In his pre-free agency press conference, Jaguars’ GM Trent Baalke shared that he prefers talent over need when it comes to the draft but he said he would address needs when the value is there. It’s easy to say this in March but much harder to resist attacking positions of weakness in late April. I believe you’ll see the Jaguars finding the right spots to land a blend of need and talent in the upcoming draft.
#1 Overall - QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
It is known.
#25 Overall - EDGE Jaelan Phillips Miami
When you look at the edge rushers in this class, Jalean Phillips, from a talent standpoint, is the closest you’ll come to a top-five overall prospect. Injury issues (concussion) are a concern, which is why he slides to mid-twenties, but he’s the total package. A physical freak with pass rush refinement and run-stopping chops. He’s ready to be a steady contributor in a pass rush rotation right now and has the versatility to play in odd or even fronts. The Jaguars failed to add a bonafide pass rusher in free agency, so they snag one with their second pick in the draft.
#33 Overall - OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas
Samuel Cosmi’s draft projection has been all over the place during the pre-draft process, from near top ten status to mid-second-rounder. But Cosmi has elite athletic traits, proven production, and the versatility to play on the left or right side. The Jaguars have Cam Robinson locked into the starting job at left tackle in 2021 and they’ve spoken highly of Jawaan Taylor at right tackle. If either fails to improve this season, Cosmi can take over in 2022, or perhaps earlier. This also fixes the Jaguars’ depth issue at tackle.
#45 Overall - TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State
This one is too easy. The Jaguars haven’t been able to land a legitimate starting tight end to this point in the offseason and that’s exactly what Freiermuth projects to be. He can block from an inline Y position but has plenty of athleticism, smooth routes, and strong hands to play the F position. And he just so happens to have played for the Jaguars’ current tight end coach, Tyler Bowen, in college.
#52 Overall - DB Elijah Molden, Washington
Traded pick 65 and 130 to move up to 52
Elijah Molden is the best pure slot cornerback in this draft. The Jaguars did a wonderful job in free agency landing Shaquill Griffin, Sidney Jones, and Rayshawn Jenkins to help shore up their secondary. But they could use a true slot defender that also has the versatility to line up at either safety spot. Molden plays the game with fire and has terrific instincts to go along with a physical style of play.
#94 Overall - WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State
Traded pick 106 and 227 to move up to 94
Tylan Wallace is too talented to be available this late in the third round, but that’s what happens with WR classes in this era of football — oversaturation leads to quality players falling. Wallace wins in many of the same ways as newly signed Jaguars’ receiver Marvin Jones, which should give him the versatility to lineup outside or in the slot. Wallace has amazing contested catch ability, but also runs crisp routes and knows how to win at the line of scrimmage against press. Urban Meyer wants to have an arsenal of weapons at receiver, and Wallace helps in that department.
#145 Overall - S James Wiggins, Cincinnati
Wiggins projects to be able to play box safety or line up in split zones on the back end. He’s a smart, instinctive player with length, underrated range, and legitimate flexibility. The Jaguars don’t need him to crack the starting lineup in year one, but he projects to be a role player that can take over the starting job in year two.
#170 Overall - RB Jaret Patterson, Buffalo
Patterson is another back in the mold of James Robinson and Carlos Hyde. Coming out of Buffalo, where Patterson dominated a lower level of competition, he has contact balance and vision. He’s not overly explosive but ran two sub 4.6 40s at his pro day. He wasn’t often asked to catch the ball out of the backfield but looked comfortable doing so on the rare occasions he was featured in the passing game.
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