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NFL Draft: Using RAS to scout Jaguars targets

What do new Jaguars HC Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke look for in draft prospects?

NFL: Scouting Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Draft is just about a month away, and once again the Jaguars have the first overall pick and the most draft picks in the entire league. Head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke are tasked with revamping a roster that is once again devoid of talent.

We can predict what traits and qualities the two will look for athletically, however using RAS. Relative Athletic Scores (RAS), created by Kent Lee Platte, uses prospects athletic testing and combines it into a lump sum that is compared and contrasted to other prospects at their positions.

The Jaguars have a lot of needs but for this exercise, we’ll be focusing on four key positions: Edge Rusher, Wide Receiver, Offensive Tackle and Linebacker.

Positions will have their average RAS listed, then below that all of the prospects that fit that quota for both Pederson and Baalke. With Doug Pederson, I am taking into account all of the problems draft-wise that the Eagles had within their front office, so it might not have all been Pederson’s picks.

Doug Pederson

Wide Receiver AVG RAS: 6.32

2022 Draft Prospects that fit this number:

  • Christian Watson, North Dakota State: 10
  • Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa: 9.99
  • Kevin Austin, Notre Dame: 9.93
  • Alec Pierce, Cincinnati: 9.8
  • Brenden Schooler, Texas: 9.77
  • Tyquan Thornton, Baylor: 9.77
  • Calvin Austin III, Memphis: 9.42
  • George Pickens, Georgia: 9.33
  • Keshuun Abram, Kent State: 9.14
  • Velus Jones, Jr., Tennessee: 9.05
  • Danny Gray, SMU: 8.9
  • Bo Melton, Rutgers: 8.78
  • Chris Olave, Ohio State: 8.61
  • Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama: 8.55
  • Braylen Sanders, Ole Miss: 8.31
  • Jalen Nailor, Michigan State: 8.13
  • Dee Anderson, Alabama A&M: 8.11
  • Sy Barnett, Ferris State: 8.03
  • Khalil Shakir, Boise State: 8.02
  • Garrett Wilson, Ohio State: 7.7
  • Mike Woods, Oklahoma: 7.54
  • Skyy Moore, Western Michigan: 7.49
  • Dennis Houston, Western Illinois: 7.49
  • Devon Williams, Oregon: 7.15
  • Ty Fryfogle, Indiana: 7.11
  • Kyle Phillips, UCLA: 6.88
  • JD Woods, Baker: 6.58
  • Dontario Drummond, Ole Miss: 6.48
  • Kalil Pimpleton, Central Michigan: 6.46

So as you can see, there are a LOT of receivers that fit under the average RAS of all receivers drafted by Doug Pederson. While that can be a good thing, it also shows that Pederson or the Eagles aren’t very good at drafting wideouts.

Outside of Mack Hollins and JJ Arcega-Whiteside, the Eagles have opted for drafting smaller receivers, despite not having great testing numbers all around. A great example of this is Jalen Reagor. The first-round pick in 2020 had elite numbers in the jumps (vertical and broad) and ran a fast 40, but his 10-yard split and agility numbers were poor.

Lower agility scores seem to be the trend with Philadelphia. So, narrowing it down to WRs who are in the range of the 3-cone times and shuttle times of WRs drafted by Doug Pederson, here’s who we get:

  • Alec Pierce, Cincinnati
  • Jalen Nailor, Michigan State
  • Skyy Moore, Western Michigan

One name that surprised me was Nailor from Michigan State. WR Coach Chris Jackson was at Michigan State’s pro day, so he could be a target for Jacksonville on Day 3 of the NFL Draft. Pierce wowed me with some of his testing and could be an outside receiver the Jaguars pick on Day 2 of the draft.

