More ardent fans of college football and the draft have been posting draft simulator screenshots to hone in on which players the Jaguars may be targeting on day two and three of the draft.
But which players should be prioritized for the frenzy that is rookie free agency? I spotlighted one player at each position group on offense along with a few other fringe prospect candidates that might not hear their name called, but should be considered by the Jaguars.
Marcus McMaryion, Fresno State
McMaryion finished 2018 as one of the most efficient passers in college football playing under quarterback savant Jeff Tedford at Fresno State. A transfer from Oregon State, McMaryion completed almost 69% of his passes this season with 8.5 yards per attempt and most importantly, a 25:5 touchdown to interception ratio.
McMaryion is similar in style of play to Tyrod Taylor in that he is a superior game manager and quick processor who takes what’s in front of him and won’t be responsible for critical game-altering mistakes. I had the benefit of seeing McMaryion up close at East-West Shrine practices and he looked the best of the group though out the week.
Quarterback may be a moot point in Jacksonville as the depth chart behind Nick Foles is already fairly crowded with Cody Kessler, Alex McGough, and Tanner Lee, but other players who could be in consideration as a camp arm are Eric Dungey of Syracuse, Drew Anderson of Murray State, and Jacob Dolegala of Central Connecticut State.
Nick Brossette, LSU
Although it lacks talent at the top, the depth at running back in this class is truly staggering with 22 underclassmen ultimately declaring. LSU’s Nick Brossette may not be the biggest or fastest, but he is essentially a younger version of fellow ex-Tiger and current Jaguar Alfred Blue in that he does a little bit of everything at a competent level.
The LSU connection and an assumed relationship with Leonard Fournette would likely be a strong allure to Brossette and he should be an easy recruit should the Jaguars give him a call and offer him a shot in rookie free agency.
There are plenty of other strong running backs I would prefer including Memphis’ Tony Pollard, Utah State’s Darwin Thompson, Washington State’s James Williams, Maryland’s Ty Johnson, Georgia’s Elijah Holyfield, and Appalachian State’s Jalin Moore. Although these prospects have draftable grades on day three, there’s a good chance one of those guys do end up slipping through the cracks due to the sheer volume available at the position. Meanwhile, Brossette’s 2.11 RAS (Relative Athletic Score) makes him a long shot to get drafted in a cluttered class and therefore makes this a safer bet for forecasting as a UDFA.
Nick Brossette held down a strong backfield for the Tigers this season. pic.twitter.com/ofO3eeCyD8— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 7, 2019
Brossette would struggle to make the final roster but likely competes for a practice squad spot if he signs in Jacksonville. A few other likely free agent running backs to consider are Florida Atlantic’s Kerrith Whyte, Missouri’s Damarea Crockett, Western Michigan’s Jamauri Bogan, and Ohio’s A.J. Oullette.
Xavier Ubosi, UAB
If you look through my draft notebook from the 2018 college football season, Ubosi’s name is written over it so much it looks like I’m writing about a high school crush in a diary. The 6’3” 215-pound Ubosi is a true deep threat who had the highest depth of target in the NCAA in 2018 (25.1 – the next closest is Tennessee’s Josh Palmer at 20.6) and certainly went out with a bang in the Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl against Northern Illinois.
Xavier Ubosi had a monster game against Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl pic.twitter.com/tnvmIkNxRA— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) December 22, 2018
Similar to running back, wide receiver has a bunch of intriguing options in the middle rounds as well as the tail end of the draft. It’s likely the Jaguars spend a draft pick at some point to round out the WR corps with an imposing body who can make contested catches, but Ubosi is a guy who would be a shoe-in for a practice squad spot if he can’t beat out Keelan Cole outright in camp.
Other fringe receivers that I’m high on include Troy’s Damion Willis, Temple’s Ventell Bryant, Utah State’s Ron’Quavion Tarver, and Boston College’s Jeff Smith, who has an official visit with the Jaguars.
Andrew Beck, Texas
Beck was an all-state linebacker at Plant High School in Florida and was a military brat who moved 11 times, including two stints in Germany. Beck missed 2017 with a foot injury and was still elected as a team captain in 2018. Beck is a charismatic leader and outstanding locker room influencer who is a sneaky good athlete. Beck played as a hybrid fullback/blocking tight end at Texas, getting more involved in the passing game as the season progressed, and his receiving prowess was evident during East-West Shrine Game practices.
Beck plays the position with a linebacker’s mentality and compares in body type and play style to Nick Boyle, who just got a nice pay day in Baltimore. Beck’s skill set would allow the Jaguars to consolidate two roster spots into one in lieu of carrying a traditional Tommy Bohanon-type fullback and Beck still has the athleticism to contribute in John DeFilippo’s offense as a pass catcher.
With former Longhorn Geoff Swaim on the roster and a dearth of talent on the depth chart, the Jaguars should be towards the top of Beck’s wish list if he doesn’t get drafted. Beck has taken private visits with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings, and the Vikings in particular may be targeting Beck with one of their two late seventh round picks.
A few additional fringe tight ends prospects to consider include Syracuse’s Ravian Pierce, Oklahoma’s Carson Meier, and Houston’s Romello Brooker.
Fred Johnson, Florida
It seems like everyone and their mother has Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor locked into the seventh pick, but it’s possible the Jaguars may not be done at just one Gator offensive lineman.
At 6’7” 326-pounds, 34” arms, and 10 5/8” hands, Johnson is an absolute mammoth who featured at right guard next to Taylor and already has chemistry playing next to him. Johnson’s size also allows him to take some camp reps at right tackle, as Doug Marrone is known for prioritizing positional versatility along the offensive line among his back up depth.
In addition to Johnson, former five-star recruit Martez Ivey is another versatile lineman with experience along the offensive line and also happens to meet Marrone’s preferred size requirement guidelines, a topic which was discussed in a recent Locked On Jaguars article.
Other fringe offensive lineman to consider include Indiana’s Nick Linder, Boston College’s Aaron Monteiro, Villanova’s Brandon Hitner, North Carolina’s William Sweet, Ohio’s Joe Lowery, and Idaho State’s Brian Fineanganofo, who has an official visit with Jacksonville.
Jaguars met with Idaho State OL Brian Fineanganofo (6-6, 295), per source— Eric Edholm (@Eric_Edholm) April 3, 2019
All-Big Sky, played in NFLPA Bowl
Which offensive UDFAs are you high on? Let us know in the comments below!