After years of rebuilding, things were finally looking up for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They had a young, talented offense and an improved defense. Many believed that they could have made it to the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
And then the season started.
Fast forward to late November and the Jaguars are 2-9. They are logically out of playoff contention and have likely secured a top-five draft pick. That’s not a bad thing though, as the Jags have many needs that have to be filled. Let’s dive right in and see what they might do on Draft Day.
1st Round- Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
When (not if) the Jaguars fire Gus Bradley, their new coach will have control over what defensive scheme they run. Regardless of if the new coach runs a 3-4 defense or a 4-3 defense, Alabama’s Jonathan Allen is the right pick here.
Allen, in my mind, is this draft class’ second-best prospect outside of Myles Garrett. The Crimson Tide star is an all-around fantastic defensive lineman. He can rush the passer with the ability of an edge rusher 30 pounds his inferior. He is also an effective run stuffer who is capable of consistently getting in the backfield. The Jaguars already have Malik Jackson at defensive tackle, but the tackle spot next to him is a huge question mark. By picking Allen, they would plug that hole with a player with All-Pro potential.
2nd Round- Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana
Let’s face it: Jacksonville’s offensive line isn’t all that good. They can use help at basically every spot on the line. That’s why adding a great value player like Dan Feeney would be a good move here.
Feeney is the perfect combination of brain and brawn. At 6’4″ and 310 pounds, he has the ideal size for an NFL guard. He is a whistle-to-whistle player who gives his all on every down. He is a good run blocker, but specializes as a pass blocker. Feeney is a disciplined lineman who has great footwork and technique. It’s not a sexy pick, but the Jaguars need to build through the trenches.
3rd Round- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
If you’re the Jacksonville Jaguars, you’d have to be having doubts on if Blake Bortles is the long-term answer at quarterback. He makes a lot of dumb decisions, has actually regressed in terms of mechanics and is usually a lock for one or two picks a game. That’s why you give him some competition.
Mason Rudolph has been one of my draft crushes since the start of the season. He has all of the physical tools to be a starter in the NFL, and has shown significant improvements in making better decisions. He is eighth in all of college football in passing yards, and has an impressive 25:4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. If the Jaguars decide to challenge Blake Bortles this offseason, Rudolph would be the perfect choice.
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4th Round- Avery Gennesy, OT, Texas A&M
I’m going with another offensive line pick here, but the Jags truly need it.
Avery Gennesy is the next big prospect to come out of Texas A&M’s offensive line factory. He isn’t as flashy as his precessors, but he can definitely be a solid starter in the NFL. He is long and athletic enough to play left tackle, which is a rare trait in mid-round linemen. His footwork and technique are both fairly impressive, and he’s a strong blocker to boot. Gennesy has just about everything that the Jaguars want in an offensive tackle.
5th Round- Fish Smithson, S, Kansas
Something seems a bit Fish-y about this pick.
The Jaguars, despite their offseason efforts, still need help at safety. I wanted to slot one earlier in this draft, but there were other better value picks. They still get a solid prospect here in Kansas’ Fish Smithson. Fish, whose real first name is Anthony, is an athletic, scrappy safety with fluid hip movements. He is a solid tackler – he’s had at least eight tackles in five games this year. His ball-hawking style of play is apparent in film and on the stat sheet, as he has four picks so far. He’s still a bit raw in coverage, but he’s worth picking as a developmental player.
6th Round- Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern
Running back isn’t a big need for the Jaguars, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some extra competition.
Northwestern’s Justin Jackson has quietly put up big numbers this year. This year, he has run for 1300 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has topped 90 yards in a game eight times this year. Jackson has been consistent with this dominance, too. He has ran for over 1000 yards in all three of his years at Northwestern. He has great vision and is very good at cutting into open holes. For a sixth-round pick, that’s not a bad investment.
7th Round- Phazahn Odom, TE, Fordham
When the seventh round comes around, a lot of the players on the board are projects. That’s exactly the word that describes tight end Phazahn Odom. This isn’t meant as an insult by any means. Odom is clearly raw, but he has a lot of potential.
Odom has amazing tight end size at 6’8″ and 245 pounds. He is a solid performer both as a receiver and as a blocker. He is still raw, but he is actually a solid route runner. It would be foolish to expect great things out of Odom right out of the gate. He would likely spend a year on the practice squad. However, Marcedes Lewis isn’t getting any younger, and the Jags will likely want a replacement.