The Jaguars’ future won’t exactly be decided today, but it is arguably the most important day in franchise history, one that could dictate what the future holds. Jacksonville is set to pick first in the 2021 NFL Draft later this evening with an opportunity to select a potential franchise quarterback, an opportunity the team has never been afforded.
“If this isn’t a moment to enjoy for me to enjoy and for all the Jags fans, you need more coffee. Or you need something else. This is a great-to-be-alive kind of moment, frankly,” owner Shad Khan said earlier this week.
That moment is set to kick off tonight at 8 p.m. ET tonight when Jacksonville selects the presumptive No. 1 overall pick, former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
With that said, I’ll present you with my final mock draft of the season, one that is based on what I think they could do if the board falls the way it did via The Draft Network’s mock-draft simulator.
Round 1, Pick 1: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
There’s nothing more to say about this pick other than that Lawrence will be donning a suit lined with oranges tonight. No, seriously:
Presumptive No. 1 overall pick and future #Jaguars QB, Trevor Lawrence will be wearing an INDOCHINO suit for tomorrow’s draft:— Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82) April 28, 2021
Here’s a quote from Lawrence and what the suit will look like. It’ll also have lining printed with oranges, a nod to Clemson... and maybe Florida. pic.twitter.com/KakUCstrQL
Round 1, Pick 25: Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr., DL/EDGE, Wake Forest
The Jaguars could go in a variety of directions with this pick. It is certainly the point at which the team’s day will get interesting. With trades not accounted for in this mock draft, Jacksonville stands pat, selecting based on their needs and the value of what they look for in players.
The strength of the team’s defensive line has long been what head coach Urban Meyer has preached since he became the team’s leader in January. That doesn’t change after selecting Carlos Basham, a versatile defender who has shown an ability to be an effective pass rusher during his career at Wake Forest, both inside and outside.
In four years, Basham accumulated 35.5 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks. That includes 10 sacks during his junior season. At 6-foot-3, 274 pounds, he has solid size to play a role in defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s defense.
Jacksonville was a contender in signing former Ravens, now Patriots outside EDGE Matt Judon and Basham can play a similar role in Jacksonville.
Boogie Basham is likely an early day two guy, but he could push into the tail end of the first today. pic.twitter.com/S6ddI2vsOS— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2021
Other players I could see with this selection or via trade-up include offensive tackle Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State), EDGE Jaelen Phillips (Miami), Defensive tackle Christian Barmore (Alabama).
Round 2, Pick 33: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
The Jaguars want to get more explosive in its running backs room to go along with James Robinson and Carlos Hyde, that much has been made clear by Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke.
Ettiene might be one of the most explosive running backs in the draft, and pairs nicely with his former teammate in Lawrence as the team’s offensive backfield, particularly on passing downs.
He ran a 40-yard dash in 4.45 seconds and was given an “elite” speed rating, according to his relative athletic score. At Clemson, Etienne rushed for 4,952 yards, rushing for an average of 7.2 yards per attempt.
He accounted for 70 rushing touchdowns while hauling in 102 receptions for 1,155 yards and eight receiving touchdowns.
One of the first three RB taken is likely Travis Etienne, who was pegged as a first rounder seemingly ten years ago. pic.twitter.com/AfkXuRHvI8— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 29, 2021
Round 2, Pick 45: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
It goes without saying that Freiermuth is destined for Jacksonville. That much was made clear after the team hired his former Penn State tight ends coach, Tyler Bowen in the same role. If Jacksonville passes on Friermuth this late in the second round, that would be incredibly telling.
In three years at Penn State, Freiermuth accounted for 92 receptions for 1,185 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also is a fine blocker in-line and could become the team's most complete tight end, and fill the receiving tight end role that the team is desperate to fill.
Still recovering from a shoulder injury, Freiermuth was unable to participate in his Pro Day this year but has shown to be a plus-athlete on the field.
Round 3, Pick 65: Richie Grant, S, UCF
The Jaguars will continue to upgrade its secondary in some fashion during the draft, and Richie Grant would make a fine addition. After signing Rayshawn Jenkins in free agency, Jacksonville could use more depth at a potential starter down the line.
Grant had a good career while with the Golden Knights, accounting for 189 solo tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss and 10 interceptions. He has the physicality and range to play free safety. While he didn’t shatter records during his Pro Day, he posted solid marks across the board athletically.
