The draft is nigh. Yes, it’s April first, but I’m not foolin'. The 2020 NFL Draft is just three weeks away, and the NFL Comish has made it known that there will be no postponement.
Every mock draft I’ve run recently has taken into consideration what I project the Jaguars might do. But for this one, it’s all on me. I’m taking control of the Jaguars’ personnel department and making the picks myself.
With me running the show, the Jaguars are going to do everything they can to ensure that Gardner Minshew has as many talented pieces around him as possible, while also making sure to add to the defense in some key spots.
Let’s dive in!
#9 Overall — LT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
The Jaguars may still have faith in Cam Robinson at left tackle, but Robinson isn't enough to stop me from adding a premium talent to one of the most critical positions in football. Becton is a mammoth of a man with nimble feet. He'll immediately be able to dominate in the run game, and with just a bit of development as a pass protector, his natural talent will shine. Becton is a day one starter in Jay Gruden's offense and will allow the Jaguars to see what Cam Robinson can give them on the interior. Upgrade two positions with the first pick? Check!
#20 Overall — WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
Denzel Mims has it all. His tape shows just how good he can be. He's able to win with nuanced attacks and has a freakish catch radius. At six-foot-three and 207-pounds, Mims has elite size, 4.39 speed, solid quickness, and above-average strength. He racked up 28 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 receiving yards during his time at Baylor and should be able to make an immediate impact opposite DJ Chark. Good luck preparing for two of the biggest, fastest receivers in all of football, AFC South defensive coordinators. With Mims and Chark running the outside, Westbrook and Conley should feast as the third and fourth options. Did I mention Mims is the best blocking receiver in the class?
#42 Overall — CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
Trevon Diggs has ball skills, length, instincts, and a football pedigree. The former wideout and brother of Stephon Diggs is a playmaking cornerback. He'll fit nicely with what the Jaguars like to do on defense as a Cover 3/Press Man cornerback. If Diggs goes earlier, AJ Terrell or Jeff Gladney (whom I prefer) would also be ideal fits. Diggs needs to improve in run support.
#64 Overall (trade up) — RB Cam Akers, FSU
The Jaguars trade up to land their running back of the future (and the present?). Leonard Fournette is not long for Jacksonville — I certainly wouldn't pay to keep him around after his rookie contract expires. Cam Akers is my favorite running back in this draft. At FSU, he had to create on his own behind a porous offensive line. He should have more room to work within Jacksonville and will put the NFL on notice as soon as he gets on the field. He's a complete back.
#73 Overall — DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State
Jacksonville has two big men that can stuff the run in Al Woods and Abry Jones. But neither is a long term solution. Woods is 33 years old, and Jones is in the last year of his contract. Enter Davon Hamilton, one of the most underrated players in this draft class. During his final year in college, his production was outstanding. He has the required size and strength to anchor against the run and has the athleticism and get off to penetrate the pocket as well. His motor is always running, which will serve him well at the next level.
#116 Overall — DE Alex Highsmith, Charlotte
An undersized pass rusher with plenty of production and athleticism; sound familiar? With 47 tackles for loss and 21 sacks (15 in his final season) at Charlotte, Highsmith produced on an incredible scale over his last two seasons. He tested off the charts athletically and will help the Jaguars create pressure as a rotational pass rusher early on. Long term, he could develop into a starting-caliber end for the Jaguars.
#159 Overall (trade up) — TE Cheyenne O’Grady, Arkansas
This is the perfect time to trade up and swing for the fences. The Jaguars have three tight ends on their roster that have talent. The problem? All three players have a penchant for getting injured. O'Grady has all the tools to be one of the best receiving tight ends in the game, but off the field issues saw him suspended three different times during college. He ultimately left the team in November of 2019. If O'Grady can get his head on straight, he'll make the Jaguars' tight end room one of the more competitive on the roster.
#189 Overall — WR Joe Reed, Virginia
Joe Reed can be an excellent developmental gadget player and ace kick returner form the get-go for the Jaguars. He returned five kicks for touchdowns in college and should be able to compete for the final receiver spot on the Jaguars' roster. At this point, it was tough to find a player that I could say, "yeah, that guy's definitely going to make the squad." But Reed has a solid shot.
Under my direction, the Jaguars added protection and nastiness to their offensive line, a star in the making opposite DJ Chark, and a couple more weapons for Gardner Minshew. They also addressed several defensive needs. I would've liked to add a safety to compete with Jarrod Wilson for a starting job, but it didn't work out here. Keep in mind, if/when the Jaguars find a trade partner for Yannick Ngakoue, they could have one or two more premium picks in this draft.
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