Since people keep asking me who I think the Jacksonville Jaguars will target and sign in the 2017 NFL free agent period, I thought I would breakdown how I'm looking it at based on just reading the tea leaves and things I've heard, but cannot confirm. So, I just want to be clear; these are absolutely just rumors and speculation on my part. Anyway, I'll put them in different categories below based on what I think they will/could do.
"Will" Aggressively Pursue
A.J. Bouye, CB - This is the most obvious one for most, but I would expect the Jaguars to aggressively target Bouye and try to have him be someone they can announce on Thursday afternoon. The team has a hole to fill at the outside corner position, he's still young, and they don't have much money invested at the position with Jalen Ramsey on a rookie deal. You're also "hurting" a divisional opponent while doing so. I guess.
Calais Campbell, DE - The Jaguars desperately need to add a pass rusher and someone who can plays strongside end as either the "big end" or simply just a traditional 4-3 DE. Campbell brings a proven veteran pass rusher to the team, something they've missed for far too long. Campbell also gives them some insurance with the No. 4 overall pick so their hand is not as forced to pick a defensive lineman, even though they probably still should even if he's signed. Mike Klis reported the Jaguars interest and he's been pretty Gucci when it comes to nailing Jags FA signings in the tampering period.
I believe those two are the Jaguars 1 and 1A targets that they would like to have wrapped up and announced by Friday evening. There could be some others, but I feel those right now are the team's priority.
Should Aggressively Pursue
Kevin Zeitler, Larry Warford, Ronald Leary, G - The Jags need a guard. These are the top guards. I'm not sure that the Jaguars will prioritize signing a guard and they may think at worst they can get by with what they have. I'm not saying the team won't try to sign one of these players, but if they don't end up with one of them I won't be that surprised.
Martellus Bennett, TE - I'm a fan of Bennett and I know he will cost too much. I understand why people don't like him or would be averse to sign him, but he has played for Tom Coughlin before. He also is a decent blocker who can provide a threat in the redzone. Think of him as a less injured Marcedes Lewis with a nasty attitude on the field. I don't know how much they will prioritize TE in free agency with such a deep draft and the reports Bennett is looking for around $9 million per.
Jack Crawford, DE - As mentioned, the Jaguars need bodies as strongside end and that's likely what Crawford would be. Depth at the strongside end spot, or if you need to catch a serial killer.
Tyson Alualu, DE - The team likes Alualu, and he fits as a versatile depth player. The question is, how much do you pay him? I believe there will be a nice littler market for him.
Patrick Omameh, G - Omameh played well before he got hurt and the staff likes him. Don't be surprised if he's back as a depth player.
Should Be Interested
Micah Hyde, Barry Church, S - The Jaguars have a hole at the strong safety position and both of these players could come in and provide at the very least what the team got out of Johnathan Cyprien and would likely offer upgrades, if even as stop gaps while the team looks for a safety in the draft. I can't see the team picking a strong safety at No. 4 overall and someone like Malik Hooker kind of clashes with Tashaun Gipson. Please, the team needs to try to win ASAP and I'm not sure a rookie safety provides enough of an impact.
Kyle Juszczyk, FB - The Jaguars sure sound like they want a fullback. They also sure sound like they don't just want a beer keg with legs playing fullback. Juszczyk gives you the most versatile fullback on the market, the only question is how much do they actually want to spend on a fullback?
Dark Horse Interest
JC Tretter, C - I'm not convinced the Jaguars will aggressively go after the cream of the crop of the free agent guard class, but a sneaky target could be Green Bay Packers center JC Tretter. He's dealt a lot with injuries, but when he's started for the Packers he's been very good. If you bring him in you can kick Brandon Linder back to guard and still look for offensive line help in the draft.
Those are all the "names" I have, but just consider the positions and roles when looking for others. For instance, I don't know if they'll target Tony Jefferson but they will likely look at the safety position, etc.