Looking to April: Best Mid-Round Options

Its the day before Thanksgiving so work is slow. Figured I'd do a follow up piece to the article I wrote a couple days ago where I focused on mainly players the Jaguars would look at in the 1st and possibly the 2nd round. Today I want to focus on a few other players that will probably fall into the late 2nd to 5th round that might be steals for the Jaguars. The draft stock of a lot of these players were surely change in the coming months but like I said in my last article I think its always a good idea to keep an eye out for certain players and to watch for them on Saturdays. So here we go:

Marvin McNutt (WR - Iowa):

This years WR crop is very deep and some very quality WRs will slip into the draft's second day. That is exactly what will happen to Marvin McNutt who might be a early second/late first round pick in any other draft year. McNutt has the build to excel in the NFL at 6-4 and 215 pounds. He lacks the elite physical tools as Blackmon or Jeffrey but still has quality speed and size that he can be productive.With Stanzi leaving last season, many did not expect McNutt to do any better this year but instead he is having a career year with an arguebly worse QB at the helm. McNutt has a nose for the endzone with 12 touchdowns already this season and his frame would offer Gabbert a great redzone target. Another positive often overlooked is that he comes from a pro style offense which though it matters less with WR, still experience in a NFL type system. Overall if the Jaguars miss out on a WR in the 1st round, McNutt might be a great pick-up on day 2. 

Next Game: vs. Nebraska (Friday 11/25 on ABC)

Jurin Criner (WR - Arizona):

Here is another receiver who has great ability but whose stock will drop due to the talent of this years WR class. Criner has a very similiar build to McNutt expect Criner is faster and can jump for balls better. Watching some tape on him you can see that he is a great route runner as well which is one of the many things the Jaguars lack from their current receivers. Criner has decent hands but his biggest drawback is that he is poor when it comes to blocking and can get pushed around a little too much. Overall though Criner could become a great deep threat as his speed and size make him a nice target. Criner, like McNutt, is a great but not elite prospect. He offers a lot of talent and with a little coaching might develop into an amazing receiver in the NFL. Another player the Jaguars could take a hard look at on Day 2 if they miss a WR in the 1st.

Next Game: vs. Louisana-Lafayette (Saturday 11/26)

B.J. Cunningham (WR - Michigan State)

Where Criner and McNutt are most likely going to be off the board by the 3rd round, Cunningham is probably going to be around until 4th or 5th rounds. He is a project WR in that he needs coaching on route running and technique but unlike many later round prospects Cunningham has the build of a NFL WR. At 6-2 and 210 he offers a solid target and has had a pretty good season at Michigan State this year (1005 yards, 7 TDs). He can catch the ball well and uses his size to his advantage which makes up for his lack of speed at times. He could develop into a solid possession receiver in the NFL. I fully expect the Jaguars to take at least 2 WRs in this years draft and Cunningham might be a steal in the later rounds for the Jaguars.

Next Game:  vs. Northwestern Wildcats, (Saturday 11/26)


Jack Crawford (DE - Penn State)

Have you ever seen Crawford. Just by his physical appearance alone he looks intimidating standing 6-6 and 273 pounds, bald and just plain mean looking. Crawford has all the physical tools that make NFL scouts excited but if you have watched Penn State this year you can see that Crawford though imposing lacks technique to truely excell at the DE position. A former basketball player Crawford is still learning the game, moves and technique but offers elite physical tools if he can be taught. He is the very definition of boom or bust. Are the Jaguars willing to take a risk in the 3rd or 4th round on Crawford? Who knows, but Crawford is easily an interesting option as the Jaguars are looking for an elite pass rusher and Crawford has all the tools to become one.