EDGE AVG RAS: 8.02

2022 Draft Prospects that fit the number:

  • Travon Walker, Georgia: 9.99
  • Boye Mafe, Minnesota: 9.9
  • Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan: 9.87
  • Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina: 9.73
  • Amare Barno, Virginia Tech: 9.72
  • Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH): 9.72
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon: 9.7
  • Sam Williams, Ole Miss: 9.65
  • Jermaine Johnson, Florida State: 9.57
  • Josh Pascal, Kentucky: 9.46
  • Cullen Wick, Tulsa: 9.45
  • David Ojabo, Michigan: 9.35
  • Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma: 9.3
  • Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati: 9.18
  • Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma: 9.1
  • George Karlaftis, Purdue: 8.73
  • Carson Taylor, Northern Arizona: 8.5

Obviously, this is where most of the scouting importance goes for a Pederson-led team. The emphasis he’s placed on the trenches was felt during the Eagles' run to the Super Bowl in 2017. With the Jaguars' moves in free agency, the odds are in favor of Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson being the No. 1 overall pick.

Of all the Eagles EDGE players drafted in the Doug Pederson era, he seems to emphasize the 3-cone drill. Hutchinson led all EDGE defenders in that metric at the combine, solidifying his potential top draft status.

Another player I like on here that could be available on Days 2 and 3 is Nik Bonitto from Oklahoma. He’s a bit on the smaller side, but he has some of the best bend in the entire draft class and puts pressure on the QB.

OT AVG RAS: 8.37

2022 Draft Prospects that fit this range:

  • Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa: 9.96
  • Matt Waletzko, North Dakota State: 9.92
  • Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan: 9.86
  • Kellen Diesch, Arizona State: 9.75
  • Abraham Lucas, Washington State: 9.72
  • Zach Tom, Wake Forest: 9.71
  • Devin Cochran, Georgia Tech: 9.16
  • Tyler Smith, Tulsa: 8.76
  • Logan Bruss, Wisconsin: 8.74
  • Braxton Jones, Southern Utah: 8.72

Interestingly enough, the cutoff for this threshold just missed a player who’s commonly been mocked to the Jaguars: NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu. His RAS is 8.31, just barely missing out.

A guy on here who I think is really interesting is Tulsa’s Tyler Smith. When you talk about nasty in the run and pass game, Smith is one of the more violent OL in this draft. His stock has been rising quickly, with Mel Kiper Jr. having him go to the Cowboys at 24 in his latest mock draft. Smith can play guard or tackle and fits the athletic profile of players drafted by Pederson and the Eagles.

Linebacker AVG RAS: 8.53

Players that fit under this number:

  • Brandon Smith, Penn State: 10
  • Leo Chenal, Wisconsin: 9.99
  • Troy Andersen, Montana State: 9.99
  • Chance Campbell, Ole Miss: 9.87
  • Damone Clark, LSU: 9.85
  • Chad Muma, Wyoming: 9.75
  • Channing Tindall, Georgia: 9.65
  • Quay Walker, Georgia: 9.61
  • Devin Lloyd, Utah: 9.57
  • Micah McFadden, Indiana: 9.45
  • Cameron Goode, Cal: 9.42
  • Adam Anderson, Georgia: 9.35
  • Jeremiah Moon, Florida: 9.21
  • Baylon Spector, Clemson: 9.1
  • Christian Harris, Alabama: 9.03
  • D’Marco Jackson, Appalachian State: 9.01
  • Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State: 8.93
  • Tariq Carpenter, Georgia Tech: 8.87
  • Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma: 8.82
  • Isaiah Graham-Mobley, Boston College: 8.81
  • James Houston IV, Jackson State: 8.8

Speed and range seem to be the name of the game for LBs who are drafted by the Eagles during the Pederson era. All the LBs drafted by the Eagles had a very good 3-cone time, and the Jaguars latest FA addition at the position, Foye Olokun, had a blazing shuttle and 3-cone time.

