With the 2021 NFL Draft just three weeks away, the Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock. There isn’t any mystery on who the Jaguars plan to select at No. 1 overall, as head coach Urban Meyer essentially confirmed that Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is the “direction” the team is headed.
However, there are still many needs to fill on the roster, and with Jacksonville having two first-round selections, there are a wide variety of scenarios that could play out with the No. 25 overall pick.
So, our question for all of you today, is who should the Jaguars select with the 25th pick? Of course, it depends on who is still on the board at the point and NFL Drafts are highly unpredictable, but there are a few likely candidates and mock draft favorites in that spot. Assuming Jacksonville doesn’t trade out of the 25th slot, let’s run through some of likely options the Jaguars could go after toward the end of the first round:
Trevon Moehrig, safety, Texas Christian University (TCU)
The most commonly-mocked player to the Jaguars at No. 25, Moehrig could make an instant impact as a rookie. If the Jaguars did select him, he would provide competition to Jarrod Wilson at the starting free safety spot, and would be paired next to newly-signed free agent Rayshawn Jenkins. Even if Moehrig doesn’t start immediately, he could find early playing time on special teams and in certain defensive packages.
The 6-foot-1, 202-pound safety recorded 47 total tackles, two tackles for loss, two interceptions and 11 passes defended in 10 games during the 2020 season, on his way to Associated Press second-team All-American honors, and first-team All-Big 12 recognition, as well as winning the Jim Thorpe Award (awarded to the best defensive back in college football). ESPN named Moehrig as first-team All-American, and he was also a leader for the Horned Frogs as a team captain in every game in 2020.
Due to his strong college production, coveted size, willingness as a tackler, football IQ and overall skillset, Moehrig’s stock has ascended. There is certainly a possibility he could get selected before the Jaguars get back on the clock toward the end of the first round, but if he is available, the Jaguars should seriously consider Moehrig.
Christian Barmore, defensive tackle, Alabama
Barmore is another player who has been often paired with the Jaguars in mock drafts — either at pick No. 25 or pick No. 33 at the top of the second round. The Jaguars addressed the defensive line somewhat in free agency, with sensible, albeit non-“splashy” signings, with the likes of Roy Robertson-Harris and Jihad Ward, while trading with the New Orleans Saints for Malcom Brown. Jacksonville also opted to re-sign defensive end Dawuane Smooth. The defensive tackle position may not be as dire of a need now with Robertson-Harris and Brown, along with last year’s promising rookies DaVon Hamilton and Doug Costin looking to take another step in their second year on the team, but Barmore would still be a strong addition.
Jacksonville was also expected to sign Tyson Alualu after agreeing to terms with him, but he instead changed his mind and decided to re-sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers. That leaves a spot open for Barmore, and that kind of talent could be hard to pass up for the Jaguars. In 2020, Barmore recorded 37 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three passes defended and three forced fumbles. He was named first-team All-American by CBS Sports, second-team All-American by Pro Football Focus and USA Today, and third-team All-American by the Associated Press. He also received first-team All-SEC honors, on his way to helping Alabama win another national championship.
Barmore, listed at 6-foot-4, 310 pounds, amassed 63 total tackles, including 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks in 24 career games. Despite his large size, scouts love his explosive and quickness off the ball, as well as his violent hands. While he still has some things to work on — as every prospect does — Barmore could work his way immediately into the defensive line rotation.
Teven Jenkins, offensive tackle, Oklahoma State
By the time the Jaguars pick at No. 25, a lot of the top talent at the offensive tackle position is expected to be off of the board — Oregon’s Penei Sewell, Virginia Tech’s Christian Darrisaw and Northwestern’s Rashawn Slater will likely be selected already. Jenkins, with his stock now soaring, could also already be gone as well, but if he is there, he provides a great frame at 6-foot-5, 320 pounds. Jenkins provides good upper-body strength and athleticism, while always looking to finish his block through the whistle. However, his short arms — something that the last regime in Jacksonville really valued — could cause the Jaguars to pass on him. With that said, the team has reportedly met (virtually) with Jenkins during the pre-draft process.
