It is never too early to start thinking about the NFL Draft.
While the most recent edition of the event happened less than three full months ago, ESPN has already released a mock for the 2024 Draft.
Depth in the secondary seems to be a theme that pundits think the Jaguars need to improve on, dating back to the most recent draft. However, the team waited until the 160th overall pick to draft safety Antonio Johnson out of Texas A&M.
Next season, ESPN seems to think the team drafts another SEC defensive back, but at 26th overall.
Reid said that he thinks the team needs more depth at cornerback to help incumbent starters Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams, and he thinks Lassiter could be the guy to do it.
In his mock, Lassiter is projected as the fourth defensive back off the board, falling behind Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry, Miami’s Kamren Kinchens, and Penn State’s Kalen King.
After winning the National Championship with the Bulldogs last year, Lassiter totaled 44 tackles and four pass breakups but did not log a pick. In the National Championship game, Lassiter was tied for first on the team in tackles for loss with one, and tied for third on the team in total tackles with three.
Ahead of this coming season, Pro Football Focus put out a list of its top 10 cornerbacks, ranking Lassiter 10th overall. PFF cited Lassiter’s 190 snaps in single-coverage, sixth most in the nation, and only allowing 13 catches in single coverage as their reasoning.
The junior obviously comes from a program with an insane pedigree and would follow in the footsteps of 34 other Bulldogs who have been drafted in the past three years, which is the most of any school.
Outside of who the Jaguars are selecting, the mock draft also gives some early insight into how analysts think the four AFC South teams will do.
Houston traded its 2024 first-round pick to Arizona, which Reid has as the second overall selection, meaning the Texans would own the league’s second-worst record.
Reid has the Colts drafting fourth overall, which would have the team as the third-worst in the league. He has Indy selecting Penn State offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu.
Drafting sixth overall, Reid has the Titans. By the ESPN analyst’s metrics, the three teams in the AFC South not named the Jaguars will be three of the five worst teams in the league next season.
He has Tennessee selecting Alabama offensive tackle JC Latham.
For what it is worth, the Texans still own a first-round pick next year via Cleveland through the Deshaun Watson trade, which Reid has as the 17th overall selection.
With that pick, Reid thinks the Texans look to take a second straight defensive lineman in the first round and select Ohio State defensive tackle Michael Hall Jr.
Though the 2024 NFL Draft is almost 10 months away, it’s never too early to start planning for the future.