The first round of the 2020 NFL Draft came and went in a blur, in a new, virtual format amidst the COVID-19 crisis. The Jacksonville Jaguars, of course, selected Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson (ninth overall) and LSU edge rusher/outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson (20th overall).
Entering Friday, the Jaguars have two selections on the second day of the Draft: No. 42 overall (second round) and No. 73 (third round). Of course, the Jaguars could make some trades to move up or down the board as well.
There is still plenty of talent available for the Jaguars to choose from. The following players are not all necessarily Jacksonville fits or targets, but are considered the best prospects available on Day Two (in no particular order).
Tee Higgins, wide receiver, Clemson
A dynamic wide receiver to pair with D.J. Chark remains a need for the Jaguars, and Higgins — who many projected to be a first round pick — should be the first receiver off of the board in the second round. Question marks about a right ankle injury Higgins suffered has brought up medical red flags from NFL teams. However, it didn’t slow Higgins down much in 2019 (59 catches for 1,167 yards and 13 touchdowns in 13 games). If Jacksonville wants him, it may need to trade up.
A.J. Epenesa, defensive end, Iowa
Widely regarded as a first-round pick leading up to the Draft, Epenesa’s stock has been on a downward spiral since his poor combine performance. Still, the 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end was a productive college player who could end up being a steal in the second round. Our own Alfie Crow projected the Jaguars to select him with the No. 20 overall pick in the SB Nation mock draft. With Chaisson now heading to Jacksonville, however, Epenesa likely won’t be wearing a Jaguars uniform, but you never know.
D’Andre Swift, running back, Georgia
Swift was expected by many analysts to be the first running back off of the board, but the Kansas City Chiefs decided to go with LSU’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the last pick in the first round. The Jaguars have been trying to shop incumbent starting running back Leonard Fournette, but haven’t found any takers yet. Swift, along with Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor could be potential second-round options to replace Fournette. Swift ran for 2,885 yards on 440 attempts (6.6 yards per carry) and 20 touchdowns in three years at Georgia.
Xavier McKinney, safety, Alabama
McKinney was widely regarded as the best safety prospect in the class, and a first-round talent. Without a single safety going in the first round (unless you count Isaiah Simmons), McKinney will likely hear his name called early in the second round. For the Jaguars specifically, safety isn’t a huge need, but could be upgraded, and again, this post is looking at best players available regardless of fit or need. McKinney also has good man-coverage skills and could play cornerback in nickel or dime sets if needed.
Josh Jones, offensive tackle, Houston
Many people thought the Jaguars could look to bolster the offensive tackle position in the first round. In a deep class, I wasn’t buying that, but the Jaguars could look to take a tackle on Day Two. Jones is arguably the best offensive lineman available and could immediately compete with Cam Robinson for the starting left tackle spot, allowing Robinson to move inside to guard if he wins the job.
Trevon Diggs, cornerback, Alabama
Diggs is another player who was originally thought to be a fringe first-round pick, but his stock continued to fall leading up to the Draft. He was also a player I had pegged to Jacksonville as a potential early second-round pick, but the selection of C.J. Henderson likely means the Jags will be looking for another position at pick No. 42. Still, you can never have too many good, young cornerbacks. Diggs has the size and length the Jaguars often covet from the cornerback position..
Defensive tackle remains the biggest need for the Jaguars. Gallimore is a 6-foot-2, 304-pound behemoth who often causes disruption in the backfield. The Jaguars have to bolster the run defense and Gallimore can help do that. He is a high-motor player that the Jaguars can add to the rotation of Abry Jones, Taven Bryan and Al Woods (and possibly Rodney Gunter), and eventually develop into the team’s long-term solution in the interior defensive line.
J.K. Dobbins, running back, Ohio State
Much like Swift, Dobbins is of interest to the Jaguars given the Fournette situation. Even if Fournette remains on the team, Dobbins would be a good counterpart as a potential third-down back who caught 71 passes for 641 yards and five touchdowns in three years at Ohio State. Dobbins also rushed for 4,425 yards on 725 carries (6.2 yards per carry) and 38 touchdowns. He is a durable running back who never missed a game in college.
Yetur Gross-Motos, defensive end, Penn State
Again, given the Chaisson selection, Gross-Matos probably doesn’t make sense for the Jaguars now, but if the strategy is best player available, then it’s surely possible, especially if Jacksonville does move on from disgruntled defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (or he decides to sit out). He provides great size and athleticism at 6-foot-5, 266 pounds and makes sense as a 4-3 defensive end. He’s considered by analysts to be a bit raw, but extremely talented.
Denzel Mims, wide receiver, Baylor
Again, the Jaguars need receiver help, especially after releasing Marqise Lee and with several expiring contracts next season. Mims is another player pundits though could sneak into the backend of the first round, but he remains an early option in the second round. Mims impressed at the Combine with blazing 4.38-second speed in the 40-yard dash, and also provides great size at 6-foot-3, 216 pounds. In four years at Baylor, Mims recorded 186 receptions for 2,925 yards (15.7 yards per catch) and 28 touchdowns.
Other names to watch:
- Jonathan Taylor, running back, Wisconsin
- Zach Baun, edge/linebacker, Wisconsin
- Jaylon Johnson, cornerback, Utah
- Grant Delpit, safety, LSU
- Antoine Winfield, Jr., safety, Minnesota
- Josh Uche, defensive end, Michigan
- Ross Blacklock, defensive tackle, TCU
- Justin Madubuike, defensive tackle, Texas A&M
- Laviska Shenault Jr., WR, Colorado
- Kristian Fulton, cornerback, LSU
- Ezra Cleveland, offensive tackle, Boise State
- Michael Pittman Jr., wide receiver, USC
- Cam Akers, running back, Florida State
Who do you think are the best available players tonight? Which players would you like to the see the Jaguars select? Let us know in the comments section.