The Jacksonville Jaguars lost veteran defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks to a torn ACL in Sunday's regular season finale. This likely means that Marks will miss the majority of the offseason, training camp and likely the preseason. The injury has led many to suddenly think that it puts USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams, viewed by most as the best defensive prospect in the 2015 NFL Draft, in play for the Jaguars at No. 3 overall.
Here's a hint: He was already in play.
It's likely Marks begins the 2015 season on the PUP list and misses the majority of the Jaguars' training camp in July and August, but it's also likely he's back for Week 1 of the regular season if everything goes right. Will he be "100 percent"? Probably not, but it's not like he's going to miss so much to the point that his career or the 2015 season is in doubt.
While the selection of someone like Williams would allow Marks to take his time recovering, as Williams can be effective from the three-technique spot on the line (Marks' position), he would still be a smart pick for the Jaguars even if Marks was completely healthy and never tore his ACL. The beauty of Leonard Williams, in regards to his fit with the Jaguars, is that he can play all over the defensive line. You can line him up inside on passing downs, or to spell someone like Ziggy Hood or Marks, or rotate him with Red Bryant at the five-technique spot on the strong side, which will give you more of a pass rusher there. You can also line him up at as a big LEO if you really want to. In a lot of ways, he's very similar to that of Michael Bennett for the Seattle Seahawks.
Just put him on the defensive line and let him do work.
Simply put, Williams is a very good player anywhere on the defensive line and Marks' injury shouldn't really change how the Jaguars feel about him or where he's at on their board. He should be near the very top, regardless. I've seen a lot of people in the comments, on Twitter and Facebook and on the radio act like he's suddenly in play because of the Marks injury, but as I mentioned before; He was already in play.