Trent Baalke is still the general manager in Jacksonville, but as the Khlown Army prepares to march on TIAA Bank Field this Sunday, it feels like momentum is building for his reign to end on Black Monday.
The time is nigh for a brand-new Jacksonville Jaguars 7-Round Mock Draft. We don't know who will be tasked with making the personnel decisions in Duval next season, but for today, I'll take on the mantle of Jaguars' GM.
It's time to RESTORE THE CULTURE.
#2 OVR - OT Evan Neal, Alabama
6'7", 360-pounds, Junior
TRADED: #1 to DET for #2, #30
The Lions remain focused on landing hometown hero Aidan Hutchinson, and their desperation helps us gain draft capital while still being able to land the apple of our collective eye. With 2021 second-round pick Walker Little beginning to show his potential, some might look to improve other areas of the roster here. But Evan Neal is the most dominant physical specimen in the country and has positional versatility. If Walker Little continues to show progress throughout the offseason at left tackle, we'll start Neal at right tackle, which will go a long way towards protecting Trevor Lawrence in the short and long term. Two young, talented offensive tackles for Trevor? Sign me up.
#28 OVR - EDGE Travon Walker, Georgia
6'5", 275-pounds, Junior
TRADED #30, 103 to TB for #28
Throughout his career at UGA, Walker has transitioned from playing more on the interior to taking the majority of his reps on the edge. He shed some weight in the process and now appears to be one of the most well-rounded prospects from a physical standpoint that you could imagine. Walker has the strength, length, and size, to be a dominant edge setter and true 4-3 defensive end. But he has the athleticism to play from a two-point stance as well. And he has plenty of experience rushing from the interior. Walker has developed a varied pass rush toolbox, including a long-arm, bull rush, speed chop, and rip. He has flashed the ability to stack these moves in conjunction. He has an explosive first step, can win with speed around the edge, and has the flexibility to flatten and get to the passer. Had Walker played in a different scheme that allowed him to pin his ears back a bit more, he might be looked at in the same light as Aidan Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux.
#33 OVR - WR Drake London
6'5", 212-pounds, Junior
London was the most dominant receiver in college football in 2021 before suffering a season-ending right ankle fracture. It's unclear if he'll be able to participate in pre-draft workouts, but his talent is undeniable. He has a massive catch radius and is outstanding in contested catch situations. At 6'5", he doesn't need to be a burner, and he isn't. But London has enough speed, foot quickness, and agility at his size, to be a three-level threat at the next level. The Jaguars and Trevor Lawrence now have a starting X receiver.
#45 OVR - WR David Bell
6'2", 207-pounds, Junior
TRADED #65, #153, #195 to ATL for #45
With Davante Adams likely to remain in Green Bay on the franchise tag and Chris Godwin and Michael Gallup suffering knee injuries late in the 2021 season, finding an instant impact receiver in free agency might be more complicated than we initially thought. So we'll double-dip in the second round at the position and find another polished receiver with outstanding production, ball skills, physicality, route running, and play demeanor. Bell might not be a burner, but he wins at all levels of the field with his routes, strong hands, and physical play style. Bell should excel on the outside and in the slot at the next level. The Jaguars now have a young one-two punch at receiver.
#59 OVR - TE Trey McBride, Colorado State
6'4", 254-pounds, Senior
TRADED #70, #180 to DAL for #59
When you have 12 draft picks, trading up should be a critical component of your draft strategy. Adding 12 rookie draft picks to a team isn't ideal, so I'm looking for quality over quantity with all this movement. Trey McBride is the most versatile tight end in the class. He is comfortable and effective lining up in the backfield, in the slot, and in-line. McBride is advanced compared to most dual-threat tight ends when it comes to blocking. He shows good technique and has the power to hold his own. He is a good athlete for the position with strong hands, route-running ability, and is a load to bring down with the ball in his hands. McBride might have the most well-rounded skill set of any tight end ever to don the black and teal.
#74 OVR - RB James Cook, Georgia
5'11", 195-pounds, Senior
TRADED 2023 3rd, #187 to MIN for #74
Cook was underutilized for most of his career in Athens. The younger brother of Dalvin, James has a similar skill-set to his brother. His frame is slighter than Dalvin's, but James has similar vision, quickness, agility, and juice. The Jaguars have two quality running backs in their stable, but it's unclear whether or not either James Robinson or Travis Etienne will be 100% for the start of the regular season. James Cook has a three-down skill set as a runner, pass catcher, and pass protector and could serve as the top back in Jacksonville while Robinson and Etienne recover.
#110 OVR - LB Chad Muma, Wyoming
6'2", 236-pounds, Senior
TRADED 2023 4th, #200 to NYG for #110
Muma is a do-it-all linebacker. A team leader and the defensive play-communicator. Muma has excellent vision, block deconstruction, tackle radius, and instincts clicking downhill against the run. In coverage, he's certainly more comfortable as a zone-defender and has good instincts in this area as well. Has good ball skills and picked off some passes at Wyoming. Muma isn't going to blow anyone away with his athletic ability, but I think he's a good enough athlete to let his other skills shine at the next level.
TRADED #218, #233 for 2023 6th
I'm not sure all these trades would be accepted during the draft, but the point is, the Jaguars should be highly active with all the draft capital they currently possess. Standing pat with their picks would be a mistake. But in this draft, we landed value at every stop, and also addressed the three biggest needs for this team — pass protection, pass rush, and receiver — early on.
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