The 2021 NFL Draft is finally upon us. The Jaguars are on the clock with the first overall pick, and while that selection might not have much mystery to it, the rest of the draft will be critical for the Jaguars in 2021 and for the long-term health of the franchise.
The Number One Overall Pick
This is the first time in franchise history the Jaguars have held the number one pick. During their expansion year, the Panthers were given the number one overall selection. The Jags are expected to pick Trevor Lawrence, a quarterback widely regarded as the best prospect to enter the league since Andrew Luck. Lawrence led Clemson to two national title appearances, winning one, and made it to the College Football Playoffs in each of his three collegiate seasons. Lawrence stands 6'5", shows excellent composure, mobility, and has all the arm talent you could ask for. He'll be the new face of the franchise in Duval.
Urban Meyer's First Draft
Jaguars' new head coach Urban Meyer has never had the opportunity to be a part of the NFL Draft. He's never experienced what it's like in an NFL war room. He's anxious to get his first draft underway.
"The whole idea of value is completely new to me," Meyer told the media. "That's something I relied on Joe Cullen and Bevell as coordinators and Brian Schneider who has extensive experience in the NFL, and obviously Trent and his staff. I'm a quick learner. I've been working at this now for about three months and the last three to four weeks, this has been our entire life in that room watching video, stacking the board. So, trusting the board is key. I'm at the point almost there that I will trust it, but as a coach, I can see where [you can say], 'We need this, we need this, and we need this,' and that's where you get yourself in trouble. It's been a great learning experience for, me and to answer your question, I'm nervous. I'm nervous about everything; I think you know that."
Trent Baalke and Urban Meyer have both repeated the word "value" throughout the offseason. Baalke believes in trusting his board rather than reaching for needs. Will that philosophy hold true during the draft?
Urban Meyer told the media last week that each of the Jaguars' first four selections needs to have an "immediate impact" in 2021. To me, that sounds like the Jaguars aren't going to be taking players early that they see as projects. With their four picks in the top 45, the Jaguars will add players that are ready to line up and compete at a high level from the get-go.
The Jaguars will attempt to marry value with need throughout the draft. They'll take Trevor at number one, but what happens after that? The Jaguars have plenty of needs. Tight end, safety, and defensive line are chief among them. But the Jaguars could also use more help at receiver, offensive tackle, right guard, and nickel cornerback.
"I think when you look at the draft, you're looking at values, you're stacking the board based on the value of a player, not necessarily on need," Baalke shared. "If you do that, you tend to overvalue players and [if] you do that consistently, you're not going to be in the game long. So, what we try to do is just look at the player for what he is, stack the board for what it is, and let the board speak to us on draft day. If there's a player there in a position of need and we have it valued that way, the decision will be to go with the need."
The most commonly mocked players to the Jaguars at 25 have been TCU safety Trevon Moehrig, Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore, and Penn State tight end Pat Freiermuth. Over the last couple days I've produced my final mock drafts of 2021.
My Final 7-Round Predictive Jaguars Mock
My Final 7-Round What I Would Do Jaguars Mock
Draft Day Trades
After number one overall, the Jaguars hold the 25th pick in the first round and the 33rd pick, the top spot in the second round. After that, they've got 45, 65, 106, 130, 145, 170, and 249. Jaguars' general manager Trent Baalke has been very active with draft-day trades in the past. During his time in San Francisco, he traded during the draft on more than 20 occasions. Be ready for anything when it comes to trades. The Jaguars could move up or down the board at any time after the first overall pick. But any potential trade will need to present value based on Baalke's trade chart.
This day will only happen once. Enjoy it, Duval!
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