The NFL Draft is less than ten days away. The Jacksonville Jaguars have some major decisions to make in this upcoming draft. Jacksonville is a team that still needs to make a few more improvements, especially with their depth at particular positions. The team had a great free agency period, but a solid draft class will also be important for a turnaround this year in Jacksonville. While Jacksonville has many options for this year’s draft, there are a few things the Jaguars front office should do and should not do between April 27th and April 29th.
Do draft a running back
This should be the top priority for the Jaguars organization and they have a great opportunity to select a quality player due to a strong pool of running backs in this draft. Though the Jaguars should select a running back in the first round, selecting a running back in the second round may also be a good option. Jacksonville could use a starting running back, and this draft class is deep enough that the Jaguars could get a starting running back early in the second round.
Don’t draft a quarterback early
The Jaguars front office has made it clear Blake Bortles is the guy to start the season, which means the Jaguars should not draft a quarterback in any of the first four rounds. This quarterback class is weak, and with the wide array of talent at other positions, the Jaguars should not worry about a quarterback this year. They could draft a quarterback in the later rounds if they see a project with decent potential. However, Jacksonville should stick with Bortles this season. He could have a bounce-back year, but another bad season could make signing or drafting a quarterback in 2018 a must-do for the Jaguars.
Do draft a tight end
After trading Julius Thomas, Jacksonville lost a quality tight end, but Thomas needed a change of scenery. With the acquisition of Mychal Rivera, the Jaguars have more depth at the tight end position. They still need a clear number one tight end. Marcedes Lewis may be good enough to play that role for at least another season, but he is already 32 years old. They could draft another tight end in a draft class that includes O.J. Howard, Evan Engram, and Jake Butt, among many others.
Don’t draft a cornerback early
The Jaguars have a solid core of cornerbacks under contract, and they do not need to use one of their early picks at the position. Unlike at safety, Jacksonville could use at least one more cornerback to add to their depth. Drafting a cornerback in the third or fourth round would be ideal. This draft class is very deep with cornerback talent, and drafting a player like cornerback Marshon Lattimore in the first round would be a poor choice, especially with the Jaguars’ need for a starting running back.
Do trade back if possible
With all the recent acquisitions, the Jaguars have one of the better rosters in the league on paper. The only weaknesses for the Jaguars are the quarterback and running back positions. I expect Bortles to bounce-back this season, and the Jaguars should be able to draft a running back at some point. With their talent, the Jaguars should not be thinking long-term with the talent they have acquired. With aging guys like Branden Albert and Calais Campbell, the Jaguars should only expect two or three years of high-level production from them at best. Instead, Jacksonville should be thinking playoffs. The Jaguars could trade back from the fourth pick, get a mid-late first-round pick and a few other picks. These picks could add depth to the team, but also allow Jacksonville to draft a running back later in the first round.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Jacksonville Jaguars article is published, fill out our email notification form.