With the regular season officially over, and Jacksonville Jaguars ownership sticking with general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone after a disappointing 6-10 season, it is finally time to figure out the next steps in fixing the Jaguars roster.
In dealing former Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams during the 2019 season, the Jaguars positioned themselves nicely by acquiring an additional first round pick in the 2020 NFL draft. With two picks in the top 20, Jacksonville can make a lot of noise and address major needs heading into the next year year.
The Jaguars will have selections in all seven rounds this year, bringing their total selections to nine, including a fifth-round selection thanks to a mid-season Dante Fowler Jr. trade to the Los Angeles Rams in 2018, and a sixth-round selection due of an in-draft trade with the Seattle Seahawks in 2019. The Jaguars traded their original 2019 seventh-round selection to Seattle in exchange for their 2020 sixth-round selection.
For the purposes of this mock draft, we used The Draft Network’s predictive mock draft simulator for realistic slotting.
Round one, pick 9: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
With their first, first round pick in 2020, the Jaguars address a major need along their offensive line with the selection of Thomas. Listed at 6-5, 313 pounds, Thomas brings a sort of nasty to Jacksonville’s offensive line replacing left tackle Cam Robinson. Robinson struggled mightily last season after recovering from a 2018 torn ACL.
Robinson has an opportunity to slide in at right guard in a healthy competition with incumbents Will Richardson and A.J. Cann, creating depth along the offensive line the Jaguars desperately need.
Andrew Thomas vs Josh Allen — good grief!pic.twitter.com/4e9Lg77KIS— Thor Nystrom (@thorku) May 27, 2019
Starting all 13 games in which he played for Georgia in 2019, Thomas is one of the best offensive linemen in the draft, and the Jaguars should be elated if he falls to them at ninth overall. According to Pro Football Focus, Thomas allowed only one sack, and nine pressures in 410 pass blocking repetitions during his junior season.
Round one, pick 20: C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
After losing Ramsey, and a down year for cornerback A.J. Bouye filling in as the team’s number one corner, the Jaguars will address the cornerback position early. Henderson, 6-1, 191 pounds, may not be the most physical cornerback, but he makes up for it in his length and speed.
As one of the most athletic defensive backs in the nation, Henderson is expected to run around a 4.35s 40-yard dash at the NFL combine this year, which should shoot him up the boards of any NFL office. Pairing him with either Bouye or Tre Herndon should address the team’s coverage issues a great deal as they struggled mightily against team’s number one receivers.
Hard to find a more natural looking CB in man coverage than CJ Henderson. Has a real chance to be a top 15 prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/URkRfp7yhE— Rob Paul (@RobPaulNFL) June 15, 2019
In three years at Florida, Henderson allowed five total touchdowns, including two in 2019 and zero in 2018 — his sophomore year —, according to Pro Football Focus. While he had a subpar 2019 to his standards, Henderson possess all the traits to be a very good corner in the NFL.
Round two, pick 42: Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
With their second round selection, the Jaguars are getting one of the most athletic defensive tackles in college football. Gallimore, 6-2, 301 pounds, is expected to run a sub-4.8 40-yard dash, which would beat Jets defensive tackle Quinnen Williams (2018) for the fastest 40-yard dash ran by a 300-pound player at the combine.
The Jaguars struggled mighty against the run with the absence of defensive tackle Marcell Dareus who was placed on the team’s reserve/injured list midway through the season.
While Gallimore isn’t as big as Auburn’s Derrick Brown, he has the ability to play in either a 3-4 or a 4-3 defense and posses traits that pop out on film with his innate ability to shed blocks to stop the run along with a fantastic presence against the pass. In his career, Gallimore accumulated 147 total tackles (67 solo), 17 tackles-for-loss, and 8.5 sacks (four during his senior season).
Look for Gallimore to be a fast riser, especially after the Senior Bowl and NFL combine. Gallimore was one of eight Power-five defensive linemen with an 80-plus grade in both run-defense and pass-rush, according to Pro Football Focus.
