Just because the Jacksonville Jaguars signed free agent Andrew Norwell to the biggest contract for a guard in the NFL, it does not mean the team will not seek more offensive line help in the NFL Draft.
This year’s talent pool appears to be deep, with many options for the Jaguars when they select 29th overall. Will executive Vice President Tom Coughlin and general manager David Caldwell look to add more pieces to a unit that was much improved last season, but still needs more bodies in the mix?
“Will the Jaguars go offensive line? Or tight end? Will they parlay selections and move up for a quarterback?” Jaguars.com senior writer John Oehser asks the questions to help sort out the team’s needs that are still present.
“The last theory gained traction among observers after 2018 free agency’s first wave last week, primarily because the Jaguars filled enough apparent immediate needs to make such a tact make sense.”
The thought is there may be more value at tight end or the offensive line this late in the first round. Tight end will also be a strong candidate. It’s all how the team evaluates talent. He offers his own mock draft. WITH THE 29TH PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT, THE JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS SELECT WILL HERNANDEZ, GUARD, UTEP.
“According to this mock draft, the Jaguars could have good options at No. 29. Offensive tackle Connor Williams is available in this projection, as is Oklahoma offensive tackle Orlando Brown and a slew of tight ends including Mike Gesicki of Penn State, Hayden Hurst of South Carolina and Mark Andrews of Oklahoma,” he adds.
Hernandez, a physical guard, could make immediate impact and give the Jaguars one of the most dominant interior offensive lines in the NFL. He impressed the scouts and coaches on hand at the Senior Bowl in February and has continued to gain steam on draft boards following the NFL Combine.
Per NFL.com, Hernandez compares to Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito. “A Four-year starter at left guard and the most highly-decorated offensive linemen in UTEP history. Hernandez possesses a rare combination of power, balance, and athletic ability. He is a plus run blocker with the anchor and footwork to handle himself in pass protection as well.”
Hernandez would compete with AJ Cann on the right side of the line for the Jaguars. With Norwell and tackle Cam Robinson on the left side, Hernandez could also provide depth at both guard spots and add size at 348 pounds to help with run blocking for a ground game that ranked first in the NFL last season.