As we sprint towards the final three weeks of the regular season, the Jaguars currently hold the number two spot in the 2020 NFL Draft. With a treasure trove of draft picks and the most salary cap space in football, the Jaguars' next GM will have ample opportunity to vastly improve this roster before the start of the 2021 season.
Before entering a mock draft scenario, it's essential to break down some of the critical offseason roster decisions that will take place prior to the draft. In this situation, I have the Jaguars either re-signing free agent left tackle Cam Robinson, singing an alternative solution at left tackle, or trading for one. Re-signing cornerback Sidney Jones is a priority. Here, I also have the Jaguars investing some money in free agency at receiver and on the defensive line. The 2021 free-agent class of wide receivers could potentially be loaded with A-Rob, Juju, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, Sammy Watkins, Allen Lazard, Will Fuller, and even Keelan Cole set to hit the open market. On the defensive line, there's also a fair number of intriguing possible signees. Von Miller and Melvin Ingram are up there in age, so they're probably out of the picture. But would I throw a little cash at guys like Shaq Barret or Jadeveon Clowney, maybe even Matt Judon or Bud Dupree if you've got a coach that'll know how best to harness their skill sets? Absolutely. Leonard Williams, who is a three-down defensive lineman that can play inside or on the edge, also has an expiring contract.
So, before the start of the draft, we've made significant short term investments at left tackle, cornerback, defensive end, and receiver. That frees the Jaguars up to attack the best players available in the draft.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock!
#2 Overall — QB Justin Fields Ohio State
This has been and likely will continue to be one of the most comfortable picks to mock in recent years. The Jaguars desperately need a franchise quarterback, and Justin Fields has all the makings of a Pro-Bowl caliber passer. A big arm, a solid frame, excellent mobility, instincts, touch, production, a quick release, and the work ethic to be great. There's no reason to look elsewhere for this pick.
#26 Overall — S Trevon Moerhig TCU
Part of the reason we attacked left tackle in free agency is because all of the elite prospects at the position will likely be gone by the Jaguars' second pick. The Jaguars lack consistent playmakers on defense. Moehrig has been just that for the Horned Frogs and has the speed, athleticism, ball skills, and ferocity to be an impact safety at the next level. He can roam the back end in single high or even step down into the box. Moehrig is a ball hawk with six interceptions and twenty pass breakups over the last two seasons. With a young, talented quarterback on the other side of the ball, the Jaguars need defenders who can get him the ball back.
#34 Overall — TE Pat Freiermuth Penn State
The Jaguars haven't had an impact tight end in the passing game, well, ever. Pat Freiermuth has been overshadowed by the monstrous Kyle Pitts in 2020, but he's every bit the blue-chip tight end prospect. He's got it all: size, athleticism, route-running, strong hands, and the ability to block inline. If the talented junior tight end falls to the top of the second round, he'd be an easy pick for the Jaguars. He can stretch the seam for Justin Fields and also play the role of the safety valve.
#46 Overall — CB Paulson Adebo Stanford
The Jaguars have two quality cornerbacks on the outside in CJ Henderson and Sidney Jones, but both struggle with injuries. They need another developmental cover man on the outside. Adebo has the length and range to excel at the next level and has been a consistent player during his time at Stanford, allowing a completion percentage of just 58 in coverage. He's not playing in 2020, which could put a damper on his draft stock, but he'd be an excellent third outside cornerback for the Jaguars.
#50 Overall (Trade Up) — WR Kadarius Toney Florida
Toney has been magnificent in Gainesville this year. His start-stop ability, change of direction, and powerful core make him a practical human joystick. Toney isn't going to blow anyone away in a straight line, and before 2020, he didn't look like a natural catcher of the ball. But if you can land a playmaker of his caliber in the second round, he's well worth the trade up. We traded a 2021 third and fifth and a 2022 fifth to add the versatile offensive playmaker to the mix.
#78 Overall (Trade Up) — DT Jalen Twyman Pitt
Another prospect that isn't playing in 2020 (opt-out), Twyman has a little rawness to his game, but he plays with a high motor and can be the pocket pusher the Jaguars thought Taven Bryan would be. He consistently creates pressure and is an ox against the run. Twyman is undersized, but that allows him to play with leverage. He might not be available here, so I'd also be keeping my eyes on Darius Stills and Marvin Wilson. Pairing any of these three prospects with DaVon Hamilton on the interior sets the Jaguars up for long term success in the trenches. We traded our two fourth-round picks to get up to 78.
#142 Overall — LB Ventrell Miller Florida
The Jaguars have issues stopping the run. They drafted Shaq Quarterman, another run-stopping off-ball linebacker, in 2020, but he's not quite the same caliber of player as Miller, who has the potential to be a three-down linebacker at the next level. The Jaguars have Joe Schobert locked in as the starter for a couple more years, but getting Miller and Quarterman into the system would be a nice long term play.
#223 Overall — OT Obinna Eze Memphis
Eze is a raw prospect, but he has all the athleticism you could ask for. He's improved by leaps and bounds in 2020 and has allowed one pressure or less in seven of his ten performances this season. He's got traits and now has production to go with it, making him an easy developmental add this late in the draft.
#245 Overall — WR Tammorion Terry FSU
Terry had his fair share of issues with FSU's new coaching staff in 2020 and left the program in November. And he sometimes appears to lack focus when attempting to catch the ball. But Terry's got a wonderful physical skill set and has shown the ability to be a dynamic pass catcher. He's also tough to tackle with the ball in his hands. This late in the draft, if the Jaguars feel comfortable with who he is, Terry would be a smart flyer.
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