Jaguars 2023 NFL Mock Draft: 7 Round Mock with Analysis, Measurements, Stats, and Highlights

Jacksonville Jaguars 2023 7-round mock draft with analysis of picks for the first 3 rounds

Team Needs: CB / OT / TE

Draft Approach: Jacksonville is coming off its first winning season in five years. On that note, this is Jacksonville’s first draft picking outside the top ten in five years and the first time in nearly three years not picking first overall. The success that Jacksonville had this past season creates a large difference in how they should approach this upcoming draft. When you’re the worst team in the league, you need a large roster turnover, and with so many roster needs, it allows you to pick players based on the best available. Now, Jacksonville must focus its draft based on team needs. Jacksonville no longer depends on a pile of picks to turn the team around. This draft puts a focus on quality over quantity, including trading up to get four picks in the top 100. Additionally, Jacksonville needs to continue building its roster around the future of the franchise, Trevor Lawrence. The team approach for this mock draft focuses on meeting team needs early while supporting the offense and Trevor Lawrence. This mock is based on realistic draft stock collected from an array of sites, rankings, and mocks. While mock drafting is always unpredictable, the players chosen were all selected near or earlier than they are predicted to go.

Rd 1 pick 24: Darnell Washington - TE – Georgia

Measurables (Per NFL Combine):

Height: 6’7

Weight: 267

Arm: 34 3/8"

Hand: 11"

40: 4.64

Vertical: 31"

Broad Jump: 10’ 2"

Bench: 21 reps

2022 Stats (Per ESPN): 28 rec / 454 yds / 2 TD / 16.2 avg

Team Fit: This pick just seems to make too much sense for Jacksonville’s first-round pick. While corner seems to be the biggest need for the Jaguars, CB is the deepest position in the 2023 class. Corners who may typically have first-round grades will be available on day two. Washington is a unicorn, and you don’t pass on unicorns. His measurements are comparable to Rob Gronkowski’s. He’s a day-one starter who can immediately make a difference with his elite blocking ability. As a run blocker, Washington essentially gives you a second tackle who can line up on either side of the line. As a pass catcher, Washington has progress to make, but he is more than serviceable and a much better athlete than anyone should be for someone who’s 6’7 and 270 lbs. Analysts look to his somewhat meek stats (listed above) but recall he played in a run-first offense, with Brock Bowers being Georgia’s main receiving target. Doug Pederson frequently relies on two TE sets; Evan Engram and Washington would make for a great tandem, as they bring different playstyles to the table. Similar to how Bowers and Washington operated at Georgia. Washington can replace both the blocking ability of Chris Manhertz and the receiving ability of Dan Arnold, both of whom are free agents. In short, Washington is a unicorn of an athlete who also meets a major need for the Jacksonville offense. Additionally, this team needs to continue building around number 16. With this pick, you can bolster the line of scrimmage while also providing a 6’7 receiving target for your generational talent.

Highlights: (Per Kalifornia Highlights via Youtube) -

Rd 2 pick 57: Julius Brents - CB - Kansas State

Measurables (Per NFL Combine):

Height: 6’3

Weight: 198

Arm: 34"

Hand: 9 5/8"

40: 4.53

Vertical: 41.5"

Broad Jump: 11’ 6"

2022 Stats (Per ESPN): 28 solo tackles / 17 ast tackles / 1 ff / 4 int / 4 pd

Team Fit: Julius "Juju" Brents is an athletic specimen who can play all over the defensive backfield. Cornerback might be Jacksonville’s biggest need in the upcoming draft. While Tyson Campbell can hold down the CB1 spot and is proving himself to be a top-tier CB in the league, the CB2 spot leaves room to be desired. Darious Williams showed that he can be relied on out wide after his early season struggles to try to fit into the nickel position. Jacksonville resigned Tre Herndon after striking out with the CB free agent class. Although most Jaguar fans can agree that 37 on the field has proved to be a disaster. Brents has been labeled a corner and safety for the upcoming draft, similar to a potential first-round target Brian Branch. Brent’s size can make him an ideal nickel corner in the NFL. "Dewey" Wingard found some success playing the "big" nickel in run-heavy packages. Brent’s physicality and size could bring these same traits while avoiding the liability in coverage, which Wingard brings. Including the DB blitzes that Wingard had success with later in the season. Brents should be drafted to play nickel and hope to develop him into a full-time outside corner that can eventually replace Williams. Jacksonville is gearing up for a playoff run, and that playoff run will have to go through Kansas City. Brents can help contain a player like Travis Kelce with his combination of size, athleticism, and physicality. Notice in the tape below Brents reps against Quinten Johnston, the top receiver target in the upcoming draft. Brents, at times, was simply too physical for Johnston. Although Brents aggressive playstyle, which helps him create turnovers, can also lead to occasionally giving up big plays, which also showed against Johnston. Brents would partner well with Jaguars CB coach Deshea Townsend, who spent his career as a nickel corner known for his aggressive play style in the box.

