The Jaguars shocked the draft world, and especially me, by taking cornerback CJ Henderson at 9th overall on Thursday. After trading star cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams for the 20th pick this year, and sending AJ Bouye to the Broncos for a 4th round pick, Dave Caldwell unmistakably believed that the team's most significant need would be a star corner on the outside. With that being said, the Jaguars would have been in tremendous shape to get a quality cornerback prospect at 20. After 19 picks, Kristian Fulton was still available. It was rumored that the Falcons were in love with Henderson, and due to the Jags taking him at #9, the Falcons chose A.J. Terrell at #16. With CeeDee Lamb going to Dallas at #17, The Jaguars had a legitimate chance to take slot receiver extraordinaire, Justin Jefferson, at #20. Caldwell chose to take defensive end/outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson instead.
Frankly, I am not a fan of the direction the Jaguars went in round one. Hindsight is 20/20, but it appears the Jags could have gotten a starting-caliber corner at #20 instead of slightly reaching for one at nine. It is apparent that Caldwell thought this was the most critical pick at #9 overall. Jerry Jeudy was still on the board, and I believe another elite receiver would have helped to show the team what they really have in Gardner Minshew. In 2019, the Jaguars' offense failed to show that they can consistently score points and control a game, all the while the front office seems poised to trade their 1,000-yard rusher in Leonard Fournette.
I still fully believe the future of this franchise rests on the shoulders of quarterback Gardner Minshew. You don't trade your assumed franchise savior — Nick Foles — if you don't believe in your other option. With the Jaguars picking at #42 and #73 on Friday, they must focus on offense. After round one, WR Michael Pittman Jr. and RB D'Andre Swift are still available. Minshew needs weapons if we are going to see whether or not he is a franchise guy. Johnathan Taylor and any other of the backfield guys I have previously spoken about could be options here. I would not be surprised if the Jaguars use some of their remaining ten picks to move back up into the second or even third round on day two. If they continue to focus on defense, Yetur Gross-Matos, Kristian Fulton, and Grant Delpit are all available on day two as well.
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