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Where is the draft day sweet spot for a tight end?

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When is the right time for the Jacksonville Jaguars to pull the trigger on certain positions?

Arkansas v South Carolina Photo by Todd Bennett/GettyImages

The Jacksonville Jaguars will be featuring an entirely new tight end group this coming year. Gone are the days of Marcedes Lewis and, well, some other guys. Lewis is cut and I’d be surprised if a single guy who caught a pass at the tight end position last year was back. This year it’s Austin Sefarian-Jenkins, Niles Paul, and a rookie.

But who will that rookie be?

In this series, I want to look at the Jaguars’ draft needs and try to find the “sweet spot” for those positions in the draft. I want to find the lowest round where I’ll still be able to pick a better-than-average player so that I can walk away from the draft with as much value as possible.

There are seven positions the Jaguars need — quarterback, offensive lineman, cornerback, tight end, linebacker, defensive end, and running back.

In Part 4 of my series, I’m looking over the tight ends and to help me organize the players I’ve used Dane Brugler’s prospect rankings published at NFLDraftScout.com.

Tight end

DS Rank Name School Proj. Round
DS Rank Name School Proj. Round
37 *Mark Andrews Oklahoma 1-2
39 Mike Gesicki Penn State 1-2
44 Dallas Goedert South Dakota State 2
68 *Hayden Hurst South Carolina 2-3
94 Ian Thomas Indiana 3
128 *Dalton Schultz Stanford 4
145 Durham Smythe Notre Dame 4-5
158 Troy Fumagalli Wisconsin 5
163 Christopher Herndon Miami (FL) 5
179 Jordan Thomas Mississippi State 5-6
187 Tyler Conklin Central Michigan 5-6
202 David Wells San Diego State 6
223 Will Dissly Washington 6-7
254 *Ryan Izzo Florida State 7

I mentioned yesterday that I thought cornerback was one of several positions that would get snapped up early — along with quarterback — and so whereas it looks like the top four tight ends in Mark Andrews, Mike Gesicki, Dallas Goedert, and Hayden Hurst might go before the third round even starts, it now looks like one of those four and Indiana’s Ian Thomas will be there for the Jaguars in the third round. (And I like Thomas, he’s a good player who stood out at the Senior Bowl this year.)

This is where things get tricky though. If the sweet spot for a quarterback is the first round and the sweet spot for a right guard is the second round, what do you do in the third round where both tight end and cornerback look to be the lowest you can get a quality player at a position of real need?

I think it’s a draw and it’ll all depend on who’s left on the board — and all things equal, I think slot cornerback is where the Jaguars prioritize, but a good enough tight end will likely be left towards the end of the third round.

Sweet spot for Jaguars at TE: Round 3