We’re just a couple of days away from the 2018 NFL Draft, and nearly to the end of our 2018 Community Mock Draft as well. Let’s review how the last five selections have gone in our mock thus far.
24. Carolina Panthers - Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
25. Tennessee Titans - Marcus Davenport, DE, Texas-San Antonio
26. Atlanta Falcons - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
27. New Orleans Saints - Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
28. Pittsburgh Steelers - Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
That brings us to the team that lost the AFC Championship Game this past season, the Jacksonville Jaguars. They’re picking at #29, and they’ve got a lot of positions that they’re already really, really solid at. However, they do have some needs. Let’s go ahead and take a look at them here.
2017 record: 10-6 (1st place, AFC South)
S Don Carey (free agent signing), S Cody Davis (free agent signing), CB D.J. Hayden (free agent signing), QB Cody Kessler (acquired via trade with Cleveland), WR Donte Moncrief (free agent signing), G Andrew Norwell (free agent signing), TE Niles Paul (free agent signing), TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (free agent signing)
CB Aaron Colvin (signed with Houston), QB Chad Henne (signed with Kansas City), WR Allen Hurns (signed with Dallas), RB Chris Ivory (signed with Buffalo), TE Marcedes Lewis (released), G Patrick Omameh (signed with New York Giants), WR Allen Robinson (signed with Chicago)
Guard - The Jaguars signed Andrew Norwell to a huge contract, making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL early on in free agency. That takes care of one guard spot. Still, this team wants to run the football and keep Blake Bortles. . .or whoever lines up behind center. . .on their feet. That means taking another guard that would slot in on the right side.
Quarterback - The team picked up Blake Bortles’ fifth-year option, and he did have a good season in 2017, but you have to get the feeling that the Jaguars aren’t convinced. It’s a make-or-break year for Bortles, and the Jaguars might want to have a plan in place if Bortles regresses this coming year.
Tight end - It seems like Marcedes Lewis has been with the Jaguars forever, and he kind of has, but he hasn’t been brought back so far this offseason. If the Jaguars are interested in helping Bortles out, they probably need to get him someone to work the middle of the field the way Lewis could in his prime years.
Wide receiver - The Jaguars lost both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, who just a couple of years ago were one of the league’s most prolific receiving tandems. If the season started today, Marquise Lee and newly-acquired Donte Moncrief would be the starters at receiver, but the Jaguars would probably want to add more at the position.
Will Hernandez, G, Texas-El Paso - If the Jaguars want to maul people, then Hernandez is probably the guy they want. He’s probably the best pure guard in this year’s class not named Quenton Nelson, and would be a perfect addition at the right guard spot for Jacksonville.
Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina - With Dallas Goedert off of the board, Hurst is the next man up at the tight end spot. He’s got the size and speed to create mismatches for the Jacksonville offense to exploit. What’s likely going to scare teams away from Hurst is his age, as thanks to a couple of seasons of minor league baseball he’s already 25 years of age.
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M - Kirk is someone that could immediately step in for the Jaguars and be their #3 wide receiver in a group with Lee and Moncrief. He also has elite return skills, though I’m not sure whether or not Jacksonville would use him in that capacity.
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State - As stated earlier, the Jaguars probably aren’t really in love with Bortles at this point, and Rudolph could prove to be the contingency they put in place while Bortles plays out his fifth-year option. If Bortles continues developing in a positive manner, then they have Rudolph as his future backup. If he doesn’t, then Rudolph could be starting as early as 2019.
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia - For much of this mock we’ve avoided having two guys at the same position as options for a team to choose from, but Wynn really is a different sort of guard than Hernandez is. Wynn is more mobile, and could potentially have more flexibility, having excelled at Georgia as a tackle.
Tomorrow, we hit the last pick (that we’re actually going to get to) in our 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, as the most important team in the National Football League will be on the clock with pick #30.
With the twenty-ninth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia