The Jacksonville Jaguars have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball going into the 2020 NFL Draft — Sports Illustrated’s JaguarMaven knows it.
With 10 picks in next year’s draft, Jacksonville can plug some holes that have been the reason for some big losses recently. Run stopping defensive lineman, pass protectors, wide receivers, and more are all on the table.
John Shipley just posted his first 2020 mock draft and he went through all three rounds. Did he go quarterback with any of the Day 1 or Day 2 picks? What about a top-tier run defenders? Let’s see.
Round 1, Pick 8: Auburn DT Derrick Brown
Don’t get me wrong, the offense hasn’t been good, but the run defense has been abysmal ever since Marcell Dareus went on injured reserve. Through Week 14, the Jaguars have given up 141.1 yards per game — tied for second-worst in the NFL with the...
Shipley thinks it’s time to get back to our roots and start beefing up the defensive line:
Jacksonville has tried to find several different combinations of interior lineups with Abry Jones, Taven Bryan, Calais Campbell, Akeem Spence, Dontavius Russell, and Carl Davis. But so far, nothing has worked and both the front four and the linebackers have been unable to produce at a high level vs. the run because of it.
This is where Derrick Brown comes in. The 6’5”, 315-plus pound defensive tackle is the rare nose tackle prospect worth taking in the top ten. He has a unique blend of size and quickness that allows him to be a dominating force vs. both the run and the pass. He would instantly provide stability to the middle of Jacksonville’s defense and elevate the play of everyone around him, especially the linebackers.
Whatever it takes, Jacksonville.
Round 1, Pick 20: Alabama OL Alex Leatherwood
Now it’s time to get some help for the offensive line.
Enter Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood, who has experience at offensive tackle and right guard.
Junior Crimson Tide offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood is a behemoth of a man who has spent time at both left tackle and right guard, giving him a lot of flexibility as he moves to the NFL. The 6’6”, 310 pound Leatherwood spent 2018 at guard before switching to left tackle on a full-time basis in 2019 to replace Jonah Williams, but he also spent time at tackle in place of an injured Williams as a freshman in 2017 and impressed in a big way.
Left tackle, left guard, and right guard could all realistically be upgraded and, at the very least, deserve some competition. Leatherwood could step in from day one and slot in at any of these spots as Jacksonville looks for the best five linemen. His ability to mirror pass rushers with terrific footwork at his size is enticing to put him at the blindside, but his anchor makes him a realistic option on the interior too.
We’re onto Round 2 and we’ve improved both lines. Good.
Round 2, Pick 43: Virginia CB Bryce Hall
After losing Jalen Ramsey, the Jaguars turned to undrafted free agent Tre Herndon who has done well enough to be assured of a roster spot in 2020. But the team needs depth and that’s where Bryce Hall comes in.
A.J. Bouye is a solid No. 1 corner but it is hard to tell how long he will be in Jacksonville due to his bloated contract. Tre Herndon has played well enough to enter the 2020 training camp as a starter but competition can only be a good thing. The worst-case scenario is Hall provides much-needed depth early on and then slots in as a starter when Bouye departs. Going from Breon Borders to Bryce Hall as your top corner depth would be a sizeable upgrade.
Round 3, Pick 74: Alabama WR Devonta Smith
We don’t talk about it very much, but the Jaguars desperately need help at wide receiver. DJ Chark is all these team has of quality. Chris Conley is mediocre at everything, Dede Westbrook can’t seem to consistently find his place in this offense, Marqise Lee is always injured, and Keelan Cole is not very good.
Jacksonville desperately needs a receiving threat across from DJ Chark after it has become clear that Dede Westbrook is just a solid No. 3 and Chris Conley is not a serviceable starter in the NFL. Smith, 6’1”, 175 pounds, has been a dynamite vertical threat for the Crimson Tide but has flown under the radar at times thanks to the fact that he plays with likely first-round picks Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs.
Round 4, Pick 117: Utah State LB David Woodward
Round 5, Pick 154: Texas A&M WR Quartney Davis
Round 5, Pick 166: Florida Atlantic TE Harrison Bryant
Round 6, Pick 192: UCF S Richie Grant
Round 6, Pick 209: Mississippi State LB Erroll Thompson
Round 7, Pick 226: UNC DL Jason Strowbridge
With the Day 3 picks, Jacksonville stocks up on depth at most of its positions of need. While I’d like to see a linebacker pick before the fourth round, I understand the need to get the more talented players at more premium positions earlier.
Out of all these picks, Harrison Bryant is the most intriguing. At 6’5” and 240 pounds, he’d provide an immediate boost in the red zone for Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars offense. They lack a big body target right now and it’s showing in their efficiency near the goal line.
What do you think? Would you be happy with this haul in the 2020 NFL Draft for Jacksonville? Let us know in the comments below!