I am historically very anti-mock draft this early in the offseason as so much will change but that being said the combination of boredom and having some time to kill caused me to cave. I know people will tear this apart if its not perfect to the them, so go to town this was just for fun.
1st Round: Jadeveon Clowney (DE – South Carolina) – If Clowney is available, and I think he will be, I don’t think this is even a debate for the Jaguars front office. Caldwell and Gus have made in clear in interviews that the Jaguars need to improve their pass rush and finding that elite rusher is rare, enter Clowney. The Jaguars get the rare DE talent they badly need.
2nd Round: Kyle Van Noy (OLB – BYU) – While most would expect a QB here, I think the Jaguars would pull the trigger on Van Noy who is a versatile LB that would offer both pass rushing and solid pass coverage ability. The Jaguars LB group has been solid in recent years but it still lacks a real pass rushing LB and depth. The Jaguars have also had a chance to work with Van Noy at the Senior Bowl which could improve the chances of this selection.
3rd Round: Zach Mettenberger (QB – LSU) – Mettenberger seems to have become the QB that most people have forgotten about in this year’s draft. The senior out of LSU has the prototypical size (6’5") and has solid arm strength. He was in the midst of a strong season (and improved from previous years) before his ACL injury and many pegged him as a second round pick and best Senior QB. If available to the Jaguars in the 3rd round, I could see them taking him as he has great long term potential. Though not what most fans want to hear, in the short term the Jaguars would mostly likely groom Mettenberger and allow him to fully recover on the bench while Henne starts the season. I could also see David Fales as a possibility here.
4th Round: Anthony Steen (G - Alabama) – The Jaguars need to address their interior OL at some point in this draft and I think drafting Steen would be a solid move here in the 4th if he is available. Steen would immediately be able to push Rackley for the starting LG job and worst case scenario he would provide solid depth while he learns and grows.
4th Round: Jeremy Hill (RB – LSU) – Hill has the size that teams will be looking for (6’2", 235lbs) but due to the stacked RB draft class and continued trend of drafting RBs later he will likely be pushed down draft boards. The Jaguars will likely see MJD leave via FA which leaves then with Todman, Robinson and Forsett (though he will likely be released) as their remaining RBs. I think in the end the Jaguars take a rookie talent like Hill in the mid rounds and then deploy a RB by committee with Todman and Hill.
5th Round: Mike Davis (WR – Texas) – The Jaguars need to add some depth and young talent to its WR unit especially with all the uncertainty surrounding Justin Blackmon. The Jaguars luck out in that this year’s WR class is very strong and some solid talent will be available in the mid rounds. Mike Davis out of Texas has worked with the Jaguars during the Senior Bowl and offers a lot of upside.
5th Round: James Stone (C – Tennessee) – The Jaguars have talked about moving one of the guards to center and they also have Brewster who will be returning from injury. In the end though I think the Jaguars take a stab on a center in the mid rounds. Stone is a middle tier center prospect who excels more as a pass blocker then run blocker. At the very least Stone would be solid interior line depth and have potential to be a future starting center.
5th Round: Beau Allen (DT – Wisconsin) – Allen was a solid run stuffer for the Badgers this past season and could fit as a space-eater in Gus Bradley’s defense. The Jaguars could certainly use depth on the DL, especially at DT, with Roy Miller having a so-so year and having some nagging injuries.
6th Round: Crockett Gilmore (TE – Colorado State) – After Marcedes Lewis the Jaguars don’t have much in the way of talent at the TE position. Gilmore was a late addition to the Senior Bowl but impressed during his week there. Known more for his blocking ability, Gilmore showed some solid pass catching ability throughout the week. With the Senior Bowl connection I could easily see the Jaguars drafting Gilmore for TE depth.
7th Round: Jeff Mathews (QB – Cornell) – The chances that the Jaguars double up on drafting QB’s was already high and Khan’s recent comments simply reinforce that. Matthews had a strong showing at the East-West Shrine Game and would easily warrant a late round flier. Matthews has arm talent and seems to be a solid at reading defenses but still has a lot of work to do to be NFL ready. If Mettenberger is still recovering from his ACL injury to start the season, Matthews could end up being the Jaguars back-up QB to start the season assuming the Jaguars move on from Gabbert. Worst case is he battles Matt Scott for the 3rd string job.