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2020 NFL mock draft: Bleacher Report thinks Jacksonville Jaguars go heavy on defense in first three rounds

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Louisiana State Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have a lot of needs on both sides of the ball going into the 2020 NFL Draft.

With 10 picks in next year’s draft, Jacksonville can restock their roster and get some playmakers on both sides of the ball... and if Gardner Minshew can become the answer at quarterback, this is a team that can compete.

Matt Miller just posted his latest 2020 mock draft and he went through all seven rounds. Did he go quarterback with any of the Day 1 or Day 2 picks? What about a top-tier run defender? Let’s see.

Round 1, Pick 9: Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons

I would have been critical of a pick like Simmons a month ago. And then the CFB National Championship happened.

Simmons is a guy who can neutralize superstar threats at positions the Jaguars have struggled for years — tight ends, running backs, and mobile quarterbacks. The team can no longer say “we’re gonna rush the passer and cover the wide receivers on the outside” because modern offenses have more weapons at their disposal than they did 10-15 years ago. How do you stop guys like George Kittle or Christian McCaffrey?

Isaiah Simmons.

Telvin Smith made the decision to walk away from the NFL before the 2019 season, leaving a hole in the front seven of the Jaguars defense. Now, with a top-10 selection, general manager Dave Caldwell can land a more versatile, more athletic version of the former outside linebacker.

Isaiah Simmons had a dominant year for Clemson showing his versatility as a safety, linebacker, cornerback and all-around eraser for the Tigers defense. Where he’ll play in the NFL is only limited by the imagination of his defensive coordinator.

The Jaguars do have needs at cornerback and offensive tackle that could be considered here, but Simmons is a top-five player in this draft and an easy pick.

Whatever it takes, Jacksonville.

Round 1, Pick 20: South Carolina DL Javon Kinlaw

I highly doubt he’s still available this far into the first round, but good players drop in the first round every year. And if Kinlaw is still available, he’s as easy a pick as you’ll make. In fact, I wouldn’t be opposed to grabbing him with the first first round pick.

Best player available is the move for the Jaguars after selecting linebacker Isaiah Simmons earlier in Round 1. Pairing the fantastic power of Javon Kinlaw with the speed of Simmons gives the Jaguars a special young foundation with Josh Allen and Myles Jack —and Yannick Ngakoue if he returns.

Kinlaw is a top-15 player in this class, but the run on quarterbacks and offensive tackles pushes him down the board. The Jaguars have a need at tackle and cornerback but can afford to pass on those needs to grab a potentially elite defender in the middle of the line.

We’re onto Round 2 and we’ve improved the defense tremendously.

Round 2, Pick 42: Penn State WR KJ Hamler

Hamler has the disadvantage of coming into a class loaded at wide receiver, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be productive. He’s a much-needed weapon for this offense who needs someone to play opposite DJ Chark on the outside. His ability to make plays after the catch will be a welcome change to this receivers group too.

He’s not a big target at just 5’9” and 177 pounds, so the team will need to get bigger red zone targets and safety valves for Minshew later in the draft or in free agency the month before — which I think they do.

Round 3, Pick 73: Virginia CB Bryce Hall

Hall is an incredibly physical cornerback who will use that strength not just in press coverage, but the run game as well. He’s not afraid to make a hit. He led the nation in pass breakups with 21 in 2018, but an ankle injury derailed his 2019 campaign. He’ll do well in zone coverage but his man-to-man technical skills need some work. Regardless, he’d be an upgrade to this cornerbacks group. I’m down to see him on this team.

For Day 3 picks, click here to read the rest of Miller’s mock draft.


What do you think? Would you be happy with this haul in the first three rounds of the 2020 NFL Draft for Jacksonville? Let us know in the comments below!