Despite "winning the offseason" for the last couple of years the Jaguars still have needs. In 2016 they struggled running the football, throwing the football, getting pressure on the opposing QB, and forcing turnovers on the defensive side of the ball. So with that in mind here's a list of the top needs for the Jaguars and players that could potentially help their cause in the 1st Round of the Draft.
Priority #1: Left Guard - the Jaguars let their 2016 starter at left guard walk in free agency this offseason and if they hope to help Blake Bortles with an improved running game the Jaguars will need to sure up that offensive line. Guard is the number one position of need for the team by far. The problem with addressing this position in the first round is that aren't any guards worth a top five pick. In order to address guard in the first round the Jaguars would need to trade out of the fourth overall pick OR trade back into the back of the first round by leveraging their 35th overall selection.
Cam Robinson played left tackle at Alabama but projects as a solid guard at the next level that may eventually be able to kick out to one of the tackle spots. Perfect for the Jaguars as he fills a position of need and has versatility. Projected mid to late first round - perhaps even into the second
Dan Feeney, a natural guard from Indiana, is more likely a second round pick but could be taken late in the first round. Projected late first - early second round
Forest Lamp is considered by many the best offensive lineman in the draft. He could come in and immediately sure up the Jaguars at guard. Projected mid to late first round
Priority #2: Running back - The Jaguars running backs Chris Ivory and TJ Yeldon were not only oft injured, but when they were on the field they were highly ineffective for much of 2016. Getting Blake Bortles and the offense a stud running back, combined with an improved offensive line could greatly improve the Jaguars' offensive trajectory in 2017.
Leonard Fournette out of LSU is the most physically gifted running back to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson. He clocked a FASTER SPEED on the field in 2016 than ANY PLAYER IN THE NFL did. Combine that with his ability absolutely destroy linebackers and defensive backs once he hits the second level and you have a potentially dominant performer at the next level. The Jaguars could draft Fournette with their fourth overall pick.
Dalvik Cook from FSU could also become an amazing pro. He has rare speed and elusiveness and packs a surprising punch for a player of his stature. There are a lot of red flags with Cook, but despite the warning signs he may still get drafted in the teens and could be a trade back target for the Jaguars.
Christian McCaffrey is a speedy running back from Stanford that projects as the ultimate offensive weapon. Skilled enough as a receiver to be drafted just to play in the slot McCaffrey is a guy that could get 20 snaps a game at running back, 10 as a receiver, and return every single kick and punt for whichever team drafts him. He may be a top 10 pick and could be a trade down target for the Jaguars.
Priority #3: Tight End - The Jaguars traded away their "franchise" tight end this offseason after a couple of very disappointing and injury plagued seasons by Julius Thomas. They're now left with Marcedes Lewis and two young, inexperienced tight ends in Ben Koyack and Neal Sterling. They need to address tight end and this class is loaded with talented tight ends.
OJ Howard is talented enough to go number four overall to the Jaguars, but the tight end position never warrants a top five pick. The Jaguars could break the mold by selecting Howard at four, but more likely is the Jaguars acquire him via a trade down. Howard is the perfect tight end prospect. An excellent receiver and athletic freak that can also line up inline and block. He's a perfect fit.
David Njoku out of Miami is a less polished version of Howard. He appears to have the frame to be able to block at the next level, but has yet to show he can do it on tape. He too is an excellent athlete and a very talented receiver. Njoku projects to go in the mid to late first round.
Evan Engram out of Ole Miss is more of a receiver than a tight end and for that reason I find it unlikely the Jaguars take him. BUT he may be the best receiver of the bunch and his 4.3 speed is sure to be enticing for the Jaguars. Coughlin values versatile tight ends - something Engram certainly is not.
Where is pass rusher on this list? Well, it simply isn't as important as fixing the offense this offseason for a team that is in "win now" mode. After adding Calais Campbell and returning Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler there is no reason to believe the Jaguars pass rush won't be improved. The addition of AJ Bouye in tandem with Jalen Ramsey at cornerback should also improve the team's ability to get to the passer and turn teams over.
What do you think? Who do you want the Jaguars to select in the 1st round?
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