Here it is, Duval! This is my mock offseason for your Jacksonville Jaguars. We're going through the in-house free agents, unrestricted free agency, and the NFL Draft. Keep in mind this is not entirely predictive; this is what I would do if I were in charge of the Jaguars' roster.
Salary Cap Space (per Over The Cap): $58.3M
With 18 unrestricted free agents, the Jaguars have a boatload of decisions to make in the coming weeks. Free agency kicks off in mid-March, and the Jaguars are desperate to improve their roster. Let's take a look.
IN HOUSE FREE AGENTS
CB Tre Herndon
iOL Tyler Shatley
TE James O'Shaughnessy
LB Chappelle Russell (ERFA)
RB Dare Ogunbowale (RFA)
WR Terry Godwin (ERFA)
LB Dakota Allen (RFA)
MLB Damien Wilson
CB Nevin Lawson
WR Laquon Treadwell
LT Cam Robinson
LG Andrew Norwell
RG AJ Cann
DT Taven Bryan
EDGE Jihad Ward
WR Tavon Austin
EDGE Lerentee McCray
TE Jacob Hollister
OLB Tyrell Adams
OL Will Richardson
S Andrew Wingard (RFA)
The Jaguars have the benefit of the number one pick and a treasure trove of salary cap space. If I were running the show, I'd figure out who my top draft prospect is before free agency, and plan my offseason spending around who I'm taking at one. Of course, I'd stay water and be able to adjust on the fly if a team made us an offer for the number one overall pick, but I wouldn't count on that phone call. For me, Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal is the number one prospect in the draft. He's a literal mountain with insane athleticism and flexibility. Knowing that I'm picking Neal at one allows me to pass on overpaying for Cam Robinson or Terron Armstead, instead, focusing my spending elsewhere.
WR Allen Robinson - 3 YRS, $51M, $33M GTD, $8M '21 Cap Hit
The Jaguars need a proven big-bodied receiver for Trevor Lawrence to throw the ball to. Allen Robinson needs to play with a talented quarterback. If I'm running the show, Robinson makes a ton of sense from an age, skill set, and cost standpoint. He's proven to be a legitimate number one receiver in the NFL and will provide a reliable set of hands for Trevor Lawrence.
RG Brandon Scherff - 3 YRS, $50M, $33M GTD, $8M '21 Cap Hit
Brandon Scherff is one of the most talented guards in football. He's got excellent movement skills and fits well in a zone-heavy rushing attack. He played under new Jaguars' OL coach Phil Rauscher in Washington and is an ideal fit to help keep Trevor Lawrence clean against the Jeffery Simmons of the world.
TE Zach Ertz - 2 YRS, $20M, $10M GTD, $5M '21 Cap Hit
Zach Ertz looked like he might be hitting a wall in Philly, but a change of scenery for the veteran tight end saw a return to form. Ertz looked like his old self in the desert over the back half of the 2021 season. He has a long relationship with head coach Doug Pederson and represents a safety valve for Trevor Lawrence. Pairing Ertz and Dan Arnold at the tight end position gives the Jaguars a potent one-two punch at the position. He comes in a bit cheaper than some of the younger tight ends on the market and knows what it takes to thrive in a Doug Pederson offense.
WR DJ Chark - 3 YRS, $36M, $20M GTD, $6M '21 Cap Hit
Chark has been oft-injured to this point in his career. For that reason, the Jaguars can get away with paying him less than his talent suggests he's worth. But at only 25-years-old, Chark gives the Jaguars a legitimate field-stretching outside receiver who pairs nicely with Allen Robinson.
EDGE Harold Landry - 4 YRS, $60M, $45M GTD, $8M '21 Cap Hit
Stealing Harold Landry away from the cash-strapped Titans is a win on two fronts. The Jaguars don't have to worry about blocking him on Sundays anymore; instead, he'll be playing for the good guys. Landry's age, production, talent, and scheme fit make for an easy move to Jacksonville. Pairing him up with Josh Allen on the edge could lead to career numbers for both talented pass rushers.
S Jordan Whitehead - 3 YRS, $21M, $14M GTD, $3M '21 Cap Hit
Jordan Whitehead is an ascending strong safety who played under Jaguars' defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell in Tampa. He's shown the ability to play outstanding football in Caldwell's system and will provide some competition for the disappointing 2021 free agent signing Rayshawn Jenkins. If Whitehead proves to be the better fit, the Jaguars could part ways with Jenkins following the 2022 campaign, thanks to a team out in his contract.
CB Bryce Callahan - 2 YRS, $11M, $6M GTD, $3M '21 Cap Hit
Bryce Callahan fills a role for the Jaguars. While Rudy Ford is a quality early-down nickel defender, he struggles in obvious passing situations. Enter Bryce Callahan, who is the opposite as a slot defender. Callahan is a quality cover man that can be deployed against the pass.
