Over the last few days, there's been a severe lack of real news surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars have signed most of the free agents that they will sign before the draft. With that being said, I've created the perfect NFL draft scenario for YOUR Jacksonville Jaguars. That's right. What you are about to read is the most ideal sequence of events that could possibly take place for the Jaguars come the NFL Draft in late April.
Round 1: Trade down from seven to the teens and draft TJ Hockenson.
Potential trade candidates: QB needy teams such as Washington, Denver, New York, and Miami, OR a team that falls in love with a defender that slides.
Moving back to either 10 (DEN), 13 (MIA),16 (WASH), or 17 (NYG) the Jaguars acquire an extra third-round pick in 2019 and a 2020 second or third rounder, giving the team FIVE PICKS in the TOP 100 this year, including three third rounders! In doing so, the Jaguars still get the best combination of a talented player at a position of need with Iowa tight end TJ Hockekson. The Jaguars need to surround Nick Foles with more talent. He has had great success in the past with talented pass catchers at tight end, and there's none better than Hock. Add in the fact that TJ is a nasty blocker and you have a perfect fit.
If Hockenson is unavailable, take his former teammate, tight end Noah Fant, and never look back.
Round 2: Draft the best offensive tackle/interior offensive lineman available
At the top of round two with pick 38, the Jaguars should have several options here to fortify offensive line depth/create more competition on the right side of the line. AJ Cann and Will Richardson project to start at right guard and right tackle respectively. If healthy, those two could create a decent duo on that side of the line, but adding some competition/depth to that side is imperative for the Jaguars. It's likely that either Dalton Risner, Chris Lindstrom, or Eric McCoy is available when the Jaguars make their pick. Risner projects to be able to play guard or tackle and would be an ideal fit. Lindstrom is a prototypical guard prospect that should be a solid starter, at the very least, for a long time in the NFL. McCoy played center at Texas A&M, but that's no problem - the Jaguars can easily move Brandon Linder back to guard if they're more comfortable with McCoy at center than guard.
Round 3: VALUE MENU
At pick #69, which will be willingly announced by the Jaguars legendary kicker, Josh Scobee, the Jaguars can get great value now that they've addressed their most significant needs. There are several directions the Jaguars could go here. EDGE rusher could be in consideration, but they should wait until the early to mid-70s (pick acquired in first round trade down) to add more pass rush. Here, the Jaguars get even faster on the offensive side of the ball with UMass speedster Andy Isabella. Isabella is going to be a star from the slot at the next level, and the Jags would be wise to ensure it's with Nick Foles throwing him the ball. The diminutive receiver can win quick and will help Foles get in a rhythm early on in drives. The Jaguars now have Chris Conley, DJ Chark and Marqise Lee on the outside with Dede Westbrook as a guy who can play inside or outside and Andy Isabella strictly as an inside receiver. With that arsenal of weapons, offensive coordinator John DeFilippo should be able to create mismatches all over the field. If Isabella is off the board at this point, Terry McLaurin would be a fantastic consolation prize.
With the pick acquired in the first round trade down, the Jaguars should go get Christian Miller. But for a season-ending biceps injury in 2017, Miller could be a day one selection. As a freshman and sophomore, he was buried on the depth chart at BAMA, but this EDGE rusher took off in 2018. He recorded eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss. His 14 career sacks in just 396 total pass rush snaps jumps off the page. His length and diverse set of pass rush moves could help the Jaguars greatly. Combined with Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, and Marcell Dareus in clear passing situations, Miller could wreak havoc early on in his career.
The Jaguars final third round pick, number 98 overall, could be used on a number of different positions. Adding a running back to the mix that has the versatility to take over TJ Yeldon's role and also be an insurance plan for the oft-injured Leonard Fournette would be ideal. David Montgomery fits that bill. He's the best receiving back in the class but is also a load to bring down thanks to his incredible contact balance and vision. When Fournette needs a breather or is banged up Montgomery should be able to fill in without a massive drop off in production.
Round 4: FOSTER MOREAU FTW
A player that my good friend Zach Goodall has been on for some time, Foster Moreau would be a perfect fit for the Jaguars at tight end. Current Jaguars tight ends James O'Shaughnessy and Geoff Swaim present nice depth at the position, but both have had some durability issues in their respective careers. With TJ Hockenson and Foster Moreau enlisted as the tight ends of the future, Jacksonville turns a former weakness into a major strength. Underutilized at LSU, Moreau projects to be a more productive pro player than he was in college. His blocking ability, athletic traits, and potential as a receiving threat are too much to pass on here.
Round 6: BEEFING UP
The Jaguars defensive line is loaded with talent, but behind Marcell Dareus, Taven Bryan, and Abry Jones the Jaguars could use a rotational DT that has versatility on the inside. Enter Trysten Hill from UCF. A massive 330 pounder, Hill has elite explosiveness and quickness for a man his size. In the event of an injury to either Taven Bryan or Marcell Dareus, he could help fill the void. If Bryan goes down, Dareus can slide over to the three tech, with Abry Jones becoming the starter at nose tackle and Hill becoming the primary back up. His motor is always running, and he can be productive in limited reps. This is the type of pick that could help put the Jaguars defense over the top.
Round 7: DEVELOPMENTAL BACKUP QB?
The Jaguars whiffed big time on the 2018 sixth round pick Tanner Lee, but this year they won't make the same mistake (hopefully). Ryan Finley from NC State doesn't have a massive arm, but he does have substantial size and athleticism for the position. He projects to operate best in a west coast style offense, which I believe the Jaguars will employ heavily and could be a solid backup to groom under Nick Foles. He and Alex McGough should have an excellent competition for the backup QB spot.
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