It's finally here. The 2019 NFL Draft will officially kick off tonight at 8 pm.
After much deliberation, long nights, and early mornings the Jacksonville Jaguars will make their picks, starting with their first-round selection this evening. Round two and three will take place Friday night, and then rounds four through seven will conclude on Saturday.
Here, I'll put forth my best effort to PREDICT what the Jaguars will do this weekend, starting with the seventh overall pick.
#7 Overall: TJ Hockenson TE Iowa
Hockenson has been my favorite player in this draft for some time. Now I also believe he will be the apple of Tom Coughlin's eye. He'll immediately be the most polished tight end on the Jaguars roster and perhaps the most talented player on the offensive side of the ball. He is already a dominating blocker and is one of the more impressive pass catchers at tight end that I've ever scouted. He has spectacular catch ability, suddenness in his routes, and more than enough speed to beat you deep. He also uncovers across the middle in the intermediate areas of the field with ease. His skill set is too much for the Jaguars to pass on and he'll immediately become Nick Foles' best friend and safety blanket on the field.
#38 Overall: Dalton Risner, OL Kansas State
The Jaguars passed up on the most talented offensive lineman in the class in the first round, but thankfully for them, Dalton Risner is still on the board at 38. Risner has a mean streak a mile wide and should be able to play tackle or guard at the next level. He's got some cleaning up to do with his footwork, but Risner is an immediate starter for Jacksonville that adds talent and depth to the right side of the offensive line.
#69 Overall: Kelvin Harmon, WR NC State
With the emergence of so many other receivers, Kelvin Harmon, who fits very well into the Allen Robinson role, slides to the Jaguars at the top of the third round. Harmon is a big-bodied receiver that has more technical refinement and quickness than you would expect for such a physical player. He'll be a contributor from the get-go and should easily be the Jaguars starting x-receiver by the end of 2019. The Jaguars don't necessarily need him, but his talent is too much to pass up on here for a team that has to score more points in 2019.
#98 Overall: Damien Harris, RB Alabama
Entering the 2018 season Harris was thought of as a potential day one or two selection. But with the emergence of other more flashy backs, Harris' stock has seemingly fallen. I think Harris has been around so long that he's become boring, but his skill set projects nicely to the next level. He's an excellent runner between the tackles and always seems to fall forward for an extra yard or two. Harris is a physical blocker in pass pro and is a better receiver than most have given him credit for. He's not a burner in any sense of the word, but his sub 4.6 speed is enough to get the job done with his powerful frame. With Harris in the fold, the Jaguars will not lose their smashmouth running style should Fournette fall victim to another injury.
#109 Overall: Joe Jackson, EDGE Miami
Jackson isn't your prototypical edge-bending pass rusher that teams covet these days, but he is a highly productive pass rusher that projects to be an excellent fit as Calais Campbell's eventual replacement. In the meantime, he can add some pass rushing depth to the Jaguars D-Line. His pass rush productivity during his three seasons at Miami was off the charts. He registered 81 QB hurries and 29 sacks, including 12 in 2018. Jackson's length and strength should serve him well early on, and if he can develop as a run defender and more refined technician as a pass rusher, he'll be a starter for a long time.
#178 Overall: Michael Jordan, iOL Ohio State
Jordan has a lot to clean up with his game. But his size, strength, and versatility will see him drafted on day two or three. He can play guard or center and has the flexibility to anchor against big-bodied defensive lineman. Jordan will be the final piece to the Jaguars 2019 offensive line puzzle.
#236 Overall: Savion Smith, CB Alabama
Smith took the long road but found some success in 2018 at Alabama. He fits the Jaguars thresholds for cornerbacks physically and has the ball skills and athleticism to thrive in a cover three scheme. Smith is far from a finished product, but the Jaguars will take a swing on the high ceiling, low floor prospect.
In the first four rounds of this draft, the Jaguars are able to find immediate contributors with long term starting potential in several areas of need. In rounds six and seven, the Jaguars fill out their roster with boom or bust type picks.
This isn't exactly what I would do if I were calling the shots, but I think this draft haul would set the Jaguars up for success in 2019 and beyond. That's just about all you can ask. The two positions that I think might be addressed on day two or three that aren't listed here are QB and FS. The board didn't fall the way it needed to for either position value wise in my simulation, but it might once the draft rolls around. I wouldn't be shocked to see Will Grier or Ryan Finley in a Jaguars uniform. I think both players project to be reliable west coast style backups, at the very least. As far as safety goes, Deionte Thompson in the third round or Sheldrick Redwine on day three wouldn't shock me.
What do you think? Would you be pleased with this draft haul?
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