Georgia’s Nakobe Dean didn’t test, but he could be a great complement to Olokun in the Jaguars defense. Wyoming’s Chad Muma has slowly risen up draft boards, and also would fit next to Olokun later on Day 2. An interesting LB on here is Troy Andersen from Montana State. A former QB, Andersen’s athleticism pops off the tape when he drops into coverage.

Trent Baalke

WR AVG RAS: 7.22

Players that fit under this number:

  • Christian Watson, North Dakota State: 10
  • Isaiah Weston, Northern Iowa: 9.99
  • Kevin Austin, Notre Dame: 9.93
  • Alec Pierce, Cincinnati: 9.8
  • Brenden Schooler, Texas: 9.77
  • Tyquan Thornton, Baylor: 9.77
  • Calvin Austin III, Memphis: 9.42
  • George Pickens, Georgia: 9.33
  • Keshuun Abram, Kent State: 9.14
  • Velus Jones, Jr., Tennessee: 9.05
  • Danny Gray, SMU: 8.9
  • Bo Melton, Rutgers: 8.78
  • Chris Olave, Ohio State: 8.61
  • Jalen Tolbert, South Alabama: 8.55
  • Braylen Sanders, Ole Miss: 8.31
  • Jalen Nailor, Michigan State: 8.13
  • Dee Anderson, Alabama A&M: 8.11
  • Sy Barnett, Ferris State: 8.03
  • Khalil Shakir, Boise State: 8.02
  • Garrett Wilson, Ohio State: 7.7
  • Mike Woods, Oklahoma: 7.54
  • Skyy Moore, Western Michigan: 7.49
  • Dennis Houston, Western Illinois: 7.49

This is where I think Pederson’s history and Baalke’s history differ the most. While Baalke’s WR picks haven’t panned out, he places high importance on the agilities and change of direction. If we use the same exercise that we did for Pederson’s picks at WR, some of the prospects that fit under the required threshold for his agilities are:

  • Calvin Austin, Memphis

That’s it. Austin is a firework at receiver who isn’t just a speed guy. While he’s predominantly a slot guy due to his height (5-foot-7), he brings a lot of juice to a receiver room. A guy who just missed out on the Baalke thresholds is Notre Dame’s Kevin Austin. He has the agility of a much smaller receiver despite being 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds.

He could be an interesting Day 3 prospect that the Jaguars look at who has the explosive athletic profile Baalke looks for.

EDGE AVG RAS: 6.55

NFL Draft Prospects who fit this range:

  • Travon Walker, Georgia: 9.99
  • Boye Mafe, Minnesota: 9.9
  • Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan: 9.87
  • Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina: 9.73
  • Amare Barno, Virginia Tech: 9.72
  • Dominique Robinson, Miami (OH): 9.72
  • Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon: 9.7
  • Sam Williams, Ole Miss: 9.65
  • Jermaine Johnson, Florida State: 9.57
  • Josh Pascal, Kentucky: 9.46
  • Cullen Wick, Tulsa: 9.45
  • David Ojabo, Michigan: 9.35
  • Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma: 9.3
  • Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati: 9.18
  • Isaiah Thomas, Oklahoma: 9.1
  • George Karlaftis, Purdue: 8.73
  • Carson Taylor, Northern Arizona: 8.5
  • Ryder Anderson, Indiana: 7.59
  • Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina: 7.39

I think something that I found interesting when evaluating the Baalke picks at this position are two players: Arik Armstead and Deforest Buckner. Both guys measured poorly at DE, but when you flip them to DT, the positions they play now at a high level, they’re elite testers. Obviously, a lot of prospects still fit here athletically.

