We are just hours away from the premier NFL offseason event — the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville.
To help us prepare for the festivities, check out this A-to-Z Jacksonville Jaguars draft guide below. Allow us to highlight various draft prospects, front office decision-makers, positions of need, current players and other important information using each letter of the alphabet.
A: Josh Allen (Kentucky). Allen is one of the best edge players in the 2019 class, and likely will be off the board by No. 7, but if not, expect the Jaguars to pull the trigger on a tall, lengthy and agile defender. The Jaguars need a rotational pass-rusher and Allen could make an immediate impact.
B: Nick Bosa (Ohio State). Another pass-rusher expected to be long gone by the time the Jaguars are on the clock. Bosa is looked at by many analysts as the best pro prospect in the class. While it’s a need, the emphasis on the Jags drafting a rotational pass-rusher is a bit overblown to me, but you make the pick no matter what if it’s a player like Bosa falls that far down.
C: Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell. We know that all decisions are finalized by Coughlin, but Caldwell’s input will play an important role. Both of whom recently said they expect to go “best player available,” but that may just be a smokescreen. This is an important draft for both Coughlin and Caldwell’s futures in Jacksonville.
D: Andre Dillard (Washington State). Dillard played left tackle in college, but with the release of Jermey Parnell, right tackle is a big need for the Jaguars. Cam Robinson is also coming back from a torn ACL and if he needs to be eased in, then Dillard could fill in at left tackle, or though it’s unlikely, the team could move Robinson to the right side.
E: Elite Defensive Talent. While I personally think the Jaguars cannot afford to overlook the offensive side of the ball with the seventh overall pick, there is really no arguing the fact that this is defensive draft, especially at the top. Eight of Daniel Jeremiah’s top-10 prospects are on the defensive side of the ball. Of those, six are defensive linemen. It would be hard to fault Jacksonville if it is able to get an elite defender.
F: Nick Foles. Obviously Foles was the prized free agency piece for the Jaguars and starts a new era in Duval. Will the Jaguars draft him a weapon early on at wide receiver, running back or tight end? Will they invest in protecting him with a first-round offensive tackle? Will the team select Dwayne Haskins for insurance? Lots of questions to be answered here.
G: Rashan Gary. If you asked Gary himself, he’s the best player available. However, analysts look at hm as a boom-or-bust prospect, and now health flags with his shoulder are popping up. While it hasn’t been as common as others, Gary has been mocked to the Jaguars on occasion. Gary is a similar player to Taven Bryan, though, so selecting him would be a wash.
H: T.J. Hockenson (Iowa). One of the fan favorite picks for the Jaguars. Hockenson is a do-it-all tight end who has Pro Bowl level potential. While his blocking still needs some work, he’s well ahead of the curve compared to the other prospects, and he is also a dependable receiver. If the Jaguars don’t pull the trigger, he won’t be waiting too much to hear his named called.
I: Irv Smith Jr. (Alabama). Another tight end that the Jaguars should consider to fill a need. It’s possible he’s still sitting there at No. 38 in the second round, but he could very well be a late first-rounder. If Jacksonville passes on a tight end at No. 7, and thinks Smith won’t last, would they consider trading up for him?
J: Jawaan Taylor (Florida). The most commonly-mocked player to the Jaguars. Taylor is assumed to be the first offensive lineman off of the board, and would fill an immediate need at right tackle. At the very least, Taylor adds some good competition for Cedric Ogbuehi and Will Richardson. The Jaguars also love to draft Florida Gators — for better or worse.
K: Kyler Murray. The perceived first overall pick, but unlikely to be in play for Jacksonville. Where it gets interesting is if the Arizona Cardinals pass on Murray. In this scenario, how far would he fall? If he makes it down to seventh overall, could the Jaguars move back and secure some extra draft capital from a quarterback-needy team? Wherever Murray goes is going to control how the entire draft shakes out.
L: Drew Lock (Missouri). Lock is looked at as the third or fourth best quarterback in the class, but has been picking up steam lately. If he slips to the second round, Jacksonville could consider taking him and letting him develop behind Foles. Or if Haskins and Murray both go in the first six picks, could a team like the Redskins or Broncos call about the seventh pick to get their guy? It’s possible.
M: Doug Marrone. Marrone is under a lot of pressure to perform this season after last season’s 5-11 debacle. The draft is going to be important for Marrone, Caldwell and Coughlin to bring in good fits. That means players that fit on the field, players that fit in the locker room, and those who can contribute now or in the future. Marrone surely has a hand in bringing in the right players.
N: Noah Fant (Iowa). If the Jags aren’t able to land Hockenson, then perhaps they go after the other Iowa tight end. If Fant somehow falls to No. 38, then that should be a no-brainer selection. The only issue is that Fant is more of a receiving tight end and may not be a great run-blocker. However, with John DeFilippo now on staff, expect tight end to be featured more frequently in the passing game.
