Another week, another round of mock drafts for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Here are some of the most recent mock drafts with who experts think the Jags will take with the 17th pick.
Starting with Mel Kiper, ESPN thinks the Jags select Iowa corner Cooper DeJean. DeJean’s name has picked up steam recently due to new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen’s man coverage scheme. Kiper also cites a lack of receiver depth at the 17th pick as why the Jags may lean defense.
The Jaguars’ collapse to end the season — they lost five of their final six games and missed the playoffs — exposed some serious roster issues, and they could have more holes to plug this offseason. That’s because top edge rusher Josh Allen and No. 2 wideout Calvin Ridley are free agents, and both could get enticing offers if they hit the open market in March. Ridley is probably more likely to leave, but I just projected five receivers in the top 15 picks, which means Jacksonville might not like the pass-catchers left on the board. That’s why I’m pivoting to a defense that struggled down the stretch.
DeJean, who was having an All-America season before he broke his leg in November, allowed just 3.5 yards per attempt as the nearest defender in coverage this past season. He had seven interceptions from 2022-23, including three pick-sixes. He could play in the slot or outside, making him a nice complementary corner with Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell.
CBS thinks the Jags also go with a corner, but in this mock, Josh Edwards has the team taking Quinyon Mitchell out of Toledo. CBS has Mitchell as the draft’s fifth-best corner.
Quinyon Mitchell is expected to test really well. When combined with his physical profile and aggressiveness on the football field, Mitchell should become a staple in first-round projections.
Rob Rang stays with defense, though he throws a unique name into the mix. Rang thinks the Jags will use the 17th pick to select Ruke Orhorhoro, a defensive tackle out of Clemson. Rang site’s Trent Baalke’s willingness to select project players as a reason for the selection.
General manager Trent Baalke is well known for his willingness to gamble on upside and few prospects in this class boast a higher one that Orhorhoro, a Nigerian native who didn’t begin playing football until his junior season of high school but possesses an exciting combination of size, quickness and power.
Sticking with the defensive back theme, Sports Illustrated’s Luke Easterling thinks the Jags take a swing on Alabama’s Kool-Aid McKinstry. All three mocks that have the Jags taking corners think the team needs to bolster itself on the outside greatly.
The Jags have one outside corner spot settled with Tyson Campbell, but they could use a long-term upgrade on the other side. McKinstry may not have lived up to the top-10 hype in 2023, but he’s still got the physical traits and upside to quickly develop into that kind of shutdown player at the next level.
Local legend Bucky Brooks likes the Jags to stay with a defensive pick, and slots Texas defensive tackle T’Vondre Sweat to the team at 17.
After watching the defense crumble over the second half of the season, the Jaguars are intent on upgrading the front line. Sweat is a massive interior defender with the strength, power and heavy hands to snuff out the run at the point of attack.
Pro Football Network
PFN’s A.J. Schulte is the first to have the Jags taking an offensive player in his latest mock. Schulte thinks the team selects receiver Brian Thomas Jr. out of LSU to give the offense more top-end depth on the outside.
It’s been hard watching the Jaguars operate offensively this year, as the offensive line has consistently dragged their performance down. Added to the inconsistent receiver play and frustrating play-calling, it’s caused the Jacksonville offense to wildly underperform. You can pick any position here, but the Jaguars need a reliable wide receiver outside. Brian Thomas Jr. is a height/weight/speed freak at 6’4″, 205 pounds, boasting the explosiveness to match. His combination of athleticism and elite catch rate would be a welcome boost to a flailing offense carried by QB Trevor Lawrence.
Pro Football Focus
PFF has the Jags taking an offensive player, though its along the offensive line. Trevor Sikkema has Duke lineman Graham Barton going 17th overall. PFF also goes five rounds deep in their latest mock, with the Jags taking Oregon receiver Troy Franklin in the second round.
Barton plays left tackle for the Duke Blue Devils, but his long-term position in the NFL is likely at guard due to a lack of arm length.