10 Draft Prospects Every Jacksonville Jaguars Fan Should Know About
The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to have to completely rebuild their roster following a franchise-worst 2-14 record in 2012, and they will have a chance to get an impact player with the No. 2 selection in the NFL draft.
Jacksonville has holes all over its roster, and general manager David Caldwell has already said (per John Oehser of jaguars.com) he will draft for need. The Jaguars most pressing needs are on the offensive and defensive lines and in the secondary.
Caldwell has also not ruled out (per Pro Football Weekly) drafting a quarterback.
The Jaguars will have a ton of options in the draft, and almost any player taken in the first few rounds could be an immediate starter. With all the possible players the franchise could select, there are many prospects Jaguars fans need to be familiar with heading into the draft.
Here are 10 draft prospects Jaguars fans need to know about based on team need and where the player is projected to go.
10. Omoregie Uzzi, Gerogia Tech
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The Jaguars need help on the offensive line after allowing the third-most sacks (50) and quarterback hits (103) in the league in 2012.
With Jacksonville switching to a zone-blocking scheme (per Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union), the Jaguars will have to find linemen who fit the scheme.
The zone-blocking system requires more athletic linemen, and one player who fits that mold is Georgia Tech's Omoregie Uzzi.
A three-year starter for the Yellow Jackets, Uzzi was a three-time All-ACC honoree by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association and was named to the 2012 All-ACC First Team (Coaches).
Uzzi is explosive and quick for his size and has the athleticism to get to the second level and block. He is an impact pass-blocker and is fluid in protection to redirect rushers. He's also a strong run-blocker and can engage multiple defenders without losing momentum.
At 6'3" and 302 pounds, Uzzi is only average size for his position, but his size coupled with his athleticism could make him a perfect fit in Jacksonville's zone-blocking scheme. He will be available in the middle rounds of the draft, and the Jaguars could get great value by selecting Uzzi.
9. Matt Scott, Arizona
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General manager Caldwell said (per Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union) in his introductory press conference that he isn't ready to give up on quarterback Blaine Gabbert, but still plans to address the quarterback situation.
If the Jaguars do acquire another quarterback, it will most likely be done through the draft. With more pressing needs at other positions, they will probably wait until the later rounds to do so.
Arizona's Matt Scott would likely be available in the mid-to-late rounds of the draft, and the Jaguars could take a chance on him.
Scott played very well in Rich Rodriguez's offense after taking over the starting role in 2012. He completed 60.3 percent of his passes for 3,620 yards and 27 touchdowns to 14 interceptions. He's also dangerous running the ball, rushing for more than 500 yards and six touchdowns last season.
He is an athletic player who can make defenders miss in the pocket while being able to scramble and make plays. Scott has the arm strength to fire balls into tight windows, even on the run
Scott needs to work on his accuracy, but it will improve as he works on his footwork.
The former-Wildcat already has ties with the Jaguars, as Jacksonville's new quarterback coach Frank Scelfo was Scott's college quarterback coach for several years before sitting out last season.
Scelfo is reportedly (via Tony Pauline of Draft Insider) very high on Scott, making it a strong possibility Caldwell will draft him.
Scott has the arm strength to play in the NFL and is a great development prospect the Jaguars could mold into their quarterback of the future.
8. David Amerson, North Carolina State
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With cornerbacks Derek Cox and Rashean Mathis set to be free agents this offseason, the Jaguars will be thin in the secondary. Jacksonville needs to re-sign Cox, who is a very talented player when healthy. They should let the aging Mathis walk and find his replacement in the draft.
David Amerson from North Carolina State could be on potential replacement, and he should still be available late in the second-day of the draft.
Amerson had a very good career as a member of the Wolfpack, especially in his sophomore season. He set an ACC record with 13 interceptions in 2011 and returned two for touchdowns, earning him the Jack Tatum Award for the country's top cornerback.
His play fell off a bit in his junior year in 2012, but he still hauled in five interceptions and was named to the All-ACC Second Team.
