Perfect Picks: Jacksonville Jaguars
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 Draft Network Mock machine 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.
The Jacksonville Jaguars were the franchise to finally tempt Urban Meyer to the NFL. Meyer’s record in college football was prolific until health concerns shortened it. Refreshed from a break he lands on his feet in Duval. Ready to rebuild a franchise with the number 1 overall pick. There is talent on this roster and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Meyer turn things around quickly.
That will depend heavily on how the Jaguars approach the draft. They will have ten opportunities this year to find quality players and who better than Meyer to analyse the talent coming through. If he and GM Trent Baalke can fine tune this roster under a new quarterback they could soon become contenders in the AFC South.
Round 1 - Pick 1 - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
Gardner Minshew offered some light relief for Jaguars fans. The ‘tash, the swagger and the flashes were all well enjoyed. Unfortunately it was never sustainable. The Jags’ misfired when backing Blake Bortles as the face of the franchise and have been looking to right that wrong ever since. Fortunately for them, it appears they have fallen into a ready-made solution to their quarterback problem.
It feels like Trevor Lawrence has been the number one pick in this draft since he left high school. He fits the prototypical mould of the modern quarterback and led Clemson during one of it’s most successful periods. Lawrence has all the arm talent you would expect of a number 1 QB. While his athleticism is often mentioned as an afterthought his ability as a runner should not be underestimated. There are no sure things in American Football but Lawrence may be the closest thing to one since Andrew Luck.
Round 2 - Pick 25 - Rashod Bateman, WR, Minnesota
If you are getting a shiny, new toy at Quarterback then you need to give him some weapons at the receiver spot. The Jaguars added wily veteran Marvin Jones and hope Laviska Shenault can regain the electricity that made him such a special college player. That said they could certainly benefit from adding a young, reliable pass catcher. There could be some interesting names available when the Jags pick again in the first round at 25.
Bateman isn’t the kind of receiver that jumps off the screen. He isn’t going to blow you away with speed or freaky athleticism but the more you watch, the more you believe in his ability to be a true number one receiver in the NFL. Bateman excels as a route runner, has excellent body control and competes for every ball. He is a versatile option, for the Jags he could start in the slot before becoming a cheap replacement plan for the out of contract DJ Chark in 2022.
Mid Round Gem - Pick 65 - Jamar Johnson, S, Indiana
The Jaguars made moves to solidify the safety position in free agency. Even with the signings of Rayshawn Jenkins and Rudy Ford, they likely address the position further during the draft. With Shaquill Griffin and CJ Henderson assuming the roles of corner it would be unfortunate if the safety position let down the quality of this secondary.
Jamar Johnson is a name out of the Big 10 Meyer may be familiar with. While Johnson lacks experience he shone in what was a fairly frisky Hoosiers’ defense. Johnson snagged four interceptions and eight pass deflections during the 2020 season. He is a rangy free safety who excels in coverage. His missed tackle count of 13 will raise some eyebrows but it shouldn’t be enough to prevent him from being a very good NFL safety.
Late Round Sleeper - Pick 249 - Gerrid Doaks, RB, Cincinnati
The Jaguars know the value of late round running backs. They rode rookie free agent James Robinson for over 1000 yards in one of the most surprising individual performances of 2020. They have strong backups in Roc Armstead and Carlos Hyde. However, if you believe in finding rushing yards without spending money or draft capital then you have to keep the treadmill rolling.
That means that adding a late round pick like Gerrid Doaks makes some sense, particularly when you consider the Jags have such a bevvy of picks. At 6’0 and 230lbs, Doaks projects as a power back but his tape shows more nuance than that. Physically strong to break tackles but also shifty enough to find holes for long gains. Doaks showed in flashes that he could be a game changer. Particularly in his 184 rushing yard display, averaging 11.5 yards per carry, against Houston. While he won’t get that many plaudits don’t be surprised if Doaks becomes a reliable backup running back at the next level.
Draft In Full:
1. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson (QB)
25. Rashod Bateman, Minnesota (WR)
33. Kelvin Joseph, Kentucky (CB)
45. Daviyon Nixon, Iowa (DT)
65. Jamar Johnson, Indiana (S)
106. Tommy Tremble, Notre Dame (TE)
130. Trey Hill, Georgia (iOL)
145. Charles Snowden, Virginia (LB)
170. Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa (EDGE)
249. Gerrid Doaks, Cincinnati (RB)
formerly writing for the inside zone, rory will be breaking down college tape and keeping you up-to-date with all things CFB for the touchdown. an avid bengals fan, you can also find some of rory’s work at stripehype.com.