Jacksonville Jaguars NFL Draft Recap/Grade – 2018
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Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Picks (2018)
|4||129||Will Richardson||T||NC State|
|7||247||Logan Cooke||P||Mississippi St.|
Key Positional Needs Entering Draft
- Offensive Line
- Wide Receiver
The Jacksonville Jaguars were in uncharted territory during the 2018 NFL Draft picking outside of the top 10 for the first time in 10 years. Most of those selections were top 5 picks the most recent of which have become cornerstone pieces to the franchise. During free agency the Jacksonville Jaguars made a huge splash netting offensive guard Andrew Norwell to improve the interior of the offensive line. The Jags also added wide receiver Donte Moncrief and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins given the departures of Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, and long time TE Mercedes Lewis.
I felt like the Jaguars already had one of the top rosters in the NFL and didn’t have any glaring holes. Although, I was disappointed they did not select a replacement for Paul Posluszny in the middle of the defense or address the right guard position. As for Posluszny, the assumption is that Myles Jack will slide inside and Jacksonville will look elsewhere (internally) for a strong side linebacker in base sets. On Day 1 they selected Taven Bryan out of Florida. The value was there as Bryan was Mike Mayock’s 26th best player in the draft and his combine score was one of the highest in the class. Bryan is very athletic and has the rare ability to push the pocket from the inside. He would be an instant starter on most teams, but will likely have to wait his turn and have a more prominent role in 2019 for the Jaguars considering the depth they have along their defensive line. I would have preferred for them to go with Will Hernandez, as incumbent RG A.J. Cann had a underwhelming 52.2 grade according to PFF and 5 Guards went in the next 10 picks after the Jaguars’ selection of Bryan really hurting their chances of perfecting that offensive line.
Day 2 they continued to draft players out of the SEC going with DJ Chark and Ronnie Harrison in rounds 2 and 3. They had a long time to wait and saw a lot of good WRs fall off of the board before they had an opportunity to pick. James Washington going one pick ahead of them was frustrating to watch. I think at this point he is substantially better than Chark and was certainly more productive. I will be watching those two guys along with Courtland Sutton, Anthony Miller, and the other round 2 guys to see who rises to the top. That being said, Chark is a great fit. He is a burner and in an offense that runs the ball you need a guy like Chark to stretch the defense out and keep them honest. He isn’t the best run blocker, but he should still help the run game and projects to be a much better pro than college player. He blew up the combine and was a fast riser on draft boards. Ronnie Harrison was a guy that fell and he was on the top of the best available ticker for a while. A great value, he was #34 on Mayock’s top 100 and they got him at 93. Love the player, love the value, and love the future fit. He will be depth for now as their secondary is loaded. Another player that will have a more prominent role in 2019.
On the third and final day of the draft the Jacksonville Jaguars finally addressed offensive line. They grabbed Will Richardson, who had a day 2 projection and should be able to add much needed depth to the o line and possibly kick in and compete for the starting RG spot in camp. In the fourth round they grabbed quarterback Tanner Lee out of Nebraska. This was a little bit of a reach in my opinion and don’t forget they traded for Cody Kessler before the draft. They also added LB Leon Jacobs from Wisconsin. He played outside and on the edge for the Badgers and is currently penciled in at 3rd string SLB. Shorter at 6’1, but Jacobs has long arms an athletic frame along with a really nice combine performance show upside for this 7th round pick.
Ronnie Harrison, I know that this was a luxury pick for them as incumbents Tashaun Gipson and Bary Church are in place; but, this is the NFL and injuries happen. Harrison’s value is ridiculous in the 3rd round, he was projected as a first round pick and if he went round 1 it would not have shocked anyone. He could easily be the future starter on a very cheap 3rd round contract behind Church. He will contribute immediately on special teams, add depth at both safety spots, and bring a winning mentality as he is coming off of a national championship victory as a key member of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Tom Coughlin always says, “You can never have too many good football players.” Point made and a tip of the cap Tom for this pick and this roster.
Fantasy Football Implications
The defense got better by adding Harrison and Bryan, they will be the obvious #1 fantasy defense and this just helps them in case of injury. DJ Chark is the only fantasy relevant rookie and he should be a sought after dynasty player; but will likely go un-selected in redraft leagues. Still his presence creates more chaos for fantasy owners as they try to figure out which WR to own. Dede Westbrook is now rumored to be 4th on the depth chart and his stock is down after the draft. My Jaguars WR to draft is…no one. Blake Bortles won’t throw enough to make anyone dependable week in and week out but Seferian Jenkins could be a solid streaming option.