The 2020 NFL Combine is in the books, and with April 23 closing in, the only thing in between the combine and the Bengals officially being on the clock are Pro Days. A lot can change in between that time, but as of now, player stocks are rising and falling, and teams can more accurately make their draft board.
The Jaguars are in a pretty odd position. They have a lot of draft capital, but not a lot of cap space. This, combined with the fact that there are needs at LITERALLY every position, makes it obvious that they need to draft well. This was true even before the decision to franchise tag Yannick Ngakoue, who has made it evident that he does not want to be in Jacksonville.
Update to my Offseason Resources Chart as teams have now mad a bunch of moves to clear their cap space.— Lee Sharpe (@LeeSharpeNFL) March 2, 2020
Draft capital is essentially unmoved, the Dolphins are still in a commanding position. pic.twitter.com/CJsMHUQpXK
So with that, let’s begin rebuilding the Jaguars...again (shoutout to The Draft Network for their Mock Draft Generator that I used). There were no trades in this draft, so we won’t get too crazy.
Round 1, Pick 9: Isaiah Simmons, Avenger, Clemson
I’m convinced that Isaiah Simmons was built in a lab designed to dominate on defense. Last season, the 6’4, 238 pound “linebacker” played over 100 snaps at Inside Linebacker, Outside Linebacker, Slot Corner, Free Safety, and Strong Safety-and flourished everywhere he was put. He is only limited by how creative the defensive coordinator is that drafts him. I mean, you take a look at this interception against Ohio State and you tell me whether or not you would want him on that defense.
Round 1, Pick 20: Jeff Gladney, Cornerback, TCU
The Jaguars need to use at least one of their picks this year to try and fill the void at corner, and it would be perfect if they filled the void with the pick they got for Jalen Ramsey. With CJ Henderson off the board, the Jaguars should use this pick to draft the next best CB available. Jeff Gladney is a physical corner that makes up for his lack of height (5’10) by being one of the most aggressive tacklers at the position. He also has quick hips and can match and mirror opposing wideouts with the best of them. My favorite thing about him is his mentality, however. He’s a competitor, and is the perfect replacement for Ramsey with pick 20.
Round 2, Pick 42: Justin Madubuike, Defensive Tackle, Texas A&M
The Jaguars need to address the interior defensive line within the first two rounds. The team was 28th in the NFL in rushing defense. Justin Madubuike isn’t the biggest defensive tackle at 293 pounds, but he wins with explosiveness off the ball. He also showed great upside as an interior pass rusher, something that the Jaguars will need with Marcell Dareus possibly heading out the door.
Round 3, Pick 73: Antione Winfield, Jr, Safety, Minnesota
Antione Winfield Jr. is one of my favorite players in this draft. He’s a ballhawk, having finished last season fourth in the NCAA with 8 interceptions. There were questions about his speed, but then he ran the 40 in 4.45 seconds. Although he stands at 5’9, he’s solidly built, and takes smart angles to the ball. He’s another versatile chess piece that Todd Wash can use, along with Simmons and current Jaguars players Ronnie Harrison and Myles Jack.
Round 4, Pick 106: Bryan Edwards, WR, South Carolina
Eventually, the Jaguars have to upgrade the wide receiver position, as no other receiver than DJ Chark went over 800 yards this season. Bryan Edwards is a 6’3, 215 pound catch-point specialist, who also happens to be a great RAC receiver. He broke his foot late in the season, which prevented him from being in the Senior Bowl or the Combine, but he would give the Jaguars another outside threat who can go up and get contested catches, while also being a strong receiver in screens, and shallow crossing route situations—oh and he can do this:
Competition over! Bryan Edwards of South Carolina just made the catch of the weekend! pic.twitter.com/j5i1ofx2HE— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) October 26, 2019
Round 5, Pick 147: Harrison Bryant, TE, FAU
This is probably the top of Bryant’s draft range, as he didn’t have that great of a combine. However, don’t let his middling numbers dissuade you from the fact that on film, he is another mold of the newer tight end. The John Mackey Award Winner and Consensus All-American has the ability to get separation from linebackers that are too slow, but big enough to box out safeties for the catch. He’s got sure, strong hands, which make him a QB’s dream. He’ll need some development as a blocker, but in Jay Gruden’s offense, Bryant will be a great receiving option.
Justin Herbert finds FAU’s Harrison Bryant, the highest-graded TE in 2019.— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 21, 2020
Round 5, Pick 169: Devin Duvernay, WR, Texas
This pick is all about speed. The Jaguars are likely to release Maqruise Lee, who’s Jaguars tenure has been riddled by injury. Keelan Cole and DeDe Westbrook will remain on the team, although both need to step up their play. Duvernay is a burner who can stretch the field vertically, but can also work well with the ball in his hands on jet sweeps and reverses. Think of him in this offense kind of like how Deebo Samuel was used for the 49ers: get the ball into his hands, and let him work.
Round 6, Pick 186: Shaquille Quarterman, LB, Miami (FL)
This pick is kind of a luxury for the Jaguars with Simmons already in the fold, but he fits a need as well. Since Paul Pozluzny’s retirement, the Jaguars have had a void in the middle of the defense. Myles Jack was slated to pick that up, but he struggled in that position. Quarterman is a smart, physical thumper in the middle of the defense, and his presence in the middle can allow for Jack to move back over to SAM or WILL, and Simmons can roam the field and make plays. Quarterman tallied 356 total tackles in his Hurricanes career, and the Jacksonville native would fit well in the middle of the Jaguars defense.
Round 7, Pick 200: Darius Anderson, RB, TCU
Leonard Fournette had over 1,000 rushing yards this past season, but he got that with an astronomical 83% snap count rate. The Jaguars need to find a back who can come in and offer a change of pace from the between the tackles, power running of Fournette. Darius Anderson is a quick back who excels in the outside zone run scheme, and has enough burst to turn the corner. He can come in and give a different element to the offense than Fournette, and has upside as a third-down player, and special teamer.
In all I think this draft offers a lot of possibilities for the Jaguars, especially considering the fact that some teams may try and trade into the top ten. This draft will be pivotal for Jacksonville, to try and rebuild the defense, and add more explosiveness to the offense.