Ranking every Jacksonville Jaguars pick from the 2024 NFL Draft

• The Jaguars came out of the draft with 9 players.

• Here's a ranking of all of them based on value and need

2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3
2023 NFL Draft - Rounds 2-3 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
3 of 4

4. Jarrian Jones - Jaguars CB

  • Round 3, pick 96 - Florida State

This pick got the Jags a lot of criticism for a couple reasons. First, they seemingly waited too long to take care of the cornerback position even though it was among their biggest needs. Second, Jarrian Jones was projected to go in the fourth or fifth round, prompting a few analysts to call him a reach. But once you dig deeper, it looks much better.

For starters, Jones is fast. His 40-yard dash in 4.38 seconds was one of the best among cornerbacks at the scouting combine. Also, he can line up inside and outside, so he gives the Jaguars ample flexibility.

Head coach Doug Pederson says that he envisions Jones lining up in the slot (and playing special teams) to start the season. However, he's got the skill set to potentially challenge Tyson Campbell and Ronald Darby for a starting job. The former may not be a good fit in defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen's press-heavy scheme. The latter started only one full season in his NFL career and isn't getting any younger.

That could pave the way for Jones to seize a starting job. And if he does, it won't matter that the Jaguars took him near the end of Day 2 of the draft.

3. Maason Smith - Jaguars DT

  • Round 2, pick 58 - LSU

This pick got mixed reviews. Many fans didn't like it while analysts thought the Jaguars got great value. It's easy to see why fans weren't fond of the pick, though. Cornerback was a bigger need than defensive tackle, especially after Jacksonville signed Arik Armstead in free agency. Moreover, Maason Smith dealt with injuries throughout his collegiate career, so he entered the draft with medical red flags.

However, Smith is healthy now and has immense upside. Leaving aside needs, Jacksonville got great value in the former LSU Tiger. Matt Holder of Bleacher Report goes as far as comparing him to Calais Campbell.

That will be a high bar to clear, but if Smith does become a difference-maker, will it matter that the Jags overlooked a need and instead went with the best player available?