Based off of Urban Meyer’s recent comments praising the offensive linemen already in the building, and the fact that the team decided to franchise tag left tackle Cam Robinson, I personally don’t think the Jaguars opt to go with an offensive lineman in the first round. The interior offensive line play was solid in 2020, and while Robinson and right tackle Jawaan Taylor had their struggles last season, the franchise tag is a vote of confidence for Robinson, and Taylor is still young enough and talented enough to improve. However, there are plenty of fans and analysts who do think offensive line is in play at pick No. 25, and I understand that line of thinking. If Meyer and company feel the need to upgrade the offensive line, and Jenkins is available, he certainly looks the part of an NFL-ready offensive lineman.
Jenkins was named first-team All-Big-12 in 2020, despite only playing seven games after opting out of the season in November. He also earned honorable mention All-Big-12 accolades in both 2018 and 2019. Jenkins also has experience playing guard, and could kick inside if need be for the Jaguars.
Gregory Rousseau, defensive end/edge Miami (FL.)
Rousseau opted out of the 2020 season, and he is considered to be somewhat raw in his technique, but has all of the physical tools that scouts love. He has great size and length, standing at 6-feet-7-inches tall and weighing in at 266 pounds. Rousseau’s athleticism is off of the charts, and he was often able to win his pass-rushing battles and get to the quarterback relying on that ability alone — with proper coaching of his technique and fundamentals, he could become an absolute nightmare for opposing offenses at the NFL level. The Jaguars certainly need pass-rushing help, but I don’t necessarily predict the Jaguars to go with an edge rusher at No. 25. I lean toward a defensive back or interior defensive lineman at that spot, but it’s certainly in play and I do expect that pick to be on the defensive side of the ball, and Rousseau’s potential could be quite enticing.
Rousseau is inexperienced, though, only playing in 15 career games. With that said, his production in 13 games in 2019 is hard to believe — Rousseau’s 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss both led the Atlantic Coast Conference. That season, he was named first-team All-ACC, ACC Defensive Rookie of the Year, second-team All-American by the Football Writers Association of America, and was recognized as a member of various outlets’ Freshman All-American teams.
For more on Rousseau, check out JP Acosta’s in-depth film room breakdown, comparing Rousseau against his Miami teammate, Jaelan Phillips.
Greg Newsome II, cornerback, Northwestern
Perhaps a name you haven’t heard as often as the others on the list, Newsome is an under-the-radar first-round prospect. He is, however, very much on the Jaguars’ radar, as Newsome has reportedly already virtually met with Jacksonville. Of course, the Jaguars signed Shaquill Griffin to a big contract in free agency, spent a first-round pick on CJ Henderson in 2020 and re-signed both Tre Herndon and Sidney Jones this offseason. An NFL team can never have too many good cornerbacks, though, and Newsome would be a valuable addition in the secondary.
Newsome earned first-team All-Big Ten honors in 2020, while recording 10 passes defended and an interception. He was targeted 34 times this past season, allowing just 12 receptions for 93 yards and zero touchdowns. Pro Football Focus grades Newsome’s pass coverage ability very highly, with a mark of 83.8.
At 6-foot-even, 191 pounds, Newsome has good size, strength and length. He has shown the ability to play both zone concepts and press man-to-man coverage. He also ran a 4.38-second 40-yard dash at his pro day, and Meyer certainly loves to add speed to the roster. Newsome could be just what the Jaguars are looking for in the defensive backfield.
Other options at No. 25 may include Rondale Moore (wide receiver, Purdue), Caleb Farley (cornerback, Virginia Tech), Pat Freiermuth (tight end, Penn State — but likely a second-round target), Carlos Basham Jr. (defensive end/edge, Wake Forest), Jayson Oweh (defensive end/edge, Penn State), Liam Eichenberg (offensive tackle, Notre Dame), Alex Leatherwood (offensive tackle, Alabama), Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (linebacker, Notre Dame) and Zaven Collins (linebacker, Tulsa), amongst others.
There are a lot of options out there, as plenty of talent will remain on the board with the 25th overall selection. Who do you want the Jaguars to take with the No. 25 pick? Please vote in the poll, and let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
Who would you like to see the Jaguars take at pick No. 25 overall?
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Trevon Moehrig, S, TCU
Christian Barmore, DT, Alabama
Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State
Gregory Rousseau, DE/Edge, Miami (FL.)
Greg Newsome II, CB, Northwestern