Mock Draft Roundup: Jacksonville Jaguars upgrade their backfield at No. 24

Michigan v Wisconsin
Michigan v Wisconsin / John Fisher/GettyImages

As we approach the NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars will look to emphatically improve defensively. We all know that defense wins championships, and I believe the Jags have the potential to become a dominant force on the defensive side of the ball. The right pick in the first round is crucial to strengthen and solidify their secondary.

Jaguars' scouts have been clear their primary focus in the first two days of the draft will be on the defensive backfield. So I would not be surprised to see them take a safety and a corner with their first pair of picks.

ESPN's top draft gurus, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay, have the Jaguars claiming Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer with the 24th pick. I agree with that; Mayer is my top choice for the Jaguars. He would be my selection even if I had the first pick in the draft. For that reason, I don't think he slips any lower than Pittsburgh's 18th overall pick, especially with the Steelers' recent acquisition of wide receiver Allen Robinson.

"“Turner is a hot name in the league right now, largely because scouts and execs went back to the tape after his4.26-second 40-yard dashat the combine. That was the fourth-fastest time at the combine since 2003. He's in the first-round discussion now. At 5-11, 178 pounds, Turner isn't very big, but he has some versatility -- he played outside and in the slot for the Wolverines.”"

Mel Kiper

So at No. 24, the Jaguars should stick to their draft plan and take University of Michigan cornerback DJ Turner. Turner is the fourth-ranked cornerback and was a two-time All-Big Ten selection. He won Michigan's Most Improved Defensive Player honor and Defensive Skill Player of the Year in 2021 and ran an exceptionally fast 4.27 40 at the combine. See his raw speed in this clip.

DJ Turner would round out the Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback group

Turner is a great pick. The Jaguars will love his coverage versatility, remarkable athleticism, and refined technical skills. In any other year's draft, Turner would be off the board long before the 24th pick, but due to the unusually deep position group, there's a strong chance he's available when the Jags are on the clock.

The Jaguars have a reliable combination of corners with Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams, but they need to add one that can line up in the slot. Jacksonville plans to address the cornerback position early, then add offensive tackle and safety depth. So DJ Turner makes all kinds of sense for the Jaguars at the 24th pick... Unless Michael Mayer is still available.

Next. 5 players the Jaguars could trade for on Draft Day. dark