgrades to the interior offensive line and the cornerback group. Unless they take care of those needs in free agency, they're better off focusing on addressing those positions in the draft.