The Jaguars are going to focus on upgrading their defense this offseason. I've had them drafting Myles Jack for a while, and I believe they will go that route - unless Joey Bosa happens to be available. Jacksonville has a weak edge rush, even with Dante Fowler set to return. The team has to add personnel to improve its ability to get to the quarterback, as that will perhaps allow it to finally be truly competitive against the Colts (when Andrew Luck is healthy).
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Myles Jack, LB - Jack would be a huge upgrade over the declining Paul Posluszny, and the knee isn't a concern for some teams.
2. DeForest Buckner, DE - I wouldn't count on Buckner here either, but I think the other two choices are more likely.
Rd. 2, Pk. 7
Artie Burns, CB, Miami
A number of cornerbacks are expected to go off the board atop the second round, and that includes Artie Burns. The Jaguars will certainly be interested in one, and Burns has the size they covet.
Rd. 3, Pk. 6
Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
I wasn't kidding when I said that the Jaguars had to address their pass rush in the 2016 NFL Draft. Multiple players are needed in this regard, and Sheldon Day would be a nice fit as someone who could create havoc in the interior.
Rd. 4, Pk. 5
Jalen Mills, CB/S, LSU
The Jaguars signed Tashaun Gipson this offseason, but they may not be done at safety. John Cyprien has struggled at the other spot, so here's some needed competition.
Rd. 5, Pk. 7
Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
I think the Jaguars could add a receiver in the middle rounds, and Michael Thomas certainly fits the range at this spot.
Rd. 6, Pk. 5
Eric Striker, OLB/3-4OLB, Oklahoma
It's difficult to determine where exactly Eric Striker will play, but the Jaguars coached him in the Senior Bowl, so perhaps they'd have a plan.
Rd. 6, Pk. 25
Austin Blythe, C, Iowa
The Jaguars lost Stefen Wisniewski this offseason, so it wouldn't surprise me to see them draft a center much earlier than this.
Rd. 7, Pk. 5
Jake Coker, QB, Alabama
The only quarterback on Jacksonville's roster besides Blake Bortles is Chad Henne. The Jaguars may want to think about developing another signal-caller.
If Leonard Fournette is available, I think the Jaguars will take him in a heartbeat. If Fournette doesn't get here, I think the Jaguars might go with Alabama tight end O.J. Howard or Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. Fournette is a no-brainer if he gets to Jacksonville.
In 2016, Fournette averaged 6.5 yards per carry for 843 yards with eight touchdowns. He recorded 15 receptions for 146 yards as well. Fournette set a school record with 284 yards on 16 carries against Ole Miss. The junior played well in 2016, but his ankle injury seemed to be holding back some of the speed and explosion he displayed as a sophomore.
Fournette (6-0, 240) has a serious burst to go along with a powerful build. He is a downhill physical runner who also is a threat to break off long touchdown runs. While obviously big and powerful, Fournette also has some wiggle to him with an elusive running style that makes him really hard to tackle.
Fournette was a superstar in 2015, overwhelming nearly every defense he took on. The sophomore averaged 6.5 yards per carry over the year for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also caught 19 passes for 253 yards.
There were a lot of comparisons made of Fournette to Adrian Peterson when the former signed with LSU, and he validated the hype as a sophomore with his running style being very similar to Peterson's. Fournette didn't disappoint in 2014 either, setting the LSU record for yards from a freshman. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry for 1,034 yards with 10 touchdowns.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Ryan Ramcyzk, OT, Wisconsin
Tom Coughlin's wants the Jaguars to improve their rushing attack and be a tougher, more physical team. They traded for Brandon Albert, but they can't count on the oft-injured veteran to be their long-term left tackle.
Team sources say the medical report on Ramczyk had some concerns. Some teams also question his love for football after he quit the sport after high school. Ramczyk had a strong 2016 season blocking for the Badgers in his debut as their starting left tackle. In 2013 and 2014, he was the starting left tackle at UW-Stevens Point where he earned a lot of accolades before sitting out the 2015 season with a redshirt after transferring to Wisconsin. Ramczyk was one of the better left tackles in college football during 2016.
