The Jacksonville Jaguars came away with 12 new players in the 2020 NFL Draft — their largest draft class ever. They addressed a variety of needs, mostly on the defensive side of the ball, and injected this team with athleticism and upside at key positions.
Let’s take a look at the 2020 draft class:
Round 1, Pick 9: CB C.J. Henderson
Entering the draft after three years at Florida, Henderson was widely thought of as one of the most athletic defensive backs in the draft, showcasing elite-level speed at the 2020 NFL Combine by running a 4.39 40-yard dash. Henderson is widely thought of as the second-best cornerback in this year’s class behind former Ohio State cornerback Jeffery Okudah.
With the Gators, Henderson tallied 93 tackles, six interceptions, and 20 defensed passes over the past three years, earning first team All-SEC (coaches) in 2019, and second team All-SEC for coaches along with the Associated Press over his sophomore and freshman years, respectively.
Henderson is thought to be one of the true shut-down cornerbacks in this year’s class, going toe-to-toe with prospective No. 1 wide receiver in the 2021 class in LSU receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Henderson allowed just two receptions for 20 yards and a touchdown during such matchup last season.
Round 1, Pick 20: LB K’Lavon Chaisson
If a team wants to use him strictly as an edge rusher, I think he could handle it full time. Chaisson is strong, powerful, and was able to hold his ground better than I anticipated a player his size being able to. He certainly doesn’t look in any way undersized when he takes on offensive linemen, and his ability to set the edge was one thing that stood out to me while watching his tape.
Chaisson didn’t just run around blocks all the time. He would get full extension with his arms and constrict the B gap inside to force the runner to try to bounce it outside, where he would be sitting there just waiting to take them down.
Round 2, Pick 42: WR Laviska Shenault
When the ball is in his hands, Shenault is a big play waiting to happen. He has the speed and the shiftiness to take a short route to the house every time. His 40 time scared a lot of people, but he was battling an injury throughout the season. His play speed is a lot faster than his combine speed, and Shenault can take the top off of any defense with his speed and playmaking.
Playmaking is something this wide receiver group needs in Jacksonville. Outside of Chark Jr., no wideout really established themselves as the number two receiver in the offense. However, with new offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and his West Coast offense, there needs to be a guy who can take short routes the distance and take the top off of a defense. Shenault can do that in bunches.
Round 3, Pick 73: NT DaVon Hamilton
The 320-pound nose tackle didn’t start with the Buckeyes until his senior season, however, he made a lasting impression on the NFL scouting world, along with the Jaguars. During his senior season, Hamilton accumulated 28 tackles (18 solos), 9.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks along the pass-rush potent Ohio State defensive line.
Getting someone who can control the line of scrimmage and keep the linebackers clean is pivotal in a team’s ability to stop the run, something the Jaguars struggle mightily with last season.
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell spoke highly of Hamilton on Friday, stating that the 6-foot-4 nose tackle is like a “young” version of free agent signee Al Woods, who was a priority target for the team after losing Marcell Dareus due to injury and subsequently voiding his contract by opting not to pick up his option earlier in the year.
Round 4, Pick 116: OL Ben Bartch
At 6’ 6” and 309 pounds, Bartch is a mauling offensive tackle who was projected to be selected in the third round prior to today. While playing at St. John’s (Minnesota), he was the MIAC Offensive Lineman of the Year his final year in college, and started all 14 games at left tackle.
Bartch is projected to be a guard at the next level, but has the agility and mean streak to be a quality starting tackle for the Jaguars. What he lacks in prototypical arm length he makes up for in flexible knees and ankles that allow him to bend more than most offensive linemen. He also brings a quick pass set to the Jaguars, an aspect that will aid quarterback Gardner Minshew II.
He should immediately get looks at tackle and guard, and if he develops quickly, challenge AJ Cann for starting right guard, and even be a tackle for the Jaguars.
Round 4, Pick 137: CB Josiah Scott
We featured Scott in our list of cornerbacks who could go to the Jaguars on Day 3 and guess what... here he is!
A prospect I’ve gotten to watch closely during his three-year career at Michigan State. The only real knock on Josiah Scott is his small stature at 5-foot-9, 185 pounds. While it’s possible that may force him into the slot in the NFL, his size didn’t deter him from thriving as an outside cornerback for the Spartans. Scott started immediately as a freshman, and finished his college career with 98 tackles, seven interceptions and 32 passes defended, according to MSU’s official stats. He showed off his speed at the Combine with a 4.42 forty-yard dash time (ranked top-five for all cornerbacks), and is lauded for his coverage traits and ball skills.
