With the 2015 NFL Draft just 24 hours away, we wanted to take a quick refresher on what we need to know before we settle in for three days and watch it all unfold. The Jaguars have built a nice base for their roster and added some good pieces with Julius Thomas and Jermey Parnell, but there's still some holes.
Jaguars Top 5 Draft Needs
1. EDGE rusher - The Jaguars had a lot of sacks last season, but they were dead last in bringing pressures. This is a case where the sacks didn't really tell the story of the Jaguars pass rush. Not only that, but the top three LEO edge rushers currently on the Jaguars roster are Chris Clemons (33 years old), Andre Branch (injury history, disappointing production, final year of contract) and Chris Smith (2014 5th round pick, barely played). This will be a position the Jaguars upgrade in the draft, the question is just where.
2. Linebacker - Outside of the starting three linebackers, the Jaguars group is pretty bare. LaRoy Reynolds at one point looked like one for the future, but his disastrous showing at the OTTO position last season makes his roster spot a question mark. Unfortunately the draft is dearth of linebackers beyond early in the second round.
3. Free Safety - While the Jaguars signed Sergio Brown in free agency, it's unlikely he's going to be the longterm answer. Like linebacker however, the draft is void of good safety prospects, especially of the center fielder variety, so it's unlikely this position is addressed permanently this draft.
4. Slot Receiver - The Jaguars wanted to add Randall Cobb in the offseason and general manager Dave Caldwell has specifically noted they'd like to upgrade the slot receiver position. I'd presume the Jaguars would like to find a receiver who fits in the slot who can also return kicks and punts, to kill two birds with one stone. The team used Allen Hurns a lot in the slot last year, but they'll likely be looking for a smaller, burner type of slot receiver in the mid-rounds.
5. Running Back - While I'm probably in the minority in thinking that Toby Gerhart and Denard Robinson can be an effective duo of backs, the position as a whole does need to add more talent. The draft this year is deep at the position though, so the team can add someone in the mid-rounds who could potentially challenge to start.