Unless the Jaguars go on a miraculous run to close out the season, the focus from fans will soon turn to the 2020 NFL Draft. And make no mistake about it, it would take a miracle for the Jaguars to turn this thing around and make a run at the playoffs — they have just a seven percent chance to make the postseason according to Five Thirty Eight.
But back to the draft — the Jaguars could be in luck when it comes to the first round of next year's draft. They have two first-round picks (thank you, Rams). It's unclear right now where those draft picks will fall, but with the current standings, the Jaguars would hold the 11th and 19th overall picks.
The Jaguars' biggest weakness heading into 2020 isn't debatable. Their run defense is atrocious. And with Marcell Dareus almost guaranteed to be on his way out of town, the Jaguars will need to add some beef to the middle of their defensive line.
The second biggest need can be debated, but the team certainly could more firepower at the WR position to complement DJ Chark on the outside and Dede Westbrook in the slot. Chris Conley has been fine, but he's not a difference-maker and has a penchant for dropping easily catchable passes. Adding a big-time talent on the outside could go a long way towards helping this offense find consistency in the future.
Fortunately for the Jaguars, there are some impressive interior defensive line and wide receiver prospects that could make sense in the first round.
Let's take a look at some of the defensive linemen. Defensive tackle Derrick Brown is a monster. The Auburn product is a massive man at 6'5" tall and 318 pounds. His size and functional strength are certainly impressive, but the way this young man moves makes him one of my favorite prospects in the draft.
If Brown is unavailable, the Jaguars could potentially look elsewhere within the SEC for a run-stuffing DT. Raekwon Davis and Javon Kinlaw both project to be first-round talents that could be had with one of the Jaguars' two first-round picks. Marvin Wilson out of Florida State is another potential first-rounder that would make sense as a run stuffer and interior penetrator for Jacksonville. Wilson will miss the rest of the 2019 season with a hand injury.
At wide receiver, the options are plentiful. Jerry Jeudy appears likely to be the first receiver off the board and will probably be long gone by the time the Jaguars pick, that is unless they go on a major skid to end the season.
But if a player like Ceedee Lamb is available for the Jaguars, he'll be hard to pass up. He's drawn comparisons to Houston's DeAndre Hopkins. And for good reason — Lamb has natural body control, strong hands, and great physicality. He's not the best athlete in shorts in this draft class, but Lamb is a baller.
Should the Jaguars miss out on Lamb and Jeudy, they'll still have some stellar options.
At 6'4" and 215 pounds, Tee Higgins is a physically imposing receiver with big-play potential. DJ Chark and Higgins would give the Jaguars a lethal combination of size and speed on the outside.
Alternatively, the Jaguars could look at the ultimate speedster, Henry Ruggs. At six-feet tall, Ruggs has legit 4.2 speed. He would add an explosive element to the Jaguars' offense that defenses would not be able to ignore.
Laviska Shenault, Tyler Johnson, and Jaelen Reagor are also names to keep an eye on in the first round at wide receiver.
A lot can change between now and April, like say, who controls the Jaguars' roster decisions. But with the way the draft is stacking up and with the Jaguars' current roster needs, any combination of the aforementioned prospects at defensive tackle and wide receiver could go a long way towards improving the Jaguars' chances week in and week out in 2020.
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