Welcome to our 2020 Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Guide!
Our first entry into this guide will break down everything you need to know before the draft kicks off at 8 pm on Thursday.
Day One Picks: #9 Overall, #20 Overall
Day Two Picks: #42 Overall, #73 Overall
Day Three Picks: #116 Overall, #137 Overall, #140 Overall, #157 Overall, #165 Overall, #189 Overall, #206 Overall, #223 Overall
Cornerback - The Jaguars' most pressing need is at the cornerback position. Rashaan Melvin is currently penciled in as the starter opposite Tre Herndon, but adding a young, talented cornerback to compete with Melvin in year one will be critical.
Free Safety - The Jaguars still have Jarrod Wilson on their roster, but in his first year as a starter in 2019, he proved to be more of a backup level player than a quality starter. Adding a rangey free safety that can cover ground in a hurry could greatly aid the Jaguars' defense.
Wide Receiver - The Jaguars have one quality starting receiver in DJ Chark. Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, and Keelan Cole are all quality role players. But the Jaguars need a bonafide young receiver to start opposite DJ Chark. Adding such a player would take pressure off Chark and give Gardner Minshew another playmaker and outlet.
Defensive Tackle - Taven Bryan appears ready to be the Jaguars' starting 3-tech for the foreseeable future. But at the Jaguars' big defensive tackle spot, they don't have a long-term plan. Al Woods will likely start in 2020, but at 33 years old, he won't be around too much longer. Behind him, Abry Jones has proven he can get the job done, but shouldn't necessarily be a full-time starter.
Offensive Guard - The Jaguars struggled at right guard in 2019. AJ Cann and Will Richardson did not deliver for the Jags, as both struggled to find consistency. Andrew Norwell figures to start again at left guard in 2020, but his long-term future is unclear. Norwell hasn't lived up to his market-setting contract.
Offensive Tackle - The Jaguars need a swing tackle due to the departure of Cedric Ogbuehi this offseason. They could also potentially use an upgrade at left tackle in the starting lineup. Cam Robinson struggled last season, coming off an ACL tear. By adding an offensive tackle to the mix early on, the Jaguars could get the talent and depth that they need at the position.
Defensive End - The Jaguars have Josh Allen entrenched as their premier pass rusher. But Yannick Ngkaoue is unlikely to suit up for the Jaguars again, and Allen will need a running mate long term. Adding a developmental pass rusher who can grow into a rotational role in year one could be a smart play for the Jaguars.
Tight End - The Jaguars have three tight ends that they view in a positive light. Tyler Eifert, James O'Shaughnessy, and Josh Oliver make a nice tight end room. The problem? All three have an injury history. The Jaguars would be wise to add one more tight quality tight end as an insurance policy.
General Manager Dave Caldwell's Previous First-Round Picks:
2013: OT Luke Joeckel
2014: QB Blake Bortles
2015: DE Dante Fowler Jr.
2016: CB Jalen Ramsey
2017: RB Leonard Fournette
2018: DT Taven Bryan
2019: DE Josh Allen
What You Need to Know:
This will be the first virtual draft of all time. Because of this, there will be some interesting communication hurdles that teams will need to adjust to. But the NFL will be lenient when it comes to tech issues in this draft, so overall it shouldn't hurt a given teams chances of landing their desired prospects or making trades.
Because the Jaguars offloaded so many talented veterans this offseason, there may not be much pressure to compete for the playoffs in 2020. Just because the team has a need here or there, doesn't mean Dave Caldwell won't take the best players available on his board. The Jags will certainly address many of their needs, but perhaps not in the order you'd expect, depending on how the board falls.
The Jaguars hold ten draft picks from rounds 2-7. With so much draft capital, they will have the ammo to move up or down the board as the front office sees fit. Don't expect the team to use all 12 draft picks and don't be surprised if they move up or down as early as round one, even though Dave Caldwell has never traded in the first round.
The Jaguars have two players that they're openly discussing trading. Yannick Ngakoue wants out and has made that abundantly clear on social media. The Jaguars are waiting for the type of deal they want, which reportedly starts at a first-round pick and more (per Adam Schefter). Leonard Fournette is also on the trade block. But a slightly above average starting running back going into the final year of his rookie deal isn't likely to fetch much. If the Jaguars can acquire any sort of draft capital, they'll likely move on from Fournette. Either player could be traded in the hours leading up to or during the draft.
- According to Albert Breer, the Jaguars have kicked around the idea of trading down from the number nine spot.
- The two hottest names tied to the Jaguars at nine are Derrick Brown and CJ Henderson. Brown is a hulking defensive tackle presence that would lock down the Jaguars' nose tackle job early on and looks like a guy that will be a plus starter for many years to come. But does he have enough pass-rush ability to warrant a top ten pick? CJ Henderson has it all, but he appeared to make some business decisions in college when it came to tackling. He's an ultra-athletic playmaker with length at cornerback. He'd certainly be able to compete for the starting job on day one.
