It’s NFL Draft Week! I say it like it’s the countdown to Christmas. For most of us media types, NFL fans and draftniks (yes, there is such a term), it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
The Jacksonville Jaguars sit firmly in the No. 4 spot on Thursday night. An overhaul of the defense through free agency and the release of roster players who did not fit the new blueprint for this organization make this an interesting situation for general manager David Caldwell.
Does the man in charge of the selection process – along with executive vice president Tom Coughlin and head coach Doug Marrone – take another pass rusher? Alternatively, does he find a playmaker to help the offense?
Honestly, those aren’t the team’s biggest needs as the offensive line is still the top priority. Selecting so high (once again) makes it difficult to find a tackle or guard. As consequently, none are worthy of such a draft pick.
Trading down is always an option. Last season, there were plenty of organizations looking to move into the fifth spot to grab Jalen Ramsey. This season, trades made be harder to come by.
So, with the Jacksonville Jaguars “on the clock,” here are the three best options for Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft.
Jonathan Allen, Defensive Lineman, Alabama – He appears to be a complete package. A tough and rugged interior lineman for the Crimson Tide who can also play outside on the end. The Jacksonville Jaguars do have a depth issue on the interior of the line with the team releasing both Sen’Derrick Marks and Roy Miller. Allen could become part of the tackle rotation with Malik Jackson and Abry Jones and move outside on passing downs.
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU – Things are getting a bit interesting concerning the Tigers tailback. If a team wants to come up and grab him, they will have to work a deal with the San Francisco 49ers at No. 2. The Jaguars have two running backs in TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory that could be better this season if the offensive line was stronger. Nonetheless, Fournette is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He gives the offense and quarterback Blake Bortles an immediate upgrade behind him.
Trade Down – While the scenario makes more sense this season, it may not materialize. If Fournette is gone and the Chicago Bears grab Allen, then this probably does happen. The Jacksonville Jaguars could move to 12 in a trade with Cleveland. Subsequently, they could grab linebacker Reuben Foster of Alabama or Crimson Tide tight end OJ Howard. There is another possibility of trading twice, accumulating picks and grabbing Forrest Lamp of Western Kentucky to play guard.