OT AVG RAS: 6.13

NFL Draft Prospects who fit this range:

  • Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa: 9.96
  • Matt Waletzko, North Dakota State: 9.92
  • Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan: 9.86
  • Kellen Diesch, Arizona State: 9.75
  • Abraham Lucas, Washington State: 9.72
  • Zach Tom, Wake Forest: 9.71
  • Devin Cochran, Georgia Tech: 9.16
  • Tyler Smith, Tulsa: 8.76
  • Logan Bruss, Wisconsin: 8.74
  • Braxton Jones, Southern Utah: 8.72
  • Ikem Ekwonu, NC State: 8.31
  • Austin Deculus, LSU: 8.28
  • Sean Rhyan, UCLA: 8.16
  • Charles Cross, Mississippi State: 8.11
  • Clayton Bradley, UNLV: 7.95
  • Derek Kerstetter, Texas: 7.8
  • Marcus McKethan, UNC: 7.1
  • Nicholas Petit-Frere: 6.94
  • J’ATyre Carter, Southern: 6.72
  • Mark Brooks, Western Michigan: 6.71
  • Spencer Burford, UTSA

Obviously, a lot more tackles are present here, but the name that stands out to me is Charles Cross from Mississippi State. His numbers were fantastic, and he’s the best pass protector in the draft. If the Jaguars don’t take him first overall, he probably won’t be available for them to take, period. He’s an early draft pick.

LB AVG RAS: 5.46

NFL Draft Prospects who fit under this number:

  • Brandon Smith, Penn State: 10
  • Leo Chenal, Wisconsin: 9.99
  • Troy Andersen, Montana State: 9.99
  • Chance Campbell, Ole Miss: 9.87
  • Damone Clark, LSU: 9.85
  • Chad Muma, Wyoming: 9.75
  • Channing Tindall, Georgia: 9.65
  • Quay Walker, Georgia: 9.61
  • Devin Lloyd, Utah: 9.57
  • Micah McFadden, Indiana: 9.45
  • Cameron Goode, Cal: 9.42
  • Adam Anderson, Georgia: 9.35
  • Jeremiah Moon, Florida: 9.21
  • Baylon Spector, Clemson: 9.1
  • Christian Harris, Alabama: 9.03
  • D’Marco Jackson, Appalachian State: 9.01
  • Malcolm Rodriguez, Oklahoma State: 8.93
  • Tariq Carpenter, Georgia Tech: 8.87
  • Brian Asamoah, Oklahoma: 8.82
  • Isaiah Graham-Mobley, Boston College: 8.81
  • James Houston IV, Jackson State: 8.8
  • Kyron Johnson, Kansas: 8.32
  • Kadofi Wright, Buffalo: 8.27
  • Joe Beckett, Wofford: 8.07
  • Silas Kelly, Coastal Carolina: 8.05
  • Forrest Rhyne, Villanova: 7.69
  • AJ Thomas, Western Michigan: 7.47
  • Jack Gibbens, Minnesota: 7.4
  • Terrel Bernard, Baylor: 7.36
  • Ben Davis, Texas: 7.31
  • Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin: 7.28
  • Carson Wells, Colorado: 7.22
  • Jojo Domann, Nebraska: 6.88
  • Tristen Vance, Northern Arizona: 6.81
  • La’akea Kahoohanohano-Davis, Southern Utah: 6.79
  • Khalan Tolson, Illinois: 6.51
  • James Skalski, Clemson: 6.48
  • Kenny Herbert, Arizona: 6.47
  • Nephi Sewell, Utah: 6.46
  • Nate Landman, Colorado: 6.34
  • Enoch Penney-Laryea, McMaster: 6.03
  • Eric Munoz, Kansas State: 5.67
  • Bruce Jordan-Swilling, Georgia Tech: 5.61
  • Bryce Notree, Southern Illinois: 5.56
  • Troy Hariston, Central Michigan: 5.47

Linebacker certainly doesn’t lack for Baalke in terms of RAS, but I do think they’ll trend towards the top of the RAS chart for this position. Lavonte David and Devin White were two of the most athletic LBs in the league, and new DC Mike Caldwell comes from Tampa Bay, so they’ll trend towards faster guys who can bring the heat blitzing as well.

Names I immediately think of, include Nakobe Dean, Leo Chenal, Channing Tindall, Christian Harris.