- Could the Jaguars trade up from nine? Jeff Okudah is the top cornerback in the class. While he may not be as flashy or athletic as Henderson, he's super steady and highly competitive. It's rare to see him lose a battle in coverage. If Okudah falls past the Lions, the Jaguars could pounce.
- Isaiah Simmons? Simmons is one of the three or four most talented players in the draft. Should he slide all the way to nine, the Jaguars might pull the trigger. Dave Caldwell is known to take the best player available early on. Simmons has a ton of versatility and could become the ultimate chess piece for a defensive coordinator. He has the ability to start alongside Ronnie Harrison at safety. He could also cover tight ends, running backs and slot receivers from the nickel position or even get his hands dirty closer to the line of scrimmage. If the Jaguars don't draft Simmons, adding a safety like Grant Delpit or Xaiver McKinney at 20 could be in play.
- How about wide receiver? If the Jaguars want to address their need at wide receiver with their first pick, they could have their pick of the litter. CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III, and Jerry Jeudy are all likely to be available at nine. If the Jaguars trade down from nine to the mid-teens, two or three of the above-mentioned players would probably still be on the board. The Jaguars could also take a receiver at 20. Justin Jefferson or Denzel Mims could be in play.
- Speaking of Jerry Jeudy, yesterday, a report surfaced that he has some underlying knee issues that could send him sliding down the board on Thursday night. If he falls, don't be surprised if the Jaguars scoop him up. Dave Caldwell has made a living off of grabbing talented players that slide due to medical concerns.
- Cornerback at 20? If the Jaguars fail to add a cornerback with their first pick, there are a number of quality prospects that could be available at 20. Jeff Gladney, Kristian Fulton, Jaylon Johnson, or AJ Terrell could be the pick.
- On Javon Kinlaw: The beastly interior defensive lineman has positional versatility at defensive tackle. But due to injury concerns and some poor interviews at the combine, he may slide to the bottom half of the first round. If Caldwell is comfortable with him as a person and player, don't be surprised if he winds up being their second pick of the 2020 draft. I wouldn't be shocked if they took him at nine. Kinlaw is strong against the run and has the potential to be one of the most explosive interior penetrators in the game.
- Offensive Tackle? The Jaguars have raved about their offensive line group, but I wouldn't be shocked to see them add an OT in round one. At nine, one or two of the top guys will almost assuredly be gone? But which ones? No one knows at this point. Two or three of Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton, Tristan Wirfs, and Andrew Thomas should be on the board. If the Jaguars don't go tackle with their first pick, they could add one at 20. Josh Jones or Austin Jackson might be in play.
- While offensive guard is a need, I don't think the Jaguars will value any prospects at that position high enough to select in round one. If there's one guard to keep an eye on, it's Ceasar Ruiz. Ruiz should fit well in Jay Gruden's offense. If the Jaguars elect to trade down from 20, Ruiz could be a target.
- The Jaguars probably want to address running back this year. Leonard Fournette appears to be on his way out of town and behind him are two promising, yet unproven, young runners. 2019 rookies RyQuell Armstead and Divine Ogzigbo have both shown flashes in limited work in the pros. The Jaguars aren't likely to draft a runner in the first round. They recently learned how costly adding a player in the first-round at a devalued position can be. If the Jaguars do look at running back in round one, D'Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, or JK Dobbins could be their man. I strongly urge Dave and company to avoid the running back in round one trap. Instead, the Jaguars should address running back on Friday, in the second or third round.
- Defensive end could be a surprise pick at nine OR twenty OR in trade down scenarios. Although adding another EDGE isn't the Jaguars' biggest need, they might view one of the defensive ends in round one as the best overall value. At nine, the only real option would be K'Lavon Chaisson. He wasn't overly productive until the second half of the season in 2019, but man, he's got a serious skill set and strong work ethic. If the Jaguars opt to draft a defensive end at 20, it would likely be a Calais Campbell type replacement. AJ Epenesa and Yetur Gross-Matos both fit the bill.
- Could the Jaguars take a QB? It seems highly unlikely. Burrow, Tua, and Herbert/Love are all likely to be off the board by the time the Jaguars select at nine. With Gardner Minshew in place as the starting QB right now, the Jaguars are likely to see how he develops in year two, and potentially select his replacement next year, in a QB class that should include Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. If Tua were to fall to nine, it's possible the Jaguars would consider adding him to the fold, he's just that good. Still, I doubt the Jaguars exit day one of the draft with a new QB.
- Don't rule out the Jaguars trading players or current picks for 2021 draft capital. Stocking up on 2021 picks could be a common move for teams this year. There's less transparency with these prospects than ever before. Because of the lack of pro days and in-person meetings, organizations may look to add more picks next year.
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