Ranking 5 players the Jacksonville Jaguars could trade for during the 2023 NFL Draft
Player 2 the Jacksonville Jaguars should trade for on Draft Day: Austin Ekeler, RB
The Jaguars have built their offense around Trevor Lawrence but they have also put together a solid running back unit. Behind Travis Etienne, Jacksonville has a pair of capable backups in JaMycal Hasty and D'Ernest Johnson.
Etienne proved in 2022 that he can be a three-down back but he might be at his best when he splits the workload, which is why the Jags might be tempted to call the Los Angeles Chargers about Austin Ekeler, who might be on the trade block come Draft Day. An undrafted free agent, Ekeler quickly worked his way up the Bolts' depth chart and eventually supplanted Melvin Gordon as their starting running back.
Gordon's contract demands at the time played a role in the Chargers' decision to go with Ekeler. But with or without the former, the latter would still have become a key cog in the Bolts' offense. In four of the last six years, the Western Colorado product has logged over 1,500 yards from scrimmage and in the two years that he didn't, he got at least 900.
Ekeler is a pretty good running back and an equally productive pass-catcher, which is why he could thrive in Jacksonville. It's fair to say that the only issue that would potentially stop the Jaguars from realistically pursuing Ekeler is that he wants a new contract and Los Angeles doesn't seem interested in giving him one.
Whichever team shows interest in Ekeler must be ready to compensate the Bolts and give him a new deal, which could end up turning away any potential suitors.