Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Jaguars' defensive line was awful in 2012, as it struggled to get pressure on the quarterback and to stop the run. The Jaguars finished the season with a league-low 20 sacks and ranked 30th in rush yards allowed per game (141).
Jacksonville needs to upgrade its defensive line, and they will have the chance to do so in the draft. There are many players who will be available to join the team and be an immediate starter. The Jaguars' defensive line woes should be answered in the first round of the draft.
Bjoern Werner (Florida State): Werner is entering the draft after his junior season at Florida State, where he became one of the country's best players. He finished his junior season with an ACC-high 13 sacks and a team-high 18 tackles for loss. He also broke up eight passes during the year. His performance earned him the ACC Defensive Player of the Year award. Werner has good quickness and natural instincts by being able to locate the ball-carrier. He has only been playing since he was 15 and is just full of raw talent. Werner was a dominant player in college and will step in as the Jaguars pass-rusher on day one if drafted.
Damontre Moore (Texas A&M): Moore was moved to defensive end prior to the 2012 season, and he thrived at the position. He finished his final season in college with 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss, earning him first-team All-SEC and second-team AP All-American honors. Moore is a big player at 6'4" and 250 pounds and has impressive speed off the edge. He is still developing as a pass-rusher and can be a dangerous player in the NFL.
Star Lotulelei (Utah): Lotulelei had a phenomenal collegiate career; he was named to the 2012 Walter Camp All-America first team and was a two-time member of the All-Pac 12 first team. He would immediately upgrade both the rush and pass defense, as he finished his senior season with five sacks and a team-high 11 tackles for loss. Lotulelei is athletic enough to slip by blockers and has the awareness to run down ball-carriers. Lotulelei is as close to a can't-miss prospect as there is in this draft and would be a dominant force in the interior of the Jaguars defensive line.
Jarvis Jones (Georgia): Jones played 3-4 outside linebacker, but has the pass-rushing ability to play as 4-3 defensive end. He was a force for the Bulldogs defense, finishing his junior year leading the country with 14.5 sacks, 24.5 tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles. The dynamic playmaker was named to the All-SEC first team in each of his two eligible seasons. Jones does come with some medical concern, as he was diagnosed with a mild case of spinal stenosis in 2009. If he is medically cleared, Jones would be a dangerous defensive player in the NFL.
Barkevious Mingo (LSU): Mingo didn't begin playing football until his junior year of high school, but it didn't take long for him to start turning heads with his play. Now he is one of the most highly touted underclassmen entering the draft. He is a hybrid defensive end and outside linebacker, and with first-year head coach Gus Bradley running a hybrid scheme in Seattle, Mingo could fit perfectly in the Jaguars' scheme. He finished his junior year with 4.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss, but showed he is an instinctive player despite being a raw talent. He shows good lateral agility and locates the ball well, allowing him to close in on the tackle quickly. He lacks the size of a traditional 4-3 pass-rusher, but has the natural talent to terrorize quarterbacks.
Dion Jordan (Oregon): Jordan is another hybrid player who could be selected in the first round. He earned All-Pac 12 first-team honors for his senior season after he posted five sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Jordan rarely lined up with his hand on the ground, instead preferring to line up while standing. He is highly athletic and has a quick first step to close in on the quarterback. Jordan needs to add weight to his 6'7", 240-pound frame, but he has the speed to make an impact on the NFL level. The Jaguars could look at Jordan if they trade out of the second pick.
Sheldon Richardson (Missouri): Richardson had an explosive junior season at defensive tackle for Missouri before declaring for the NFL draft. He had four sacks, three forced fumbles, a blocked kick and a team-high 14 tackles for loss. His performance landed him on the All-SEC first team (Media). He is quick off the snap and shows a short area burst to close in on ball-carriers. Richardson has great recognition skills and is able to sniff out screens and draws. He only had one dominant season before declaring for the draft, and that could make teams shy away from him. Richardson has a large frame at 6'3" and almost 300 pounds, so he has the size teams look for in defensive tackles.
Jesse Williams (Alabama): Williams more than lived up to his nickname, "Tha Monstar," during his time at Alabama. He helped lead the Crimson Tide to back-to-back BCS championships as an anchor in the middle of the defensive line. Williams has superhuman strength and is able to bench press 600 pounds, but he also has great technique to go along with the power. His hands have improved and he has the ability to shed blocks and makes tackles. Williams doesn't have the agility to be a pass-rusher, but his strength is more than enough to be a run-stuffer.
Jonathan Jenkins (Georgia): Jenkins had a good career at Georgia and finished his senior season with All-SEC second-team accolades. He has a huge build at 6'4" and 359 pounds, making it hard for opposing linemen to move him. Jenkins has great strength and can handle double-teams. He excels in run defense, but adds little in terms of pass rush. He could still be a dominant defensive tackle in the NFL.
Ezekial Ansah (BYU): Ansah is one of the most interesting stories heading into the draft. He has only been playing football since 2010, and he wasn't productive until he had a breakout senior season. He tallied 4.5 sacks and 13 tackles for loss and earned FBS All-Independent first-team honors. Ansah has shown a powerful bull rush that backs linemen into the pocket, as well as good athleticism. If the Jaguars are able to trade back in the first round, Ansah would be a player worth taking a risk on.