Having landed seven potential 2022 starters in free agency, we've addressed nearly all of our team needs and enter the NFL Draft ready to snatch up the most talented players possible at every stop.
#1 OVR - OT Evan Neal, Alabama
Neal slots in as our starting left or right tackle. I'd figure out what looks better early in the offseason: Neal at left tackle and Walker Little at right, or vice versa. He's relatively polished already, but having not been allowed to play the same position for multiple seasons, Neal has a ton of upside and potential. With Neal in the mix, we have cost-controlled contracts at quarterback, right tackle, and left tackle for the next half-decade.
#33 OVR - iOL Zion Johnson, Boston College
After letting both starting guards walk in free agency, the Jaguars could use another plug and play starter. Johnson is just that. He's an incredible athlete on the interior who excelled at guard for the Eagles in 2021. He's also been working to develop as a center prospect this offseason. Landing Johnson gives the Jaguars an immensely talented starting five on the offensive line and some positional versatility.
#51 OVR - WR George Pickens, Georgia
Traded #65, #156, #232 to PHI for #51
Ultra aggressive on day two is the name of my game when it comes to the NFL Draft. I want as many picks in the top 100 as possible, and to achieve that, I'm willing to sacrifice several of my day three picks.
The Jaguars' receiving corp, aka the Monstars. Pickens feels like a Trent Baalke pick; he loves prospects that have more talent than their draft position would suggest. Heading into the 2021 season, Pickens was widely viewed as a potential first-round pick, but an ACL tear in the spring slowed his momentum. Pickens is a 6'3", 203-pound receiver who wins with twitchy movements, route-running, physicality, size, and athleticism. He, Allen Robinson, and DJ Chark combine to make one of the more imposing and talented trios of wide receivers in the NFL.
#53 OVR - CB Kaiir Elam, Florida
Traded #70, #178, 2023 5th to LV for #53
Elam is another player with borderline first-round talent that fell due to some inconsistent play in a less-than-ideal situation at Florida. Adding him to the mix with Tyson Campbell, Shaquill Griffin, and company, gives the Jaguars a highly talented cornerback room.
#84 OVR - LB Chad Muma, Wyoming
Traded #104, #186 to PIT for #84
We brought back Damien Wilson on a cheap deal, just in case we couldn't upgrade the position in the offseason. But with Chad Muma entering the fold, the Jaguars have found a starting middle linebacker for the foreseeable future. He has everything you need in a modern off-ball linebacker. He plays the run well, communicates the play calls, and has excellent instincts dropping into zone coverages.
#195 OVR - RB Tyler Allgeier, BYU
Allgeier is a scheme fit for a zone rushing attack with his vision, lateral quickness, and contact balance. The Jaguars have two talented runners in their backfield, but both are coming off nasty foot injuries. Adding someone who should be able to come in and carry the load at times later in the draft makes a ton of sense.
#196 OVR - EDGE Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina
With Josh Allen, Harold Landry, and Dawaune Smoot, the Jaguars have some pass rushers that can get the job done. Gunter brings more of an early-down skill set as someone who can set a hard edge and defend the run from a two-point stance.
#219 OVR - CB Damarion Williams, Houston
Adding Bryce Callahan gave up a stop-gap option as a coverage nickel. Damarion Williams is his potential replacement down the road. Williams is undersized but has ball skills, quickness, and a good feel for zone coverage.
In undrafted free agency, we're bringing in a couple of rookie kickers to compete for the job. I'd probably sign a couple of vets to compete to boot. With free agency and the NFL Draft in the rearview, it's time to hit the practice field. We've fortified the offensive line with Brandon Scherff, Evan Neal, Zion Johnson, and Tyler Shatley. And when it comes to giving Trevor Lawrence the weapons he needs, we've done that and then some. He'll have Allen Robinson, DJ Chark, George Pickens, Zach Ertz, Dan Arnold, Travis Etienne, James Robinson, Marvin Jones, Jamal Agnew, and Laviska Shenault as his top receiving targets. On defense, we added a running mate for Josh Allen in Harold Landry. We also brought in a young defensive leader in linebacker Chad Muma, who should thrive under Mike Caldwell, who sees the game from a linebacker's perspective. Bringing in Muma ensures that Myles Jack doesn't have to communicate plays to the defense. Kaiir Elam gives the Jaguars a starting outside cornerback of the future and a player who should find the field in certain packages as a rookie. Damarion Williams has the potential to start in the slot, while Jeffrey Gunter can be a situational edge defender early on his career.
And that, my friends, is that. Let me know what you think of my mock Jaguars' offseason on Twitter @jordandelugo.
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