The Jacksonville Jaguars have a plan. They talked about addressing the need for a backup quarterback a few weeks ago and traded for Cody Kessler. They talked about the need to improve their offensive line, and then signed Andrew Norwell. They talked about the need to fill gaps on the roster, then they signed DJ Hayden, Austin Saferian-Jenkins, and Donte Moncrief.
There are very few holes left. While there has been turn over – with Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Aaron Colvin finding new homes – this is still a team that should challenge for the playoffs and Super Bowl berth in 2018.
Regardless of the moves this team has made during the off-season, the Jacksonville Jaguars still have needs at linebacker, on the offensive line and at tight end. The NFL draft should be used to address them. I’m not going to waiver too much in how I perceive the Jacksonville Jaguars in their draft process. All I’m going to do is give you prospects the team should consider with their first pick in the NFL draft.
Here are six players the team should consider April 26 in Dallas.
Hayden Hurst, Tight End, South Carolina – I am not going to waver from my selection in the mock draft I put out late last week. Hurst is the most complete tight end in the draft and reminds me a lot of former Indianapolis Colts stud Dallas Clark.
Hurst has a career in baseball, is a bit more mature than most players in this draft class. He can catch and block. He should be a nice underneath threat and could also serve as a third-down target because of dependable hands. The thing I like most about him is the workman-like attitude. He comes to practice, puts in the effort and excels. The Jacksonville Jaguars would be able to utilize him all over the field.
Will Hernandez, Guard, UTEP – The film I saw of Hernandez was exceptional. Opposing defensive linemen running into him. Hernandez will move up draft boards and should be gone by the 29th pick, but he could “fall” with the influx of quarterbacks in the NFL Draft.
Hernandez is nimble and has great footwork for his size. He is a typical grader who can play either side of the line. He would supplant AJ Cann after this season on the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line.
Dallas Goedert, Tight End, South Dakota State – Goedert turned a lot of heads this offseason. He could be gone by the middle of the first round. Goedert has great size and wide receiver’s hands. He stands 6’5” and 255 pounds.
His combination of size, speed, agility, and reliable hands allowed him to rank him in the top 15 in the FCS with 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Mason Rudolph, Quarterback, Oklahoma State – The general consensus is if Lamar Jackson is available, the Jaguars should strongly consider him. Jackson won’t get past the Buffalo Bills at No. 12. Rudolph’s stock is rising. He could be the best quarterback to come out of this class in the NFL Draft.
No, that’s not a misprint.
Rudolph is tall, tough and rugged. Most of all, he is accurate, and he can sling it down field. Rudolph could be drafted and learn behind Bortles for a year or two before replacing the current starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
D.J. Moore, Wide Receiver, Maryland – The Jaguars found gold when they drafted defensive end Yannick Ngakoue in the third round out of Maryland two years ago. Would general manager David Caldwell look to the Terrapins to find another wide out for the passing attack?
Moore has blazing speed with a 4.42 40-ayrds dash at the Combine and nice size at 6-foot and 210 pounds. With Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole and Marqise Lee on the roster, Moore could make this one of the fastest receiver units in the NFL.
Rashaan Evans, Linebacker, Alabama – He may not make it past the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are in need of a replacement for Ryan Shazier. But should Pittsburgh pas on the Alabama star and he is available, expect the Jaguars to take a long look.
Per his draft evaluation on draftwire.com, Evans has a fantastic combination of size, athleticism and physicality, making him one of the most well-rounded defenders in this year’s draft class. Since 2006, Alabama has had 7 linebackers drafted in the first two rounds, and Evans is sure to join that group in 2018.
The Jacksonville Jaguars could line him up along side Myles Jack and Telvin Smith and have the best trio of young linebackers in the NFL.