The Jacksonville Jaguars draft this week will hinge on what the San Francisco 49ers do. If general manager John Lynch decides on running back Leonard Fournette over defensive end Solomon Thomas, the Jaguars will most likely take a pass rusher with the fourth pick on Thursday night.
If the 49ers work a deal with Carolina or the New York Jets, then the team will pursue a pass rusher. After watching how successful Ezekiel Elliott was last year, finding a bell cow back is on many teams’ wish lists.
The Jaguars need playmakers. Though they may not be able to get one with the fourth pick if Fournette is off the board. While head coach Doug Marrone has dropped subtle hints the team may grab a signal caller, taking one at No. 4 would be a reach.
Here is a look at how the Jacksonville Jaguars draft might breakdown, assuming Fournette is not a possibility or the answer for them in the first round.
Round 1, 4th Overall: Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford – If I cannot have Leonard Fournette, I want a pass rusher with room to grow. Thomas played inside and out for Stanford and showed the speed at both positions. Thomas, because of his size and weight, may also see time at outside linebacker in Tod Wash’s scheme. The Jaguars may have a choice between Thomas and Jonathan Allen. Thomas has more upside.
Round 2, 35th Overall: Cam Robinson, Tackle, Alabama – The thinking is Robinson can move inside and play guard. Also, he could eventually be groomed to move to tackle. The big man could become an instant success as a road grader and would help make the running game more effective between the guards. If there is a run on offensive linemen, I could see the Jacksonville Jaguars trading back into the first round to take a swing at drafting him.
Round 3, 68th Overall: Joe Mixon, Running Back, Oklahoma – I have been one of the most outspoken people against Mixon playing in the NFL. But the third round is the right place to take a chance on his ability. Some have said he would have been the first running back off the board, if not for the off the field issues. If Mixon can be a game-changing back and show that he put the past behind him and has matured, then he could be the best running back on the roster since Fred Taylor.
Round 4, 110th Overall: Josh Dobbs, QB, Tennessee – Possibly the smartest player in the Draft. The Tennessee product may not have had the season everyone envisioned last season. Nevertheless, Dobbs is my choice to be the next Dak Prescott. Dobbs has a solid arm and is a model passer. The only thing I’d like to see is that he gain some more weight to handle taking a hit.
Round 5, 148th Overall: Jake Butt, Tight End, Michigan – He is a Tom Coughlin-type player. Good size, hard-nosed and can catch the football across the middle. He could also play a Travis Kelce-type role in the offense and become a nice red zone target. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed Mychal Rivera. However, they still need another set of hands to go along with Marcedes Lewis, Neal Sterling, and Ben Koyack.
Round 6, 187th Overall: Josh Harvey-Clemons, Safety, Louisville – He has good size and speed. Harvey-Clemons was unable to play in the Senior Bowl due to injury. He had 61 tackles and two passes broken up in 2016. He could be a solid special teams player.
Round 7, 222nd Overall: Julie’n Davenport, Tackle, Bucknell – Certainly a project with a lot of upside. He does a good job of getting out in space and tackling downfield. He has good footwork and will have to work on playing against bigger, quicker defensive linemen.
Round 7, 240th Overall: Corey Levin, Guard, Chattanooga – No, he isn’t related to me, but he does have a chance to make it in the NFL. At 6-foot-4 and 307, Levin will have to prove he can handle playing at the pro level. Seeing that his college days were at Chattanooga. He could be one of those late-round steals. He is a three-time small school All-American.