Next Game: vs. Wisconsin Badgers (Saturday 11/26)


Jake Bequette (DE - Arkansas)

This years DE crop is very weak and in order for the Jaguars to add any quality DE in this draft they will have to find one by the end of the 4th round as after that there won't be much talent left. Bequette might be one of the last quality DE on the board entering the 3rd or 4th rounds. Bequette's skill set is not exactly what the Jaguars might be looking for in a DE but his overall size and motor might make him worth a 4th round pick. Bequette has a great motor off the line and you can see he is going full speed every play. He very good at getting of the line quick and pushing the pocket but lacks speed on the edge which hinders him as a pass rusher. That being said he does have the ability to get to the passer but will need coaching to develop moves and technique in order to be able to beat NFL level tackles. Overall he is a good run stuffing DE as well offering a hard working style of play. Joe Cullen has done a great job of developing Mincey into a better pass rusher, Bequette would be another good project.

Next Game: vs. LSU Tigers (Friday 11/25)


Brandon Boykin (CB - Georgia)

Boykin and Maurice Jones-Drew will get along well. In all my research on Boykin after watching him play a few times the biggest negative I've heard of him as a draft prospect is that he only stands at 5-9 which is what is keeping him out of the 1st and possibly early second round. Boykin has great speed, fundamentals, and is a good tackler. His size hurts him in jump ball situations versus taller WR and has only average catching ability often opting to deflect a pass rather then go for the turnover. Boykin also is a great special teamer, he is an excellent kick off returner which only adds to his value. Overall if Boykins was 4 inches taller he would be a 1st rounder but his size is one of, in not the only factor that is dropping him into the 2nd or 3rd round. As Jaguars fans know though, undersized players often surprise and Boykin could be a sensational pick up for the Jaguars who will need some help at CB next season.

Next Game:  vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Saturday 11/26)


Robert Blanton (CB - Notre Dame)

Looking for a possible late mid-round steal? Meet Robert Blanton. Unlike many of the other later round CB prospects, Blanton has the size of a NFL CB standing at 6-0 and 196 pounds. The one thing that jumps out at you when you watch Blanton play is that he is a physical corner. He isn't afraid to play confident and go up for the interception. He shows only average speed and could be a liability versus speedy receivers but makes up for it with good awareness and reactions. All you Gene Smith character theory people will love him as he is often described as "high energy" and "great character" type of person. He has slowly been improving his stock this season as he only earned his starting role this season as he spent time as a rotational corner and special teamer in previous seasons. Blanton does not have a huge ceiling but he with his work ethic and some coaching could develop into a solid but not elite corner in the NFL and provide special teams help. Projected for the 5th round he would be a nice grab for the Jaguars.

Next Game:  vs. Stanford Cardinal (Saturday 11/26)


David Molk (C - Michigan)

As I said in my early round version, the Jaguars are going to have to address the center position eventually as Meester is not going to be around forever. David Molk might be the perfect mid-round pick to start the transistion process. Molk has good size at 6-2 and 288 pounds. He snaps the ball quick and has a good first step which is great base to have as a center. He is a great run blocker as he is very aware of his assignments and what defenders need to be picked up. Considering the Jaguars seem to love running up the middle a lot, have a center with Molk's run blocking skill makes him a perfect fit. His pass blocking though is his weakness and is what is going to lower his stock. He can take on one man in pass protection but can get overwelmed by a rush at times due to his smaller reach and technique. Overall Molk needs some coaching on pass protection technique in order to become a complete center. The Jaguars though will probably have Meester for one more season so Molk would have a chance to learn and develop. Projected for the 3rd or 4th round, Molk would be a quality addition to a OL that needs depth. 

Next Game: vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Saturday 11/26)

I hope to do a few more of these mid-round options articles in the next few weeks. There are a lot of good players that I think Jags fans should take the time to watch. A lot of fans complain about not knowing the players there team drafts or they get upset if the big name isn't taken but if people take the time to look at players that are not mentioned in 1st round mocks you will understand GM decision making. Take a lot at these players and some others and it will make Day 2 and 3 of draft day a lot more enjoyable.

FanPosts do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors of Big Cat Country or SB Nation.

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