Jacksonville Jaguars Draft

Rebuilding The Rebuild

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The Jacksonville Jaguars played in the AFC Championship game in 2017. They held a second half lead at New England before losing, 24 – 20. They went into the 2018 season as a legit Super Bowl contender and finished 5 -11.

The Jags had a good running back in Leonard Fournette and an elite defense. Quarterback was considered the weak link so they finally got rid of Blake Bortles.

In March of 2019, they signed Super Bowl LII MVP quarterback Nick Foles to a four-year contract worth $88 million. $50.1 million is guaranteed and could pay up to $102 million with incentives.

That generated excitement for the fan base but he was injured in Week 1 against Kansas City in the first quarter. He suffered a broken left clavicle and had surgery the next day. He did not return until Week 11 and rookie Gardner Minshew started in his place.

Foles only had four starts and threw three touchdowns with two interceptions. The team finished the year 6 -10.

The good news is they earned the No. 9 pick. The Jaguars’ pick will be their 18th time in the top 10 since the franchise came into existence in 1995, the most of any team. The Cardinals, who will be making their 15th top-10 pick since 1995, are second.

They also acquired the 20th pick when they traded Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams.

The good news is they have nine draft picks in the upcoming 2020 draft. The bad news is there are now several holes in Jacksonville’s roster. The offensive and defensive efficiency rankings are both 26th.

They rank 24th in total defense and 20th in total offense. Let’s take a look and see what impact players the Jags might select in the first round.

With the ninth pick, the Jags can go in several different directions. The offensive line needs a solid left tackle and Louisville’s Mekhi Becton would be a good fit. He’s 6’7, 369 pounds but he’s very athletic. He has good footwork, balance and strength. He would fit nicely with 2019 second-round right tackle Jawaan Taylor.

The other option could be a play-making wide receiver. Receiver CeeDee Lamb (Oklahoma) could provide speed and explosive plays. Second-year receiver D.J. Chark Jr. had a breakout 2019 campaign (75/1,008/8), but the team needs more weapons for Gardner Minshew (or Nick Foles).

Lamb had 62 catches, 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019. He averaged 21.4 yards per reception.

The last option with this pick is on the defensive side of the ball. I think the top three prospects; cornerback Jeffrey Okudah, defensive tackle Derrick Brown and linebacker Isiah Simmons should be off the board before this pick. South Carolina DT Javon Kinlaw would be the best player available and he could help shore up the interior.

With the 20th pick, I think CB Trevon Diggs (Alabama) would be a good fit. They need a corner to replace Ramsey. Diggs has good physical traits standing at 6’2, 207 pounds. He had 37 total tackles, 3 interceptions and 8 pass deflections last season. If runs in the 4.4 range at the combine they have to take him.

If they don’t select them, I expect them to take another corner, C.J. Henderson (Florida). The biggest knock on him is his tackling but he has the height (6’1) and speed to be an elite cover corner.

Jacksonville has a chance to turn the franchise around with this draft.

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch February 8

Jason Bishop Show w Kipp Branch February 8