Ramczyk (6-6, 310) has a lot of good qualities that could lead to him being a starting left tackle in the NFL. He is quick out his stance, fast to hit blocks in the second level, and is able to get in position for blocks in space. In pass protection, Ramczyk can play the type writer with his feet and shuffle with rushers. He gets depth in his drop as well. On some plays, Ramczyk can be slow to react and adjust to counter pass-rush moves, but that will change as he gains more experience. Ramczyk also needs to add more strength. He can get bull rushed and pushed back by rushers. His frame doesn't look maxed out though, and he should get stronger in an NFL strength and conditioning program.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Julie'n Davenport, OT, Bucknell
The Jaguars could use multiple additions to their weak offensive line.
Sources say that Davenport has superb measurements to be a starting left tackle in the NFL. He weighed in at the Senior Bowl at 6-foot-6, 310 pounds and possesses excellent length with 36-inch arms and 10.5-inch hands. Davenport has good athleticism with quick feet and a background in playing basketball. He needs to add a lot of strength, however, as he plays too high and can get pushed around. Davenport also struggles with redirecting and can get bull rushed. He needs some developmental time in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Michael Roberts, TE, Toledo
The Jaguars could consider taking multiple tight ends considering Marcedes Lewis turns 33 just after the 2017 NFL Draft and Julius Thomas was traded away.
Roberts (6-4, 261) is a blocking tight end for the NFL, yet he also has some receiving ability. Scouting sources said that Roberts could be the best pure Y - blocking - tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft. They say Roberts is athletic enough to make some plays as a short option or in the red zone. He had a quality week at the Senior Bowl, minus a few dropped passes. In 2016, Roberts totaled 45 receptions for 533 yards with 16 touchdowns. As a junior, he made 21 catches for 234 yards with four scores.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Avery Gennesy, G, Texas A&M
Tom Coughlin wants the Jaguars to get tougher. Here's a blocker to help their competition up front, and they've shown some interest in Gennesy.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Ben Boulware, ILB, Clemson
The Jaguars could use some inside linebacker depth given the age of Paul Posluszny and Myles Jack struggling as a rookie.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Samson Ebukam, OLB, Eastern Washington
The Jaguars grab some linebacker depth and brought in Ebukam for a visit.
The Jags offense made a huge leap in 2015, unfortunately, their defense did not, and they frequently lost high scoring games. With Fowler coming back from his injury, they should have their Leo pass rusher at last and Malik Jackson should be a solid addition up front as a 2 gaping DT. The rest of their defensive line, however, is not pretty. Without going too in depth into Bradley's defensive scheme, they run a hybrid defense which is technically a 4-3 but is more of a gap system than a penetration scheme like most 4-3's. This means that they will want one smaller, versatile pass rushing end to play wide and get around the edge (Fowler), a 2-gap NT, and two run stopping DE's who are strong enough to take responsibility for two gaps on a run play if need be, but versatile enough to penetrate as well. The ability to get to the QB on pass plays is also important, especially for the defensive end (think Michael Bennett). DeForest Buckner should be perfect for this scheme as the "non-leo" defensive end.
Team Needs: CB, C, OL, OLB, & DB
2015 Offense Rankings: Total-21st, Pass-20th, Run-28th
2015 Defense Rankings: Total-26th, Pass-31st, Run-17th
Jaguars would love if Ramsey or Hargreaves would fall to them. Jacksonville needs defensive backfield help but would love to add a pass rusher who is versatile. Gus Bradley needs his defense to finally develop or else he will be canned. The offense came on late last year but the pass defense couldn't cover a cold. Drafting Bosa would allow Bradley to use him in multiple roles to rush the pass. This pick is a match make in heaven for both parties.
According to NFL.com
NFL COMPARISON: Ryan Kerrigan
Combine Grade: 6.72
College All-American (2015)
CFP National Champion (2015)
Sugar Bowl Champion (2015)
Big Ten Champion (2014)
Unanimous All-American (2014)
2× First Team All-Big Ten (2014, 2015)
Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year (2014)
2× Smith–Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year (2014, 2015)
Freshman All-American (2013)
Freshman All-Big Ten (2013)
Gus Bradley is entering his fourth year as the HC for the Black & Teal. Bradley's Bunch must show significant improvement in both wins and talent development in order for him to keep his job. His defense finished with a 31st ranking, giving up a whopping 28 points a game. The pass defense underwhelmed, finishing 24th, and fared a little better against the run, finishing 15th. But the most glaring need is pass rusher; if we learned anything from SB 50 is that you must be able to affect the passer in this league. It's still early in the process, but Joey Bosa could fall in their lap. Bosa has drawn comparisons to the Great J.J.Watt, and Bosa has the tools to improve that struggling pass defense greatly. However in this CMD, Jacksonville snatches the versatile Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey has the ability to play both Corner and Free Safety and the Jags need playmakers at both positions. The former FSU standout would give Bradley that ball-hawking DB that's been missing in their secondary.
