The Jacksonville Jaguars need help along the interior of their defensive line. They’re set to (potentially) lose two starters within the next calendar year with Calais Campbell not getting any older and Yannick Ngakoue not getting the contract he deserves.
I’ve seen the following question posed in quite a few Q&A columns:
“If Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw are available at No. 9 and No. 20 overall, respectively, would it be a good idea for Jacksonville to draft both of them?”
Let’s embrace some debate!
Why it would be a good idea
Brown is an absolutely elite talent at defensive tackle. He’s a top-10 talent that could sneak into the top-5 given that the bottom drops out shortly after he’ll be taken. Our friends at The Draft Network were effusive in praise over Brown... as they should be!
Derrick Brown is one of the most complete interior defensive line prospects to pass through the draft process in recent memory. Odd fronts, even fronts, as a two-gap defender or a penetration player — Brown is a dynamic force who wins in any way you could possibly need him to. His explosive power wins first contact or gaps with consistency and his upper body power, motor and instincts are all plus qualities. Plug and play starter with All-Pro potential at the NFL level.
But the question isn’t just about Brown at No. 9 overall — a pick that I don’t think many in Jacksonville would have a problem with. It’s whether picking him and Kinlaw is a good idea.
Well, why wouldn’t it be?
The last time the Jaguars were competitive for more than a season, their defense was led by as stout a pair of defensive tackles as there was in the NFL. Marcus Stroud and John Henderson, together, were dominant and a lot of fun to watch. Their ability to simultaneously stop the run while providing pressure up the middle allowed a subpar pair of edge rushers to produce and frustrated quarterbacks into panicky throws that linebackers and cornerbacks turned into interceptions.
Besides, after Brown and Kinlaw, who is worthy of a top selection? Neville Gallimore? Raekwon Davis? Those would be fine pickups, but to truly transform a unit and a defense, adding one of Brown or Kinlaw are the only options. Adding both? Whew.
Why it would be a bad idea
Drafting Brown or Kinlaw at No. 9 overall is the best course of action for Jacksonville in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Drafting both? Eh...
Looking at Jacksonville’s depth chart, I don’t see a single position on defense they don’t need to upgrade with one of their two first round picks. They don’t have three starting-caliber linebackers. Their secondary might have as many as three new starters compared to this time last year. Their edge rushers are in flux. Their defensive tackles are hinging on Marcell Dareus taking a team-friendly deal after being cut.
Put simply, there are just too many positions lacking quality starters (much less quality depth) to consider doubling down on defensive tackle.
My idea is to double down on Brown — and if that means using your second round pick to move up a few spots and get him, then so be it. And then you draft the best cornerback available at No. 20 overall. That helps you feel better about rebuilding your defense without relying on A.J. Bouye and his inflated cap figure either.
What do you think? Would you draft Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw with both first round picks by the Jaguars in April? Or would you get one of those two and then use your other first round pick on cornerback? Let us know in the comments below!