Top DL prospect is gift-wrapped to Jaguars in latest NFL Mock Draft

• The Jaguars bolster the defensive front in NFL Media's latest mock draft.

Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates
Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars fortified their defensive line when they signed Arik Armstead in free agency. However, the unit could still have room for reinforcements, so it's not surprising to see the Jags taking one of the top defensive tackles available in NFL Media's latest mock draft.

Charles Davis of NFL Media has Jacksonville picking Byron Murphy II in the first round of his latest mock, noting that the former Texas standout could make a terrifying tandem alongside Armstead.

"The Jags have already added Arik Armstead to shore up their run defense. He will lead, teach, and pair with this talented Longhorn."

The consensus sees Murphy as one of the best defensive line prospects in this year's class. His 4.87-second 40-time at the NFL Combine and completing the three-cone drill in 7.5 seconds at his pro day have solidified his status as a first-round pick.

A four-star prospect out of high school, Murphy was a backup the first two years of his collegiate career. Once he earned a featured role on the Longhorn's defense, he wasted no time showcasing his talent, registering five sacks, and 14.5 tackles for a loss from the interior. At 6'1", Murphy lacks the prototypical size for an NFL defensive lineman, but he more than makes up for it with the strength and burst to defend the run and get after the quarterback.

The Jaguars struggled to generate pressure inside last year. Similarly, they had trouble stopping opposing teams from running the ball. They brought in Armstead to shore up the line of scrimmage but they could still use another game-wreaker at defensive tackle. Murphy fits the bill.

Why the Jaguars may pass on Byron Murphy II

You should never pass up the chance to draft a playmaker even if you think you're set at the position. Having said that, there's a chance the Jacksonville Jaguars won't go with Byron Murphy II. Make no mistake, he'll most definitely help the team that ends up picking him but they're loaded in the trenches after signing Arik Armstead.

The Jaguars will be switching to a 4-3 front under defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen. That means outside linebackers Travon Walker and Josh Allen will now play with their hand on the ground while Armstead and DaVon Hamilton line up inside. There's also Roy Robertson-Harris who will most likely rotate with Armstead and Hamilton. Simply put, there would be no room for Murphy.

On top of that, the Jaguars may have bigger needs than the defensive line. Their wide receiver corps, the cornerback room, and the pass rush rotation could all use help, and the front office may want to prioritize the first two groups with their first two picks in the draft.

This isn't to say that Jacksonville will neglect the defensive front, but they won't probably be taking Byron Murphy II at No. 17. Instead, expect them to add depth in the later rounds.

Had the Jaguars not signed Arik Armstead, Byron Murphy would've been a no-brainer in the first round. They won't probably take him off their draft board just yet but there's a strong chance they'll go in another direction at No. 17. Heck, a trade shouldn't be ruled out.

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