DeForest Buckner is a very good NFL prospect. The point of this post is not to argue that. But this post will also not be breaking him down either, like the posts on Shaq Lawson, Joey Bosa, or Jalen Ramsey.
This post, and others that will follow it in similar fashion in the upcoming weeks, is meant more to make a case against Deforest Buckner as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars... not to make a case against him as a player, because he is a good one who could become a great one. But one of the advantages of being a team-focused writer is you can have these kind of opinions, where you think highly of a player but can still dispel the notion of him being a fit for the team.
So, what is the case against DeForest Buckner exactly, from the point of view of the Jaguars?
There are not enough snaps to go around
The most obvious and most damning factor against DeForest Buckner's fit with the Jaguars is the amount of bodies they currently have at both 3-technique and 5-technique -- Buckner's two most ideal positions.
At 3-technique you've got Malik Jackson, Sen'Derrick Marks, Michael Bennett, Tyson Alualu. Then you've got Ryan Davis and Jared Odrick on third downs.
At 5-technique you've got Jared Odrick, Tyson Alualu, and Malik Jackson.
Where does a rookie fit in here? You aren't drafting somebody to take snaps away from Malik Jackson. Any rookie defensive tackle you draft will be, at best, the No. 2 defensive tackle on the depth chart for a number of years. And more likely the No. 3 defensive tackle behind Marks in 2016. Why spend the No. 5 overall pick on that?
So say you draft Buckner to play 5-technique exclusively. Last year, Jared Odrick played 75% of the team's snaps by playing 5-technique on run downs and 3-technique on pass downs. That was without Marks or Jackson in the fold.
How many snaps would Odrick play if he never slid inside as much as he did? Is it closer to 50%?
Okay, now imagine Odrick splitting that time 50-50 with a rookie. That's 25% of the snaps to a player with little wiggle room for more.
Drafting a player fifth overall to be either third on the depth chart at the 3-technique or a big defensive end who only plays half the run snaps would be... well, very bad.
The team would be much better off drafting a LEO who could either play ever passing down and still play run downs. (Fowler would be moved around in this scenario and, honestly, moving Fowler around is what's best for him anyway.)
You can think Buckner is a great player and I'd agree with you. But that alone does not mean he fits with the Jaguars. The reality is that with how the roster is set up, there is not much room for any rookie defensive tackle to begin with, let alone one who would be the No. 5 overall pick.