What's better than a Monday morning mock draft?
Probably lots of things, but this is what I've got for you today.
The Jaguars are sticking with Doug Marrone and Dave Caldwell at head coach and general manager, respectively. Both men have less than sterling resumes, but this is the hand that Jags fans have been dealt. At least Tom Coughlin is out of the picture.
With Shad Khan unwilling to admit that Caldwell and Marrone, and by extension himself, have failed to create a competitive product over the last several years, this team will not begin a rebuild. Instead, they will try to compete for the playoffs and "win now" in 2020.
With that in mind and Dave Caldwell's past draft history, it's reasonable to believe that the Jaguars will employ some combination of best player available and need-based drafting. In 2019, the Jaguars had a clear goal of which positions they wanted to address and tried to fill those needs with the best players available on their board. It worked out fairly well in most rounds, but at this point, their third-round picks, LB Quincy Williams and TE Josh Oliver (barely played in 2019due to injuries), have massively underwhelmed.
You: Get to the freaking mock draft, Jordan!!
#9 Overall: WR CeeDee Lamb
This pick hasn't changed since last time around. CeeDee Lamb would be a perfect complement to DJ Chark and would make Gardner Minshew's life a whole lot easier. His hands are a magnet for the ball. He's not the most elite athlete in shorts, but on the field, Lamb is nearly impossible to stop. Elite ability to create after the catch; remarkable body control; high-point ability; plus physicality; nasty run blocking; all these skills are in CeeDee Lamb's arsenal. Wide receiver isn't the biggest need for the Jaguars. But creating an environment that helps Gardner Minshew achieve success as the Jaguars' QB is. Getting CeeDee gives Minshew a reliable target opposite DJ Chark and a genuine safety valve.
#20 IOL Tyler Biadasz
Played center at Wisconsin and led one of the best O-lines in college football. Bringing him in will give the Jaguars flexibility in the interior of their offensive line. Brandon Linder is well-versed at playing center or right guard, and Biadasz projects to be able to play both positions as well. He's a plug and play starter from day one. The combo of Biadasz and Linder at C/RG is massively superior to that of Linder and AJ Cann. This is another move that will help Garnder Minshew and hopefully help improve the consistency of the Jaguars' rushing attack.
#42 DT Neville Gallimore
The more I watch Neville Gallimore, the harder it is for me to believe he'll be available at 42. But most draft analysts think he'll be a second-rounder, and there is a TON of talent across the board in this draft. Gallimore would replace Marcell Dareus, who is almost assuredly on his way out of Jacksonville. The Jaguars need lots of help stopping the run, and Gallimore is a perfect fit. He's got ridiculous movement skills for a 300 pounder. The one reason he could still be available here is that he lacks ideal height. At only 6'2'' teams may be wary of taking him so high. But wherever he ends up, Gallimore will be a stout run-defender and playmaker.
#76 RB Travis Etienne
Many may not view RB as a need for the Jaguars. And looking at 2020, that's probably the correct point of view. However, when glancing beyond 2020, having someone who can fill Leonard Fournette's role as the feature back is vital. No matter how well Fournette plays next season, the Jaguars would be crazy to pay him the type of money that they'll need to keep him around. It's just not worth it when you look at how easy it is to find running back productivity. Enter Travis Etienne, the most explosive back in college football. Over his last two seasons at Clemson, Etienne averaged over eight yards per carry. He's got excellent hands and is a legit threat to score every time he touches the ball. In 2020 he can work his way into the rotation, and in 2021 he can likely take over as the lead back.
#106 DT Raequan Williams
As mentioned before, the Jaguars need a lot of help on their defensive interior. Taven Bryan hasn't lived up to his draft position, and Raequan Williams should be able to come in and provide some competition at that spot. The Michigan State DT is much more an interior penetrator than a run-stuffer at this point in his career. But he has the potential to develop into a better defender against the run. Taven Bryan can't be allowed just to have the starting job at 3-tech. Williams will likely beat Bryan out as early as year one.
#169 S Reggie Floyd
Floyd is a heat-seeking missile at safety. Get him running and downhill and watch him work. But he also has the athleticism and range to play in coverage down the field. He failed to intercept any passes during his final season at Virginia Tech, but he picked off five passes between his sophomore and junior seasons. The Jaguars need depth and competition at safety. Jarrod Wilson did not impress in his first year as a starter for the Jaguars.
#185 LB David Reese
Did I mention the Jaguars need help stopping the run? David Reese is a late-round guy with a ton of experience at middle linebacker. He's a smart, instinctive player that knows how to get others lined up around him. He knows how to shoot gaps and get off of blocks in run defense. He's not overly athletic and might be a liability in coverage. But the Jags need an MLB that can read and react in the running game, and that's exactly what Reese can do, as evidenced by his tape at Florida. Plug Reese in at middle linebacker and move Myles Jack outside.
#200 WR Joe Reed
The Jaguars struggled with kick returns in 2019. Adding Joe Reed to the mix will fix that problem. An excellent athlete with massive production as a returner at Virginia, Reed can compete to find a role as a receiver early on, while helping the Jags on special teams in a big way. He scored five kick return touchdowns over the final three seasons of his collegiate career and will turn a weakness into a strength for the Jaguars.
There you have it, that's my second Jaguars mock for 2020. My lone regret is not adding another offensive lineman. But with so many holes to fill, it'd be impossible not to miss out on an area of need somewhere. Overall, I think this draft class would get the Jaguars going in the right direction long term, and also help them be more competitive in 2020.
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