After the Jaguars chose to focus on the defense Thursday, I was curious to see if the trend would continue. With only one pick each in rounds two and three, I wasn't entirely confident on where I thought the Jags were going to look at 42. There were still a few strong options at safety available in Grant Delpit and Antoine Winfield Jr., as well as the top running backs featured in this class minus Deandre Swift and Jonathan Taylor, who the Colts moved up to take right before the Jags with the 41st overall pick. A flurry of wideouts taken early to kick off round two made it apparent that Caldwell would be forced to grab his top available receiver at 42.
With the 42nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Jaguars chose Laviska Shenault Jr., a wideout from Colorado. I love this pick and think Shenault can be an absolute steal for the Jags in round 2. Had he come out a year before, Shenault had first-round grades and likely would not have fallen anywhere close to 42. Shenault is a big, physical receiver, measuring at 6-1 and 220 pounds. He shows extreme explosiveness and the ability to line up anywhere on the field. He can split out wide, create mismatches in the slot, and even line up in the backfield. Shenault amassed 40 carries over his last two years at Colorado, racking up 276 yards on those carries, and found the endzone seven times. We saw his most productive year come in 2018, with a drop off in production in 2019. The drop off has been credited to shoulder and core injuries he battled throughout last year, but Jaguars staff and doctors say he is fully healthy and that it should not be a concern moving forward. I am excited to see how new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden decides to use Shenault. Teams will be keyed in on DJ Chark all year. Shenault should be able to get in space and will have the chance to beat some single coverage early on.
Caldwell did not make any moves to potentially move back into round 2, something I fully expected him to do with the abundance of picks in their arsenal. But the Jags waited until 73, and with that pick, they chose DaVon Hamilton, a big defensive tackle out of Ohio State. Don't get me wrong, I think DaVon Hamilton can blossom into a highly productive player, but I think it was a slight reach for the position. I liked Neville Gallimore more than Hamilton. Hamilton played meaningful snaps in his junior and senior years at OSU but saw his production skyrocket in 2019. The OSU defense was stout overall in 2019, and I do think Hamilton benefitted from that. However, he had six sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss this year, so he is disruptive in the backfield. He will be an excellent complement for the edge rushers the Jags have in Allen and now Chaisson and will be a vital piece in improving the Jag's horrendous run defense.
Looking ahead to Day three, the Jags still have needs to fill on the offensive line and in the backfield. Jeremy Fowler reported on ESPN this morning that the Jaguars called Tampa Bay about Leonard Fournette, and Tampa chose Ke' Shawn Vaughn at 76. He also reported the Miami Dolphins could be players in a potential deal for Fournette, but the longer they wait, the less compensation they will receive. They still seem poised to move on from Fournette, but at this point in the draft, most of the exciting backfield options are gone. I was even more surprised not to see the Jaguars move back up into round three yesterday. They have enough capital to secure an extra fourth-round pick, but the most significant impact would have been found with an additional pick on day two. After it was announced last night the Jaguars would be switching to a 3-4 defense for base downs, I think the draft is shaping up nicely with the picks they have made so far. I still would have focused on offense early, but a second edge rusher will be ideal in this new scheme.
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