Perfect Picks 2023: Jacksonville Jaguars

By Lee Wakefield

With the NFL Draft approaching we will be looking at each team and evaluating where they need to improve. In this particular series we will run a seven round mock using the Pro Football Network Mock Draft Simulator and find the ‘Perfect Picks’ for each franchise.

We will highlight four players that could help each team. This will feature picks 1 and 2, a mid round gem and a late round sleeper. 

Round 1 - Peter Skoronski (Offensive Line, Northwestern)

About as solid of an offensive line prospect that anyone will find in this year’s draft class.

Every team needs good linemen. In a unit such as offensive line, which is a weak-link system, it is imperative that teams raise the floor of their starting five, just as much as pushing the ceiling.

Skowronski could be an upgrade at left guard for the Jags or he could be flipped over to the right side of the offensive line and Jacksonville could opt to give him a run as Jawaan Taylor’s replacement at right tackle.

Of course, this isn’t Madden and positional switches from college ball to NFL aren’t easy, but neither is taking over at left tackle from Rashawn Slater. And Skowronski made that look pretty smooth.

What would make any transition seamless is the fact that from a fundamentals point of view, Skowronski is very strong. He has nice hand usage and clean pass sets when in pass protection, with enough athleticism to make some noise when run blocking too.

If it doesn’t work out, the Jags got a very solid guard and fortified their interior, which is what good teams do, which Jacksonville kind of are now, right?

Round 2 - Deonte Banks (Cornerback, Maryland)

Shaq Griffin is no longer a Jag. The team released the former Seahawks corner in a financially motivated move that saves the Jaguars $13m in cap space for the 2023 season.

The emergence of Tyson Campbell and the signing of Darious Williams last season has softened the blow of this release somewhat, but regardless, Griffin needs to be replaced.

That’s where Deonte Banks comes in…

Banks is coming off an impressive career for Maryland with accolades such as only having allowed 50+ yards in one game throughout his college career and having only missed one tackle in 2022.

From that snapshot we can see that he can cover, and he is a solid tackler. This is important in the world of more and more offenses taking on a wide-zone running scheme in order to target corners who would rather not put their nose into a ball carrier.

Banks also absolutely destroyed the combine in Indy last week, which included running one of the fastest 40 times at the event. 

The best thing is, Banks’ marriage of coverage and athletic abilities shows up on film regularly and he could be a legitimate bargain in the second round.

Mid Round Gem - Jammie Robinson (Safety, Florida State)

Every team needs to bring a level of physicality to their defense. A ruggedness, toughness and a willingness to set the tone. 

Jammie Robinson personifies that mindset.

Robinson can lay a bone-jarring hit on a moment’s notice, but he also has cerebral traits – which were on display at the combine podium where he talked here about having skills of a safety, a corner, and also a linebacker.

A two time all-ACC selection and Florida State’s leader in tackles two years in a row, can come into the Jag’s secondary and be the third safety in the rotation, He’s best used in the box but also has the skills to cover the slot in big nickel packages, where he can use that versatility to defend both run and pass.

If groomed correctly, Robinson can be the heir to Rayshawn Jenkins on the back end in Duval.

Late Round Sleeper - Jalen Redmond (Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma)

Picture this; it’s 3rd and long, and the Jags need to get their best pass rushers on the field. Of course, Josh Allen and Travon Walker are on the field, Walker has kicked inside and K’Lavon Chaisson partners Allen off the edge. Off the field go the big bodies, some interior rush is needed so here comes Jalen Redmond to join them.

Redmond is a fantastic gap-shooter and a super twitchy interior pass rusher who can be that Adam Gotsis replacement for Jacksonville.

Will he ever be a full-time starter? Probably not.

But in the NFL in 2023, interior pass rush is king, especially when it comes on late downs and key situations, and we are spending a 6th round pick here.

What’s more, all the most successful teams now build a rotation of defensive linemen, and don’t rely solely on 4 or 5 guys to do all of the heavy lifting down-in, and down-out. Redmond can be that supplementary piece and key role player.

Draft In Full:

Round 1 – Peter Skoronski (Offensive Line, Northwestern)

Round 2 – Deonte Banks (Cornerback, Maryland)

Round 3 – Sam LaPorta (Tight End, Iowa)

Round 4 – Jammie Robinson (Safety, Florida State)

Round 4 – Wanya Morris (Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma)

Round 6 – PJ Mustipher (Defensive Tackle, Penn State)

Round 6 – Habakkuk Baldonado (Edge Rusher, Pittsburgh)

Round 6 – Jalen Redmond (Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma)

Round 7 – Bumper Pool (Linebacker, Arkansas)