Jaguars select CB Jarrian Jones with 96th pick: Instant grade and analysis

• The Jaguars at last addressed a big need when they took Jarrian Jones in the 3rd round of the 2024 NFL Draft.
Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jarrian Jones (7) celebrates a pick six. The Florida State
Florida State Seminoles defensive back Jarrian Jones (7) celebrates a pick six. The Florida State / Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat / USA

The Jacksonville Jaguars fortified their wide receiver corps and the defensive line in the first two rounds of the 2024 NFL Draft. Next, they turned their attention to the cornerback group. With the 98th overall pick, the Jags selected Jarrian Jones out of Florida State.

The pick was met with anticipation because cornerback was one of the team's biggest holes entering the draft. However, they got a bit of flak because waited until near the end of the third round to address it. Either way, the front office managed to check off a box before the end of Day 2.

A four-star recruit out of high school, Rose saw his draft stock rise after running up the 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds at his pro day. However, the former Florida State Seminole is far from a one-trick pony. At 6'0" and 190 pounds, he's got great instincts, and his background as a receiver helps him make plays. Moreover, his versatility to line up inside and outside will come in handy in defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen's scheme.

It's worth noting that Jacksonville didn't have their original third-round selection in 2024. They gave it to the Atlanta Falcons as part of the trade they made for wide receiver Calvin Ridley in 2022. They selected Jones with the compensatory selection they were awarded when right tackle Jawaan Taylor left in free agency.

What should the Jaguars expect from Jarrian Jones in 2024?

Jarrian Jones will compete for playing time as a rookie. He's at his best when he plays man coverage, so he may not need much time to make the transition to Ryan Nielsen's press-heavy scheme. Head coach Doug Pederson told the media after his selection that he sees him playing inside and becoming a special teams contributor early on.

Having said that, it's hard to see Jones beat Tyson Campbell or Ronald Darby for a starting job outside early in his rookie season. Once he grows comfortable, though, he may challenge one of his veteran counterparts for a featured role.

What grade do the Jaguars get for drafting Jarrian Jones in Round 3 of the draft?

They finally took care of a big need, but you could make the case that they should've done it earlier. They have three selections in Round 4 and they could've used them to trade up for one of the top cornerback prospects left on the board on Day 2. Instead, they waited until the end of the third round to select Jarrian Jones.

When asked what took the Jaguars so long to address the cornerback position, general manager Trent Baalke said they stuck to their big board, "I've always said, you follow your board, we had a need at that position, and we filled it."

Still, it felt like the Jaguars had several chances to select one of the top cornerbacks in the class but didn't capitalize on them. Maybe Jarrion Jones will end up becoming a key contributor in the Jacksonville secondary, but for the time being, his selection feels uninspiring.

Grade: C

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