The Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t even played their season opener and the 2020 mock drafts are already plentiful, folks.
Now, do not take this the wrong way — we’re not starting our mock draft roundups early this year because we think the season is doomed. It’s the opposite, actually. The analysts are weighing in and they have the Jaguars picking as low as No. 20 overall, just as Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has done today. That’s the very edge of a playoff spot and it’s encouraging.
And who are the Jaguars picking at the bottom of the first round? Another defensive stud.
The Pick: LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a rare team without many identifiable needs on paper. This is a young roster with many emerging or developing players at key positions who are expected to be the nucleus moving forward. Barring trades, injuries or surprising regression, this is a team built to make noise.
When it isn’t easy to spot a need during a preseason mock draft, a team is always pushed to go with the best player available. For Jacksonville, that’s one of the nation’s most athletic linebackers in former safety Isaiah Simmons.
Watch Clemson play and you’ll be blown away by the speed, aggression and playmaking of Simmons. If he were paired with Josh Allen, Myles Jack, Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue, the Jaguars could have a truly dominant defense for years to come.
When you watch Simmons play, it seems like the guy was built in a new era linebacker factory. He can stand up to the run but he’s fast, athletic, and smart in pass coverage. He, like Josh Allen, would be another wild card on the defense that can play several positions and several schemes seamlessly.
In the Jaguars’ traditional 4-3, he’d play outside linebacker. He’s a converted safety who now plays the SAM linebacker spot in Clemson’s defense, leading the team in tackles last year with 97.
At this time last year, we were discussing the prospects of a Justin Herbert or some freak athletic wide receiver. Now we’re discussing the final piece of the most athletic linebacker trio in the league. Imagine the things a defensive coordinator could do with Myles Jack, Quincy Williams, and Isaiah Simmons.