You must figure the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be very busy from now until the first night of the NFL Draft. Teams are going to covet the team’s fourth overall pick, looking to shore up its defensive line, look at one of the top defensive backs or may want to pull a Dallas Cowboys move and take one of the two most touted running backs on the board.
All of this could make the Jaguars, heavy players in free agency so far, a very popular franchise. A trade could bring a nice ransom for general manager David Caldwell and executive vice president Tom Coughlin.
The Jacksonville Jaguars are not without holes to fill themselves. Don’t let the moves made over the past week fool you – this is a team that is only as good as its record indicates. In that case, a 3-13 team has many needs and despite shoring up the defensive line and secondary and adding bodies to the offensive line, there are depth concerns and of course who will run the football and whether or not Blake Bortles will finally be fit to lead this franchise.
Yes, Caldwell, Coughlin, and head coach Doug Marrone have their work cut out for them.
I am not one of those guys who thinks the team needs a running back immediately to change its fortunes. While taking a swing at Leonard Fournette or Dalvin Cook would make this offense better, there is still a belief by myself and others that improved offensive line play will help both TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory. Both are capable of 1,000-yard seasons as a lead back.
As of today, the Jaguars still have a need on the offensive line, could use another pass rusher, and now has a depth issue on the interior of the defensive line at the tackle position. Adding one more safety might be ideal as well.
Here are a few players the Jacksonville Jaguars should target in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU – I know what I said, but if the Jaguars want to have a balanced attack, finding a bullish runner will help. Despite the injury concerns from college, Fournette is the most complete back in this draft and was impressive at the Combine.
At 240-pounds, he gives this team an element it has not had since the days of Natrone Means. His presence helps make Blake Bortles’ job a lot easier.
Solomon Thomas, Defensive End, Stanford – Thomas had a solid Combine. While he has been a top-10 talent and has been on most mock draft boards in that area, I have seen him as high as the second overall pick this past week.
Thomas’ ability to get to the quarterback gives the Jacksonville Jaguars a nice rotation with Calais Campbell, Dante Fowler, and Yannick Ngakoue. Because of his size (6-foot-3), he might be viewed as a tweener. He may eventually fall into the second half of the draft.
Jonathan Allen, Defensive Lineman, Alabama – I hope to hell the Jaguars do not take a swing at this kid. I know he can play both inside and outside on the line. However, Crimson Tide defensive linemen do not translate well in the NFL.
Allen was a terror in college. There are some concerns about a shoulder injury at the Combine that could turn a few teams off. I still think he is drafted by Chicago, one spot ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU – Can you imagine a secondary that is complete revamped, with only Jalen Ramey the returning starter? Adams in some circles is the closest thing to a sure bet in this draft. He figures to be off the board by the fifth pick to Tennessee.
I like Adams’ skills, his range and his ability to hit. The Jaguars could use another Donovan Darius-type defender. If the team goes the defensive back route, Adams should be the pick.
Trade Down – The Jaguars could move down to the middle of the first round. Here they could grab an offensive lineman (possibly Cam Robinson) or a tight end (OJ Howard). It could also gamble and hope Dalvin Cook of FSU falls into the teens. There are plenty of possibilities for Jacksonville to get an impact player. A trade down would still help the team with more draft picks or players for depth.