Richie Grant is a FS prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 6.36 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 279 out of 764 FS from 1987 to 2021.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) April 1, 2021
Splits projected, times unofficial.https://t.co/rKU81ZD0ng #RAS pic.twitter.com/0E1fg8nTX9
Round 4, Pick 106: Stone Forsythe, OT, Florida
Jacksonville has a need along its offensive line even if it isn’t exactly clear on paper. Left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Andrew Norwell and right guard A.J. Cann are all heading into their presumptive final year with the team.
The team will want to add competition at the position, and Forsythe certainly checks some of those boxes. He has shown some versatility to play both on the left and right side, and was one of the best pass-blockers in the SEC last season, allowing just two sacks last year, according to Pro Football Focus.
Round 4, Pick 130: Anthony Schwartz, WR, Auburn
Every time Meyer has talked during his press conferences this year he has mentioned speed. Schwartz is probably one of the fastest - ran a 4.26 40-yard-dash at his Pro Day - and most explosive offensive players heading into this year’s draft and has shown it plenty while playing for the Tigers over the past three seasons.
In three years with Auburn, Schwartz accounted for 117 receptions for 1,433 yards and six touchdowns. He may not be the most polished receiver in this year’s draft, but he will certainly turn some heads when sprinting down the sidelines at some point during his NFL career.
Just get the ball in his hands and let him zoom.
Anthony Schwartz is FAST— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) June 25, 2020
Would you take him in a race against Tyreek Hill?pic.twitter.com/K9zOeWZuKr
Round 5, Pick 145: Bobby Brown III, DT, Texas A&M
It’s likely that Bobby Brown will be selected much higher than round 5, especially considering the lack of depth at the position this year, but if he is available, the Jaguars shouldn’t think twice about selecting him.
At 6-foot-4, 321 pounds Brown has the size to play inside and offers plenty of athleticism to become a plus pass rusher in Cullen’s system.
Bobby Brown is a DT prospect in the 2021 draft class. He scored a 9.67 RAS out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 43 out of 1292 DT from 1987 to 2021.— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 30, 2021
Splits projected, times unofficial.https://t.co/reCjHRHv3L #RAS pic.twitter.com/oOczgP05MR
In three years with the Aggies, Brown accounted for 57 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, including 5.5 during his junior season in 2020.
Round 5, Pick 170: Malcolm Koonce, EDGE, Buffalo
A fairly unknown prospect, Koonce could be the first player the Jaguars select this year that has Jacksonville fans sprinting to their devices to watch some highlights. At 6-foot-2, 249 pounds to go along with 33 and 3/8 inch arms, Koonce has solid size to play outside linebacker in Cullen’s scheme.
He was named first-team All-MAC in 2019 and 2020 and accounted for five sacks during his final year at Buffalo. He had 13 sacks in just 17 games over the past two seasons.
Koonce has a quick-twitch ability and a knack for getting to the offensive backfield. While he may take some time to develop, Jacksonville needs depth at the position and it wouldn’t be shocking to see them take multiple pass rushers this year.
Really enjoyed watching #Buffalo EDGE Malcolm Koonce on tape. He's got really fast hands with burst to close as a high-side rusher. Has to get stronger but he's got tools to work with and was a FUN study because of his play personality / motor! #thedraftstartsinMobile #UBHornsUP pic.twitter.com/NNKxDLcBNf— Fran Duffy (@EaglesXOs) January 18, 2021
Round 7, Pick 249: Marco Wilson, CB, Florida
It’s unlikely Wilson makes it this far in the draft, but if he does, Jacksonville shouldn’t pass up on him. While inconsistent during his time at Florida, Wilson has shown an ability to become a solid cornerback in the NFL. He started at cornerback during his freshman season with the Gators, becoming one of the few to achieve such a feat in its history.
Over the past two seasons, Wilson didn’t see the rise many were expecting of him, and 2020 showcased a dreadful performance from the Gators’ secondary, Wilson included.
What keeps Wilson from going this late more than likely was his incredible Pro Day, checking all the boxes from an athleticism perspective. The Jaguars will address its secondary in a variety of ways during the draft, and an extra cornerback will be necessary.