Welcome to Big Cat Country’s weekly roundtable. Normally, we predict the Jacksonville Jaguars’ upcoming matchup -- but with the Jags on a bye, we’re shifting our attention to this afternoon’s trade deadline. NFL teams have until 4:00 p.m. ET today (Oct. 31) to make a deal.
The NFL trade deadline is 24 hours away.— Big Cat Country (@BigCatCountry) October 30, 2023
Review Jacksonville's biggest needs, catch up on the latest rumors, and judge our seven (7) mock trade offers all in one place
BCC's 2023 #Jaguars trade deadline primer ⤵️ https://t.co/GYi00gJSkD
Which player should the Jaguars acquire, and why?
Justin Cross: I’d go with 24-year-old Chase Young. Rumors abound the Washington Commanders are looking to sell, and my feeling is the Jags could negotiate a slightly better deal for the 2020 No. 2 overall draft pick than what teams like the Atlanta Falcons have reportedly offered for Young’s teammate Montez Sweat (a third-rounder that would turn into a second-rounder if Sweat signs an extension). The obvious caveat is the Jags’ mid-round picks are locked up with last year’s Calvin Ridley trade, so if I were Trent Baalke, I’d get creative with a couple of 2025 Day 2 draft picks. Young’s rookie season was promising with 7.5 sacks, and although he faced injuries in 2021 and 2022, he already has five sacks in 2023. His upside is huge, and like his namesake, he’s young. A significant rise in the salary cap in 2024 could still allow for Josh Allen’s big payday and a reasonable extension for Young while also locking in Trevor for the long haul. With that said, I’ll be flying my teal freak flag for Josh Uche from the New England Patriots for a late-round pick, or Danielle Hunter if the Minnesota Vikings are willing to give up on their season — and Hunter — for a 2023 first-rounder.
Travis Holmes: I am conflicted on this one. The winning answer for me is something I’m aware is unlikely to happen - acquiring Brian Burns or Chase Young. A dominant edge opposite of Josh Allen would simply turn this top 5 defense into a top 1-2 unit and true Super Bowl contenders. I would even be willing to offer the 2025 1st for Young or the 2024 1st (or more) for Burns. If we’re talking realistic options, I’d lean toward an under-the-radar option of acquiring another running back to take the stress off of Travis Etienne. Adding someone like D’Onta Foreman or Josh Jacobs, who are both due less than $1 million for the remainder of the season and on the final year of their contracts, would be doable for a mid- to late-round pick.
Gus Logue: Josh Uche. The Patriots’ sack master is a third down, pass rush specialist who would send Dawuane Smoot and K’Lavon Chaisson down the depth chart and allow Trevon Walker to line up inside. Jacksonville would only need to send a fourth-round pick or so to acquire Uche on an expiring deal. His 23.9% win rate on ‘true pass sets’ this season ranks 23rd behind Danielle Hunter (24.5%) and Chase Young (24.1%), per PFF, albeit Uche isn’t much of a contributor on early downs. Sounds like a perfect fit for a contending team that ranks fourth in defensive DVOA but just 22nd in sacks. (Darkhorse trade candidate: Commanders cornerback Benjamin St-Juste to upgrade CB4 over young cats Montaric Brown/Gregory Junior.)
Adam Snowden: Two words for you: pass rusher. At this point in the season, the Jags look like legitimate contenders in the AFC, and while the Jags also have a need at offensive line, it is important to consider what stands in between them and their first Super Bowl appearance. Assuming the Jaguars continue their impressive performance, they will likely have to take on the Goliath of Kansas City once again. This will be a tall feat for the Jaguars, for whom three of the last five losses have been to the Chiefs. As anyone who has watched No. 15 make five consecutive AFC championships can attest, Patrick Mahomes is a magician who can make anything happen given enough time in (or out) of the pocket. Yet, we have seen flashes of Mahomes’ mortality, most recently against the Denver Broncos and earlier this season against the Detroit Lions. The common thread? Mahomes running for his life. According to PFF, the Lions logged an impressive 22 pressures and 7 quarterback hits in Week 1, while the Broncos logged 11 QB hits during last Sunday’s win. Under this constant pressure, Mahomes logged his two worst games by yards per attempt of the season against the Lions and Broncos (5.79 and 6.34 Y/A, respectively), which are the Chiefs’ only two losses thus far. Despite a Pro Bowl-caliber season so far by Josh Allen, the Jaguars currently rank 31st in sack rate. Adding another good pass rusher would prevent teams from being able to double-team Allen or Travon Walker, open up the pass rush, and help elevate the defense from good to elite. And while some general managers appear reluctant to give up a high draft pick for a high-level player, and instead hope to settle for yet another rotational player in exchange for a fifth- or sixth-round pick, mediocrity doesn’t win Super Bowls. I’d be in full support of a trade for a top pass-rusher in exchange for a second and a fourth- or fifth-round pick (akin to what the Ravens gave up for Roquan Smith). Danielle Hunter for Brenton Strange and Tyler Lacy? Sign me up.
Henry Zimmer: The Jacksonville Jaguars need to trade for a rotational defensive lineman. Someone, anyone, it doesn’t need to be Chase Young or Montez Sweat. The team needs to make a trade to, at the very least, make it seem like there is a full commitment to going all in this season. After five consecutive wins, it gets hard to say that something needs to improve, but getting even better than you already are is not something to shy away from. Josh Allen and Travon Walker look good for the most part, Dawuane Smoot has looked solid post-injury, and even K’Lavon Chaisson is playing okay. But getting a dude like Carl Lawson or Josh Uche can seemingly help more than it hurts. Young or Sweat would also be more than acceptable.
Which player do you want to see in teal next week, Jaguars fans? Let us know in the comments!