Round three, pick 73: Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
The Jaguars have picked a great year to need a receiver as this is perhaps the deepest class in a long time. With Pittman, the Jaguars will get a big receiver (6-4, 220 pounds) who can go-up-and-get-it better than any receiver the team has on the roster currently besides DJ Chark Jr. With an ability to also make contested catches over the middle, the Jaguars can give a safety valve to either Nick Foles or Gardner Minshew II in 2020.
He put on a show vs. Utah ⬇️pic.twitter.com/FLWlRhIPA9— PFF College (@PFF_College) December 20, 2019
Pittman hauled in 101 passes for 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2019, and had only five drops over his four-year career at USC.
Round four, pick 116: Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue
In a weak linebacker class, Bailey would likely get drafted a lot earlier if not for a torn ACL in September of 2019. The fifth-year senior played all over Purdue’s defense in years prior, and will make a solid addition to the Jaguars’ depleted linebacker corp. Bailey, 6-1, 240 pounds, has incredible instincts and an ability to shed blocks, which will ultimately help Jacksonville in the run game.
Bailey finished his career at Purdue with 324 total tackles (228 solo), 28 tackles-for-loss, 14.5 sacks, and six interceptions in 42 games played.
The Jaguars will likely address their linebacker unit earlier in the draft or in free agency if the opportunity presents itself.
Round five, pick 166: Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
One of the best receiving tight ends in the draft will likely fall in the draft due to the school he attended, however Bryant possess all the traits the Jaguars need in a move tight end who can snag anything that comes his way.
The 2019 John Mackey recipient will haunt executives dreams if they allow him to fall this far. With 148 receptions for 2,137 yards and 16 touchdowns in his career, Bryant, listed at 6-5, 240 pounds, was an absolute monster in the Owls’ offense under now-Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin. Bryant accounted for 65 receptions for 1004 yards, and seven touchdowns in his senior season alone.
After struggling to get anything out of the tight end unit in 2019, the Jaguars circle back to select another move tight end with more presence over the middle of the field than former third-round selection Josh Oliver may provide.
Round six, pick 189: Damar Hamlin, S, PITT
The Jaguars will need to address their safety position in free agency or earlier in the draft if they want a replacement for incumbent safety Jarrod Wilson. While Wilson was not an overall detriment to the team’s secondary last season, he left a little bit to be desired in the play-making department.
In four years — 36 games played —, Hamlin, 6-1, 195 pounds, accounted for 209 total tackles (147 solo), 6.5 tackles-for-loss, and four interceptions for the Pirates.
Getting Hamlin will help address the depth issues the Jaguars have and can serve as an upgrade over safeties Andrew Wingard and Cody Davis.
Damar Hamlin (S) is a name to watch this year. He brings juice, aggression, fluidity, and range to the backend of the defense and has considerable alignment flexibility. Should have a big year, and his best football is still ahead of him. pic.twitter.com/uWVvW7Mqha— Nathan Papandrea (@NathanPapandrea) June 14, 2019
Round six, pick 207: Van Jefferson, WR, Florida
As a preface: Jefferson, 6-2, 197 pounds, will likely be selected much earlier after scouts get an up-close-and-personal look at his quick-twitch and route running ability at the Senior Bowl. Jefferson finished with only 49 receptions for 657 yards and six touchdowns in 2019, however the lack of production may have stemmed from a deep receiver room in Gainesville.
However, if he were to fall this low, the Jaguars should sprint to the podium to select him. Jefferson would bring a fantastic edge to the team’s receiving group giving them another option out of the slot or outside.
I’m excited to watch Van Jefferson at the Senior Bowl this year.— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) January 5, 2020
When you wanna talk about pure technicians at WR in this draft, Jefferson really is just that. Smooth route runner that can create separation despite average athletic ability.
Round seven, pick 224: James Pierre, CB, Florida Atlantic
With their final selection, the Jaguars could be getting a steal in Pierre. After a fantastic junior season at Florida Atlantic, the 6-2, 185 lb. cornerback surprisingly declared for the draft. Finishing his career with 119 tackles, 8.5 tackles-for-loss and three interceptions — all three interceptions in 2019 —, Pierre could become the steal of the draft with further development.
The Jaguars could use more depth at the cornerback position even after selecting Henderson and the playmaker from South Florida will be a fantastic addition, possessing the speed and athleticism to compete at the highest level.