Another NFL Draft has come and gone, and unless you're a fan of the Green Bay Packers, you probably have an optimistic outlook that your team at least got a little better in some area. The Jags focused on improving the defense early with their most impactful picks. Both first-round selections have received some high praise outside of the organization. CJ Henderson is thought to be the best man coverage corner in the draft, while some believe K'Lavon Chaisson could be the best edge rusher in the draft. The team is obviously filling the most glaring holes left by a pair of young stars who have both seemingly forced their way out of Jacksonville. With that being said, I decided to take a look at the best and worst picks, some players to watch, and some players I wish the Jaguars would have gotten.
Best Pick: WR Laviska Shenault (Rd 2: Pick 10) Laviska Shenault is by far the best pick by the Jags in this draft. I see him as the most dynamic receiver in the class, and maybe the most dynamic offensive player overall. The only prospect who can push that notion, in my opinion, is Lynn Bowden from Kentucky. Shenault was regarded as one of the best receivers in 2018 and ended up seeing his draft stock fall after a less productive 2019 that also saw him fight through multiple injuries. To the benefit of the Jaguars, he fell to them at 42 overall. I think this could potentially be Caldwell's greatest draft pick.
Worst Pick: DT DaVon Hamilton (Rd. 3 Pick 9) I seem to be not as pleased with this pick as other local fans/media, however, the national media doesn't seem to be a huge fan of this third-round choice either. The pick of Hamilton did not receive a ton of good grades, and I think this was a reach here. Hamilton had a great senior year, but that's where the majority of his career production came from. He did have six sacks this past year, but Ohio State didn't have the toughest strength of schedule. Teams also had to pay much more attention to Chase Young. Granted, NFL defenses may have to pay more attention to Josh Allen and hopefully Chaisson off the edges, leaving Hamilton in some desirable situations.
Sleeper Picks: OL Ben Bartch/WR Collin Johnson (Rd. 4 Pick 10/Rd. 5 Pick 20) Ben Bartch has quickly become my favorite player in this draft class. Not only is he your prototypical nasty offensive lineman (have you seen what goes in that shake), he's a great character. After impressing at the senior bowl in January, Bartch was the only Division III player to be invited to this year's combine. He has shown the work ethic to become better for himself and the team, after buying into the team's plans and putting on nearly 86 pounds through his college career to become a tackle. He has the ability to play both tackle and guard, and I think he has a chance to plug in early and replace AJ Cann on the right side. As for Johnson, I just love his size and ability to go up over a defender and get the ball. He doesn't have blazing speed, and I think his true potential will be realized in the red zone. He gives the Jags something they have rarely had over the years: a HUGE (6'6") red-zone target.
Player Missed: Every Running Back The Jaguars shocked me and didn't pick up a single backfield edition in the draft, especially with rumors swirling about the team looking to unload their current backfield runner, Leonard Fournette. I did not think the team would want to leave Minshew without a running game entirely. The best backs went in a flurry in round two, and the Shenault pick was the right one to make, but I think the Jags could have made a different selection in the 3rd round. I was a huge fan of Zack Moss coming into the draft and think he would have plugged right in as a back that has success traditionally with the Jags. Jay Gruden's new offense may not agree though. The Jaguars are still without a pass-catching scatback like Chris Thompson, who was largely utilized in Gruden's offensive scheme.
Biggest Pass: WR Jerry Jeudy (Rd. 1 Pick 9) I feel a little different after this one with Laviska Shenault headed to Duval, but I still would have liked to see a top talent given to Gardner Minshew. If DJ Chark has anything to say about it, however, second round wideouts can prove to be quite the weapon.
UDFA To Watch: DB Kobe Williams To be honest, Kobe Williams was not on my radar at all leading up to and through the draft. After seeing his reported signing, the consensus was the Jaguars might have found a gem. I immediately began looking into this kid more. I didn't really have a chance to watch him as Arizona State doesn't get the most national attention. He is a little undersized at 5'10" and 174 pounds, but he plays hard. You immediately notice that he has good closing speed and seems to see the field well. He did not have any interceptions last year but saw 10 passes defended. He isn't going to be a ball hawk with gaudy interception numbers but could be a decent coverage corner in space. He may have some trouble tackling bigger receivers, but I expect him to tack on a few pounds before the season begins.
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