Here is what I wrote about the previous pick of Andrew Billings: "(He) went out and ran as fast at the combine as I expected after watching the tape. He is one of those rare DLs who gets tired at the end of games, not because he's out of shape but because he chases more plays sideline to sideline than any DL you will watch. I don't believe the second round talk on him at all. This is their Brandon Mebane in Gus Bradley's system. No way are they going to invest in Malik Jackson then leave Roy Miller or Abry Jones next to him so that guards and tight ends can chip on him all game and make him the most overpaid player in the league. Billings is easily the best defensive lineman in the draft and a no-brainer pick here."
Don't ask me why he is being downgraded so much, but I suspect the answer is that the NFL draft has become very similar to the NBA draft in recent years, where teams who actually need to get as many guys as possible who are developed and ready to play, take extremely raw, developmental players instead. Then in five years, you look back and see that they are picking in the top 16 again after three out of four years picking in the top 16. I like what Jacksonville is going, but I don't like this pick at all. Here is what I wrote about Buckner in the original mock of him to the Cowboys in round 2:
"Remember the Zeke Elliott pick. This is not a good draft for the Cowboys to make logical picks. They will be high-fiving and talking about stealing Buckner, but I think this is actually high for him. Watch the tape from 2013 and compare his play to Armstead. Buckner is big but unathletic, and unlike Calais Campbell who he is compared to, the additional weight will just make him slower and less flexible. One of the most over-rated players we've seen in the draft since Clowney."
** Previous Pick ** NT Andrew Billings.
The Jaguars will be bummed with the departure of Jack going a pick before them but they will opt to go with a desperate need in the secondary in Vernon Hargreaves. Hargreaves will plug into a desperate secondary and should have a huge impact.
Scouting report: Premier, quick twitch athlete with explosion pulsing through his hips and feet. Instant click-and-close action to explode forward and attack the throw. Vertical springs to go up and over receivers at the high point. Smooth, controlled backpedal with ability to weave and mirror route progressions. Plays with outstanding body control and balance. Feet are electric. Can overwhelm lesser opponents across from him. Instinctive and urgent in his play. Excels from press, off or zone coverage. Fiery competitor with a strong desire to own the pass. Has quick, soft hands. Posted 38 passes defensed and 10 interceptions over last three years. Could see early kick or punt return action. Unwilling to stay blocked and doesn't hesitate for one moment in run support and against wide receiver screens. Chest-up tackler who runs through his target.
Other possibilities: Joey Bosa DE, Myles Jack LB
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Vernon Hargreaves Going to Jaguars
Rd. 1, Pk. 5
Jalen Ramsey, CB/S
Stupid teams do stupid things. The Jaguars used to be a stupid team, but they've made great strides recently, and now look like they're on the cusp of competing for the playoffs. They've taken another step toward that with this pick. Jalen Ramsey is one of the top two players in the draft. Jacksonville shouldn't have been able to obtain him with the fifth-overall selection, but it did. Congrats, Jaguars! You're one of the winners of the draft.
Rd. 2, Pk. 5
Myles Jack, OLB
I usually penalize teams for moving up in the 2016 NFL Draft, as history has shown that it's not a good idea to squander resources. However, the Jaguars shifted up just two spots to obtain someone who was in consideration at No. 5 overall. That earns an automatic A+.
This might just be the best pick of the draft. Excluding his injury, Jack was seen as perhaps the best player in this class. He would've been a top-five selection had he not hurt his knee. He fell out of the first round because teams were scared off, but given that it's become apparent that Jack doesn't need micro-fracture knee surgery, there's no excuse for the Browns and Chargers for passing on him. Credit the Jaguars, who are killing this draft. Oh, and also major dap to Charlie Campbell, who called this hours ago on Twitter!