Highlights: (Per Prince Highlights via Youtube) -

Rd 3 pick 82: Blake Freeland - OT – BYU

Measurables (Per NFL Combine):
Height: 6’8"
Weight: 302
Arm: 33 7/8"
Hand: 10"
40: 4.98
Vertical: 37"
Broad Jump: 10’ 0"

Team Fit: While predicting trades in an NFL draft is an impossible scenario. Jacksonville finds itself with two fourth-round picks. In this mock, Jacksonville trades back up into day two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Trading the 121st and 127th, and likely a late-round 2024 pick, for pick 82 in the NFL Draft. After losing Jawaan Taylor, many analysts believe that tackle should be the top priority for the Jaguars in the draft. Jacksonville has two starting caliber tackles on this roster in Cam Robinson and Walker Little. Little will likely move to RT, while Cam holds down the left side of the line. While tackle needs to be addressed early in this draft, a first-round pick shouldn’t be spent on a backup tackle. Jacksonville will look to address this need with Blake Freeland in the third round. Freeland will come in with the responsibility of learning RT. If Cam goes down, Little can move over, and Freeland fill the spot at RT. Ideally, Freeland won’t have to see the field this fall, this pick is for depth and development. After this season, Jacksonville could look to get out of Cam’s high contract freeing up cap space to pay 16 and look to move forward with Freeland at RT and Little at LT. Freeland tested off the charts at the combine, ensuring he won’t make it past the third round. This included a 37-inch vertical, which broke the record for an Offensive Lineman, and sub 5 second 40. Freeland has the capacity to add weight to his frame and will likely have to in order to handle NFL pass rushers. Freeland occasionally plays sloppy, sometimes overrunning blocks and biting on fakes. Although his athleticism can help him recover from sloppy play. Freeland played RT as a freshman and sophomore before moving to LT before his final two seasons with the cougars. Freeland has a lot of game experience under his belt, he’s a four-year starter with All-American honors. He can immediately be a serviceable backup in the NFL, and his athleticism could lead him to be a good starter. Note that Blake Hance, who has been highly touted by the coaching staff, while listed as a guard, can play tackle. If injuries do occur, Hance can step up as the swing tackle if Freeland isn’t ready in year 1.

Highlights: (Per NBC Sports) -

Rd 3 pick 89: A.T. Perry - WR - Wake Forest

Measurables (Per NFL Combine):
Height: 6’3 1/2"
Weight: 198
Arm: 33 1/4"
Hand: 9 1/4"
40: 4.47
Vertical: 35"
Broad Jump: 11’ 1"

2022 Stats (Per ESPN): 81 rec / 1,096 yds / 11 TD / 13.5 avg

Team Fit: At pick 89, Jacksonville should continue its trend of drafting size with A.T. Perry from Wake Forest. The WR core looked night and day when comparing the 2022 season with the 2023 season. The free-agent additions of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones provided Trevor with the playmakers he needed to be a top-ten quarterback in the NFL. The mid-season addition of Calvin Ridley was a genius move by Trent Baalke. The WR core now has an elite route runner in Calvin Ridley, a quick slot WR in Christian Kirk, and a speedy threat in Zay Jones. Perry would bring size to the group. Perry has room to progress in route running but can make an immediate difference as a downfield and endzone threat who can go up and win 50/50 balls. At Wake Forest, Perry totaled 2,389 yds and 26 touchdowns over the last two seasons. The pick gives Trevor a playmaker, with a similar playstyle to his former WR, Justyn Ross, at Clemson. Perry is from Florida and bringing him home would round out Jacksonville’s WR core to potentially be one of the best in the league if his skillset can transition to the NFL. The tape below shows that Perry has the skill set to quickly develop into a player like Tee Higgins. While the Jacksonville fan base is ecstatic for Ridley to get on the field, he’s still a question mark. Ridley hasn’t played much football in the past two years, and while he seems to be in great shape, his transition back to football is still unknown. Perry would offer a safeguard while also offering a chance to develop into a big-body X receiver who can line up in isolation and win 1-on-1 balls. Ridley was at his best in Atlanta when Julio was lining up at X, and Ridley was the Z. Ideally, this pick would give Jacksonville a similar opportunity. This combination with Kirk in the slot and Jones cycling in would give Jacksonville a WR room that could compete with anyone.

Highlights: (Per ACC Digital Network via YouTube) -

Rd 6 pick 185: McClendon Curtis - OG – Chattanooga
Rd 6 pick 202: Josh Whyle - TE - Cincinnati
Rd 6 pick 209: Nick Hampton - EDGE – Appalachian State
Rd 7 pick 228: Sterling Thomas V - CB – Alabama-Birmingham

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