Mel Kiper Jr., the godfather of NFL Draft coverage, released his mock draft 4.0 Tuesday morning. In his latest mock, Kiper covers the first two rounds of the draft.
Let's dive right in.
KIPER: 9. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
If the Jaguars are going all-in on Gardner Minshew, they could get him another weapon here. And Jeudy, who had 26 career touchdowns at Alabama, would be a great complement to DJ Chark and Dede Westbrook. He is a superb route runner and smooth-hands catcher who is dynamic after the catch. Jacksonville is another team that is likely to keep a close eye on defensive tackles Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw.
MY TAKE: Although there is plenty of value at receiver after the top ten, Jeudy provides an enticing skill set and would automatically step in as a starting receiver in Jay Gruden's offense. If Dave Caldwell's goal is to surround Gardner Minshew with as much talent as possible, adding Jeudy to the mix is not a bad way to go about it. With his athleticism, ball skills, and most importantly, his route-running prowess, Jeudy should thrive in Gruden's timing offense.
KIPER: 20. Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma
This pick has been hard to gauge for the past few months. The Jaguars have several needs, including off-ball linebacker, defensive line, wide receiver, tight end, cornerback and right tackle. So if I'm giving them a wideout at No. 9, it makes sense to go defense here. Jacksonville brought in middle linebacker Joe Schobert in free agency, but Murray has the versatility to play any linebacker spot. He's a tremendous athlete and tackling machine.
MY TAKE: The Jaguars do not have a need at linebacker. Joe Schobert is their starter in the middle and will be for the foreseeable future. Myles Jack is locked in at WILL. Leon Jacobs is an adequate to good starter at SAM, a position that doesn't hold much value anymore. Had the Jaguars not signed Schobert, this pick would make a lot more sense. But this one is a head-scratcher from Kiper.
KIPER: 42. Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
I thought about defensive tackle for the Jaguars' two first-round picks, but this would be a great draft for them if they can get Madubuike here. After Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw, Madubuike is the defensive tackle with the most pass-rushing upside -- he had 34 pressures and 18 tackles for loss last season. Taven Bryan, a first-round pick in 2018, hasn't worked out, so Jacksonville needs to push him with another young DT.
MY TAKE: I like Madubukie's upside. But again, I don't think Kiper understands the Jaguars' roster. Kiper states that Taven Bryan hasn't worked out. If you're unwilling to take a deep dive into his tape from 2019, I could understand why you might think that. But I challenge anyone to watch Taven Bryan in the second half of 2019 and tell me he doesn't project as an above-average starter in 2020. Madubuike will play the same role as Bryan in the NFL and is NOT a fit in Jacksonville. The Jaguars could use a long-term answer at nose tackle, but they're set a 3-tech for at least the next 2-3 seasons.
Overall, Kiper missed the mark on two of his three picks for the Jaguars. Adding an off-ball linebacker in the first round makes ZERO sense. And pairing that with a 3-tech in the second round, again, doesn't add up. Jeudy at nine is the only pick that really seems to line up.
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