The Jacksonville Jaguars are now on the clock.
The organization has a new chain of command, a new culture and a new hope that this season will, finally yield a winning record. The team looks good on paper, but still, has plenty to overcome if it is to challenge for a playoff berth.
Tennessee has improved. Indianapolis has new parts on defense and Houston is a quarterback away from becoming a Super Bowl contender.
The Jacksonville Jaguars did plenty to help itself on the defensive side of the ball in free agency; however, there are still holes to fill. The offensive line and the running game are still a concern. Moreover, knowing Tom Coughlin’s approach to football, depth is always welcome.
There is eight draft picks this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars to find more pieces to the 2017 puzzle. Here is a look at how I see their draft taking shape.
Round 1, 4th Overall: Leonard Fournette, Running Back, LSU – If the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to compete for a playoff berth, they need a tougher running game. TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory have not been able to get the job done. Fournette is a Herschel Walker-type runner. He makes the Jaguars better immediately.
Round 2, 35th Overall: Cam Robinson, Tackle, Alabama – The thinking is Robinson can move inside and play guard and will eventually be in a position 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.
Round 3, 68th Overall: Carlos Watkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson – The Tigers have put plenty of defensive starters in the NFL. Watkins had 50 tackles with 13.5 for a loss, 10.5 sacks and 4 passes broken up in 2016. He improved his stock at the Senior Bowl.
Round 4, 110th Overall: Brad Kaaya, Quarterback, Miami – This will not put Blake Bortles on notice immediately, but he is a better prospect than Brandon Allen is. Kaaya, when the season began, was possible first round pick and a Heisman Trophy candidate. He is tall and lean and could be a solid signal caller in the NFL.
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.
Round 6, 187th Overall: Josh Harvey-Clemons, Safety, Louisville – He has good size and speed. Unfortunately, he suffered an injury and could not play in the Senior Bowl. He had 61 tackles and 2 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 is not 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. He played his college ball at Chattanooga. Levin could be one of those late-round steals. Corey Levin is a three-time small school All-American.