Many experts are split on how the Jaguars should improve their team, but here are some of the recent mocks for the Jags at the 17th overall draft position.
ESPN’s Jordan Reid has the Jaguars drafting Florida State wide receiver Keon Coleman with the 17th pick. In his ESPN+ mock, Coleman is the fourth receiver taken. Reid says Coleman’s big frame and 50-50 catching ability make him an ideal target to help quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Trevor Lawrence and his targets lacked continuity and chemistry in the passing game, and the Jaguars’ wide receiver group had a 4.3% drop rate, sixth worst in the NFL. One missing element is a true 50-50 ball winner on the outside, and at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Coleman can come down with contested catches (13 this season). He would also alleviate some of the attention on Calvin Ridley and open up things inside for Christian Kirk and Evan Engram.
The Jaguars need long-term help at multiple positions, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if this pick addresses the defensive or offensive line. But adding another playmaker is as good a plan as any. Thomas is an outstanding size/speed athlete with a basketball background and huge upside. By the time April rolls around, he might not be an option outside of the top 15.
Connor Rogers from NBC Sports agrees with Brugler, thinking the Jags use later picks to bolster the offensive line and get Lawrence outside help early.
The Jaguars need to retool the interior of their offensive line, but I think they can accomplish that on Day 2 of the draft. If they lose Calvin Ridley in free agency, that will open up a key spot on their wide receiver depth chart. Enter Brian Thomas Jr., who can flat out fly. He’s got length, tracking and body control to excel as a consistent vertical threat. He averaged 18 yards per reception last season while hauling in 15 touchdowns.
Both Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso from CBS think the opposite of Rogers. The pair thinks the Jags should bolster the front first, and go with Oregon State’s Taliese Fuaga. Fellow writer Josh Edwards thinks the team goes with Washington receiver Rome Udunze.
#OregonState RT Taliese Fuaga is a mauler in the run game. At 6’6, 333 he moves with ease in his pass sets and has yet to surrender a single sack in his career. #NFL Draft stock #P6SProspectWatch pic.twitter.com/XhGqCb3yv0— Dominic White (@DomWWhite) October 30, 2023
Jason McIntyre with Fox Sports goes an entirely different route with the Jags pick, slotting the team to take Cooper DeJean out of Iowa. DeJean plays defensive back, but is also a return man.
The Jaguars fired their entire defensive coaching staff after a horrendous season. The talent is there; is the scheme? DeJean would join Tyson Campbell and Darious Williams in a formidable cornerback room.
Patrick Chiotti with Sports Illustrated goes back to the receiver route, predicting the Jags take Coleman.
For a team with one of the highest-paid wide receivers and another receiver that was supposed to come back and be an immediate impact player, the Jaguars offense struggled mightily this season. Trevor Lawrence looked like a completely different player than the one we saw last year and part of that could stem from a lack of trust with his receiving options. It feels like the Jaguars are missing a big outside threat who can be their go-to guy. Keon Coleman has the look and feel of a Brandon Marshall-type receiver. Massive receiver with a big, 6’4” frame and raw athleticism who needs NFL coaching to really maximize his skillset. This could be a home-run hit for the Jags and Trevor Lawrence.
Daniel Jeremiah with NFL.com goes the way of McIntyre and Fox Sports and has the team taking Quinyon Mitchell, DB out of Toledo.
Mitchell had a ton of production in 2022 (five interceptions, 20 pass breakups) but wasn’t challenged as much in 2023. He is incredibly gifted and will put on a show when it comes to athletic testing.
Pro Football Network
A.J. Schulte with PFN thinks the Jags take Thomas, largely in part to his big frame and question marks with Ridley returning.
Jacksonville will have to decide on Calvin Ridley’s contract soon. But even if they elect to bring Ridley back, the Jaguars need to upgrade their WR room if they want to get back to the playoffs. Brian Thomas Jr. is an excellent height/weight/speed wide receiver who wins on the vertical plane with ease. Thomas rarely drops the football, and his 6’4″ frame also makes him a reliable red-zone option.
Joseph Acosta with SB Nation likes the Jaguars taking a lineman. Acosta has the team taking Troy Fautanu out of Washington, who was named the best offensive lineman in the PAC-12 this year.
There are not a lot of linemen who can move like Washington IOL Troy Fautanu pic.twitter.com/Tupbx0KeDe— Joe DeLeone (@joedeleone) January 18, 2024
The 33rd Team
The collaborative efforts of those at The 33rd Team round out the list with the Jags taking Coleman.
One of the big questions this offseason surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars will be if they give Calvin Ridley a contract extension. Giving him a new deal would mean that Jacksonville would surrender its 2024 second-round pick to the Falcons. Ridley was fine in 2023, but he wasn’t good enough to give away another top-50 selection. That would leave the Jaguars with a need at receiver, and Keon Coleman could give the receiving corps the size and athleticism it would desperately need.