It’s 2017 NFL Draft season whether you want it to be or not, Jacksonville Jaguars.
The fine folks at Pro Football Focus put together their first mock draft and the Jaguars are again going to the edge rusher well with Derek Barnett out of Tennessee.
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Derek Barnett, Edge, Tennessee
Always in lockstep with Garrett from a production standpoint, Barnett continues to improve his game and he’s produced like a top-five pick in his three-year career at Tennessee. This season, he has the No. 1 pass rush grade among Power-5 edge defenders at 92.4 as he’s adept at using his hands to shed blocks both as a rusher and in the run game. Jacksonville has invested heavily on the defensive side of the ball, but there’s room for more talent and flexibility on the defensive line and Barnett could step in and become the top pass-rusher on the unit.
I like it. It’s a position of need for the Jaguars and even though Barnett at four is being talked about as a reach, a healthy pass rush covers a multitude of sins for a defense that has playmakers but no quarterback pressure to exploit.
What do you think? Is Barnett a guy you’ve been watching this year? Do you like him all the way up at fourth overall?