Round 4, Pick 140: LB Shaquille Quarterman
The Draft Network seems to really like Quarterman as a prospect, comparing him to linebackers of old who can blitz well and stop the run:
Physicality, urgency and intensity all shine on tape. Throwback linebacker that thrives as a downhill thumper and excels as a blitzer attacking interior gaps. Excels playing into the line of scrimmage and defending the run. Explodes into contact and is a dynamic blitzer. Explosive hitter and is a tone-setting presence. Pursuit effort is outstanding. Knows how to take on blocks with his hands, leverage his hips and disengage. Highly productive four-year starter.
Sharp. He is quick to snap his feet and get aligned to work into pursuit. Has seen it all as a 4-year starter and well polished and disciplined in his keys to gain ground towards the football — as evidenced by his TFL production. He’s done well to limit movement and length restrictions, too.
Don’t let him catch you flush or he will KNOCK. YOU. OUT. Tremendous hitting power and has put some really good ball carriers flat on their backs. Takes strong angles, although his tackle radius can be somewhat tempered by his lack of reach and he needs frame clean to finish with authority.
Heavy hitter. Smart. Can play the run well. Let’s go.
Round 5, Pick 157: S Daniel Thomas
Thomas racked up 74 tackles, with 5.5 for loss as the starting strong safety for the Tigers. The 5’10, 215 pound safety opened some eyes at the combine running a 4.51 40 yard dash at the combine.
Thomas profiles right now as an in the box strong safety. He’s got a very muscular build, and has a quick trigger to come downhill to stop the run. He brings toughness to the defensive backfield, and can bring terrific blitzing ability. He’s going to have to work on his change of direction as a deep safety, and his ball skills will need improvement.
He can slide in behind Ronnie Harrison and develop as a special teamer, or play as an extra DB in sub-packages.
Round 5, Pick 165: WR Collin Johnson
Johnson is a big target, to say the least. The 6’6, 222-pound receiver played on the outside at Texas, but has shown the ability to play in the slot. He has great strength and ball skills to go up and catch contested passes. He’s shown the ability to go over the middle and be a QB’s best friend in the middle of a zone, where he can use his frame and soft hands to make the catch. He also uses his size and frame to be a great run blocker on the outside. He doesn’t have the most top speed, but he makes up for that with his size.
The Jaguars will more than likely use him in the red zone, where they were one of the worst teams in the NFL. He can also play opposite Shenault and Chark, and make the contested catches over the middle. The Jaguars keep retooling their roster, and Johnson is the latest addition.
Round 6, Pick 189: QB Jake Luton
Luton played at Oregon State, but began his college career at Idaho, then went to Ventura Community College. He finished his career at Oregon State, where he threw for 2,174 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 3 interceptions.
He’s a tall quarterback with okay accuracy and enough arm strength to operate in the intermediate levels of the field. He has experience working in a pro-style offense, and rarely puts the ball in harms way. He’s not afraid to take shots, however, as he has a 50 percent completion rate on deep passes. He also has a 136.2 passer rating on throws of 20+ yards.
He should come to Jacksonville and challenge Josh Dobbs as the backup quarterback behind Minshew II.
Round 6, Pick 206: TE Tyler Davis
Davis, a transfer from UConn, is a big target who can move down the field. He ran a 4.71 40 at his pro day, and he can use that speed to separate from defenders in the intermediate levels. He didn’t have a lot of production at Georgia Tech, but in his last season at UConn, he caught 6 touchdown passes.
He profiles as a developmental tight end who could work into the rotation in the case on injury. The Jaguars signed Tyler Eifert in free agency and also still have Josh Oliver and James O’Shaughnessy on the roster. So Davis can come in and develop behind the current tight ends, and play if needed.
Round 7, Pick 223: CB Chris Claybrooks
Claybrooks, despite only being 5’9 and 177 pounds, has game-changing speed. He can use that 4.36 40 yard dash time to cover ground and make plays. That speed also makes him a contributor on special teams and in the kick and punt return game.
For the Jaguars, this was the fourth defensive back selected this year, and Claybrooks will probably begin his Jaguars career as a returner and special teams contributor, and play in the slot cornerback position behind DJ Hayden.
What is your grade for the Jacksonville Jaguars’ NFL Draft class of 2020?
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