Day one of the draft went about how I expected it to for the Jaguars. While the Jags didn't take the defenders I mocked to them in my final predictive mock draft of 2020, they did draft two defensive players with their top two picks, both of whom I've connected to the Jaguars in recent weeks.
In CJ Henderson, the Jaguars landed the second-best cornerback in the class. A superior athlete with plenty of starting experience, Henderson should step into the starting lineup from day one.
At 20, the Jaguars added K'Lavon Chaisson. A speed to power specialist, Chaisson will need to develop more consistency as a pass rusher but has all the talent in the world. He'll be a quality run defender and can even drop in coverage. The Jaguars will allow him to play in a two-point stance as he did in college, which should help him be more effective in the early stages of his career.
After the conclusion of round one, Dave Caldwell spoke with the media and said the team had not received any offers for Yannick Ngakoue. The reality of the situation is Ngakoue could be stuck in Jacksonville for the 2020 season. Caldwell said the team would welcome him back with open arms.
What's next? The answer should be offense. With the Jaguars exclusively addressing defense in round one, the Jaguars need to give Gardner Minshew some help.
The Jaguars hold the 42nd and 73rd selections in the second and third rounds, respectively. The second day of the draft officially kicks off at 7 pm. I expect to see the Jaguars move around on day two of the draft. Dave Caldwell historically has a tendency to trade up at the top of the second to secure his prize. Don't be surprised if that happens again tonight. And with eight picks on day three of the draft, the Jaguars could easily trade back into the second or third and come away with three picks tonight.
I expect to see Jacksonville select a receiver with one of their picks. With the depth of the wide receiver class, day two will provide excellent value at the position. Potential targets? There are plenty. Denzel Mims and Tee Higgins are guys I'd keep an eye on early. As the night progresses, Van Jefferson, Bryan Edwards, KJ Hamler, Donovan-Peoples Jones, Michael Pittman Jr., Chase Claypool (who I view as a tight end), and Laviska Shenault are all likely to come off the board. The Jaguars should be able to secure one of these talented wideouts.
Who else could the Jaguars set their sights on? The roster could use immediate help at safety, offensive tackle, and offensive guard. The team may also need long term help at defensive tackle, and running back (depending on what happens with Leonard Fournette).
The running back group is loaded with talent to start the second round. Only Clyde Edwards-Helaire came off the board in round one, which leaves D'Andre Swift, Jonathan Taylor, Cam Akers (my RB1), JK Dobbins, and Antonio Gibson. All five of those runners play with explosiveness and power; the Jaguars would be fortunate to land any of them.
At offensive tackle, the Jaguars need someone to push Cam Robinson on the left side, and they need a swing tackle for depth. Adding one player to the mix could address both of those needs. Josh Jones should have been taken in round one and would provide protection for Minshew at left tackle. For me, there's a significant drop off after that. Lucas Niang, Saahdiq Charles, Matthew Peart, and Prince Tega Wanogho could all be targets in the second or third round. If the Jaguars do address offensive tackle tonight, I doubt it'd be with their first selection.
On the interior of the offensive line, the best values will come late tonight and early on Saturday. There are plenty of varying opinions on the interior O-Line class, but I expect Lloyd Cushenberry, Jonah Jackson, Matt Hennessy, Logan Stenberg, and potentially Ben Bredenson and Robert Hunt to come off the board tonight. If the Jaguars could lock in one those prospects late tonight or early tomorrow, they'd represent significant upgrades on the interior.
Several enticing coverage safeties could upgrade the Jaguars' pass defense early on. Xavier McKinney is more of a jack of all trades, master of none type, and will be a solid pro, but he's too similar to Ronnie Harrison for my liking. With Grant Delpit, Antoine Winfield, and Ashtyn Davis, the Jaguars could see a tangible improvement from their pass defense in 2020.
At defensive tackle, the Jaguars don't necessarily need someone who can start in 2020, as they have Al Woods and Abry Jones on the roster. But a long term solution could be in play. Davon Hamilton is a draft crush of mine, and he'd be perfect for the Jaguars' big defensive tackle spot. Neville Gallimore could be a target in the second round. But I think waiting until the third could provide the Jaguars more value. One of Raekwon Davis, Davon Hamilton, or Rashard Lawrence should be available in the third round. If the Jaguars want to further solidify their 3-tech spot behind Taven Bryan, Justin Madubuike, Ross Blacklock, and Marlon Davidson could be in play.
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