O: Ed Oliver (Houston). Oliver can slot right in at three-technique and help fill the void that Malik Jackson left. He could very well be there at pick No. 7, but there’s an even better chance he is gone within the first six picks. Defensive tackle isn’t an immediate need for the Jaguars, but a rotational player who can come in and rush the passer from the interior is valuable, plus Oliver is the kind of talent that would be heard to pass on.
P: Picks. The Jaguars currently own seven picks in the 2019 Draft. First round (No. 7 overall), second round (No. 38), third round (No. 69 and No. 98), fourth round (No. 109), sixth round (No. 178) and seventh round (No. 236). The Jaguars do not currently own a fifth-round pick. Dave Caldwell usually stands pat instead of trading back in the first round, but this year could be the first time we see that happen.
Q: Quinnen Williams (Alabama). Probably the most-talented player in the draft outside of maybe Nick Bosa. He should be gone within the first four picks, but if he is still there when the Jags are on the clock, then there is no reason to waste time on the selection. Again, the Jaguars don’t have any real immediate need at defensive tackle with Marcel Dareus, Abry Jones and Taven Bryan all capable, but Williams is a can’t miss prospect regardless of position.
R: Running back. The Jaguars expect a better season out of Leonard Fournette in 2019, and he’s been“working hard” this offseason. The team also signed Alfred Blue, Benny Cunningham and Thomas Rawls. But none of these moves should deter Jacksonville from targeting a running back on Day Two or Day Three. The Jags should covet a back with pass-catching prowess, as that’s something the current group seems to collectively lack. Maybe somebody like Memphis’ Darrell Henderson or Penn State’s Miles Sanders.
S: Montez Sweat (Mississippi State). Sweat was considered to be a top-10 pick for the duration of the offseason, and then an explosive Combine performance solidified that. Now, though, he has medical red flags due to a heart condition. Some teams have reportedly taken him completely off their draft boards, while other teams aren’t too worried. He’s also had some off-the-field issues in the past. Sweat was often mocked to the Jaguars at No. 7 overall. Imagine getting him at No. 38 overall.
T: Tytus Howard (Alabama State). An FCS player that has gained a lot of attention this offseason. He’s still looked at as a bit of a project, but if Jacksonville passes on an offensive tackle in the first round, Howard is an enticing Day Two prospect. He’s an athletic tackle that has experience playing both on the left and right sides of the offensive line.
U: Unprecedented pick. Dwayne Haskins is the quarterback many fans wanted to see in teal and black prior to the Foles signing — and some still do. It would be unlikely and unprecedented to draft Haskins after giving Foles a large contract, but doubling down at the QB position could be wise. Others feel that drafting a tight end at No. 7 overall is too early, but Coughlin disagrees, and Hockenson could be the pick.
V: Versatility. We’ve mentioned this is a top-heavy draft on the defensive side of the ball, but it’s also a versatile draft on both sides of the ball. We already talked about Hockenson as a do-it-all tight end. We said Ed Oliver can collapse the pocket from the middle, but he can eat up gaps as well. Below, you’ll see a blurb about Alabama’s Jonah Williams who can play just about anywhere on the offensive line. This is also a deep draft at offensive line, running back and tight end.
W: Jonah Williams (Alabama). Williams is kind of the forgotten offensive lineman of the first round group, but seems poised to be a solid pro. Sure, he has “short arms,” but that is overblown. He’s a versatile player who can play left tackle, right tackle or even guard. Williams could be a surprise pick at No. 7, as Jacksonville looks to bolster its offensive line and ensure protection of Foles.
X: X-Receiver. Caldwell has maintained all offseason long that the front office is comfortable with the current group of wide receivers, but I’m not buying it. Marqise Lee is coming back from a torn ACL and, with the exception of Dede Westbrook, the rest of the wide outs underwhelmed in 2018. Could the Jags go after somebody like D.K. Metcalf, Hakeem Butler or N’Keal Harry in the first two rounds?
Y: Rock Ya-Sin (Temple). Cornerback depth is an underrated need, and if Ya-Sin is sitting there at No. 38, he could be tempting. He wouldn’t need to get thrust into action right away and can develop behind two of the best cornerbacks in the league in Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. If the team moves on from Bouye following 2019, the Temple product has the ideal the size, length and skill set to fill right in. Justin Layne is another second-round cornerback to watch.
Z: Zach Allen (Boston College). Allen may be a defensive end you’re not too familiar with, but the former Golden Eagle is a master at batting down passes at the line, and also finished his college career with 16.5 sacks and 40.5 tackles for loss. If you have the same mindset as me, the Jaguars should get a tight end or offensive tackle in the first round, and then get the rotational pass-rusher they covet in the second round — a la, Zach Allen.
Of course there are other early-round prospects not mentioned here that the Jaguars could be eyeing — perhaps Brian Burns of Florida State or Clelin Ferrell of Clemson. That’s what makes the NFL Draft so much fun— you never know how it will unfold until it begins.
Which players are you hoping the Jaguars draft?