The Jaguars currently have eight selections in this April’s draft, and just a few pressing needs. The team claims to be BAP (best available player) drafters, but their picks in the Del Rio era suggest otherwise.
Round 1, pick #26- Jaguars select Trevor Laws, DT Notre Dame
Rationale: Whereas the Jaguars don’t have a desperate need for a defensive tackle as much as they do for a defensive end, they can’t pass up a rising value like Laws in the first round. Laws is a shorter, powerful defensive tackle who was involved in nearly every play during his final two seasons at Notre Dame. Laws could be nearly as dominant as Glenn Dorsey without the health concerns.
Alternatives: If Laws isn’t on the board at pick #26, the Jaguars could go with defensive tackle Kentwan Balmer from North Carolina, who is another mammoth tackle at 6'5", 308 lbs.
One other option could be former University of Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason, who could be a fine cover-two type of corner who possesses great kick return abilities.
Round 2, pick #58- Jaguars select Lawrence Jackson, DE USC
Rationale: The Jaguars need to find pass rushers, and with only two first day picks, they can’t pass on a solid defensive end twice. Jackson is a 6'4", 271 lb. end who has good quickness and feet. Although he is better at rushing the passer than playing the run, he can still be an every downs defensive end at the NFL level.
Alternatives: Sam Baker, LT, USC- Baker could’ve been a first-round pick in most years, but slips to round two because this draft is so deep at the tackle position. He’s a three-time All-American and a winner.
Another possibility could be Penn State CB, Justin King. King is a 5'11", 192 lb. corner that has speed to burn as he posted a 4.31 (40) at the combine, and has recorded times of 4.26. King is also a solid hitter at his size.
Round 3, pick #71- Jaguars select Steve Justice, C Wake Forest
Rationale: Justice doesn’t fill an immediate need, as the Jaguars have one of the better centers in the game in Brad Meester, but the team can’t pass on a player of Justice’s caliber on the second day of the draft. Justice is a very smart player who can handle assignments, as well as be a more than serviceable run blocker.
Alternatives: Tom Zbikowski, SS, Notre Dame- Zbikowski is a smart, big hitting safety that plays the run well. Tough kid, almost a Donovin Darius type of clone.
Another option could be former Arizona State strong safety Josh Barrett. NFL Draft Expert Chris Steuber compares Barrett to deceased Washington Redskin Sean Taylor, as Barrett has similar playmaking skills and great speed.
Round 3, pick #89- Jaguars select Kendall Langford, DE Hampton
Rationale: With the Jaguars having very few team needs, it would make sense to draft multiple players to fill one need, just in case one of the guys doesn’t work out. Langford would make for a nice value with the Jaguars second, third-round pick as he has a lanky 6'6", 287 lb. frame with speed to burn off the edge. Langford can play inside as well on passing downs, as he has enough power to split double teams. Langford was a teammate of the Jaguars Justin Durant in college.
Alternatives: Jeremy Thompson, DE, Wake Forest- Thompson is a 6'5", 265 lb. DE who can be a Paul Spicer type of clone, as he plays the run well, and show some random explosiveness. If not for Thompson’s torn ACL in 2005, he would likely be a higher selection.
Another option could be University of Central Florida running back Kevin Smith. The former Knight was ultra-productive in his junior season, rushing for over 2600 yards. The Jaguars don’t have a need at running back, but Smith could be too great of a value to pass on.
Round 4, pick 27 (actual pick number to be determined by compensatory selections)- Jaguars select Tony Hills, OT, Texas
Rationale: Hills is a medical project due to his broken leg last season. Hills is a 6'5", 309 lb. tackle who can add 20 lbs. of muscle to his frame without it affecting his quickness. He’s a smart player who was a First-Team All-Big 12 selection as a senior.
Alternatives: OLB Wesley Woodyard, Kentucky, who the Jaguars are high on, or speedy WR Dexter Jackson from Appalachin State.
Round 5, pick 10- Jaguars select DeMario Pressley, DT, N.C. State
Rationale: Pressley is 6'3", 301 lb. DT that can occupy bodies at the point of attack, and could be a smaller, Grady Jackson type of rotational guy for the Jaguars.
Alternatives: Joey Haynos, TE, Maryland, or Kevin O’Connell, QB, San Diego St.
Round 5, pick 25- Jaguars select Jo-Lonn Dunbar, MLB, Boston College
Rationale: Dunbar is an undersized player at 6'1", 230 lbs. who has been proving people wrong throughout his college career, and he makes plays. Too great of a value to pass on.
Alternatives: Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon, or Kenny Ibewema, DE, Iowa.
Round 5, pick 27- Jaguars select Marcus Monk, WR, Arkansas
Rationale: The Jaguars already have a logjam at wide receiver, but Monk has good physical skills and Hall of Fame bloodlines that the team can’t pass up on. Monk is 6'4", 222 lbs., and played in a run-heavy offense at Arkansas without any kind of solid quarterback.
Alternatives: Corey Lynch, FS, Appalachin State, or Jack Ikegwuonu, CB, Wisconsin