Amerson is a very aggressive defender who has the ball skills to succeed in the NFL. His 17 collegiate interceptions proved he has the ability to read the quarterback and jump the receiver's route.
Standing at 6'2", Amerson is very big for a cornerback, which is something Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley covets. Bradley's defense in Seattle boasted two of the biggest cornerbacks in the league in Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, and it's likely he would look for the same kind of players in Jacksonville.
7. Brian Schwenke, Cal
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Cal's Brian Schwenke is a center who would fit the Jaguars zone-blocking scheme and would be available in the middle rounds of the draft.
Schwenke is a versatile player who started 36 games at three different positions during his collegiate career, including playing center during his senior season.
He thrived as Cal's center and made all of the line calls, despite his inexperience at the position. He earned 2012 All-Pac 12 First Team honors and was the runner-up for the Morris Trophy, which honors the conference's top lineman.
Schwenke has a great initial burst off the snap and has a low center of gravity, allowing him to seal off defenders. He is an alert player who showed improved awareness by gaining experience at center. He keeps his legs driving to finish blocks, and he helps teammates block until the whistle.
If the Jaguars decide they need to draft a center to fit the zone-blocking system, then Schwenke could be Caldwell's pick late in the second day.
6. Jordan Poyer, Oregon State
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Oregon State's Jordan Poyer is a player Jacksonville could take in the second round to replace Mathis.
Poyer has an outstanding collegiate career and finished his senior season with the second-most interception in the country (seven). He also added 14 pass defenses in 2012.
He was named to the All-Pac 12 and AP All-American First Team for his efforts.
Poyer is an athletic and physical defender who possesses the ball skills to make opposing quarterbacks pay for testing him. He has decent size for a cornerback at 6'0" and would fit nicely in Coach Bradley's scheme.
In addition to his defensive prowess, Poyer could add a much-needed spark to the Jaguars return game. He averaged almost 26 yards per kick return and 10.7 yards per punt return during his time as a Beaver.
Poyer could upgrade two areas where the Jaguars need help and would be a valuable addition to the roster in the second round.
5. Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
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Guards are not a highly-sought after position in the draft, and multiple guards have been selected in the first round just once (2012) since the league expanded to 32 teams in 2002.
This means a great guard such as North Carolina's Jonathan Cooper could be available at the top of the second round for the Jaguars. He would be a steal if the franchise is able to draft him.
Cooper had an excellent career as a Tar Heel. He made a quick impact in Chapel Hill, as he started 10 games as a redshirt freshman and was named a Freshman All-American. His high caliber of play continued throughout his collegiate career, as he was a three-time All-ACC honoree and was named to the 2012 AP All-American First Team.
Cooper is a natural fit for the Jaguars' new zone-blocking system, as he has excellent agility and can block on the move. He is a smooth athlete who possesses great balance. He won't overpower anyone with his strength, but he is explosive in tight spaces.
Cooper would be a perfect fit for the Jaguars and would instantly improve the offensive line.
4. Jonathan Banks, Mississippi State
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With all the talent at cornerback in this draft, a player as talented as Mississippi State's Jonathan Banks could fall to the top of the second round. If he does fall, the Jaguars have to jump on him.
Banks had a solid senior season to conclude a very productive career at Mississippi State. He finished the 2012 season with four interceptions and seven pass defenses, landing him on the All-SEC First Team.
He is a ball hawk who has proven he can make plays when he gets his hands on the ball by returning three interceptions for touchdowns in his collegiate career. He doesn't have elite speed, but he is active in press coverage and has the fluidity to cut with receivers.
At 6'1", Banks has the size Coach Bradley looks for in cornerbacks, and he would be a great addition to the Jaguars secondary.
3. Barkevious Mingo, LSU
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The Jaguars are likely to go after a pass-rusher with the No. 2 overall pick, and they will have plenty of good players to choose from.
One possible prospect is LSU's Barkevious Mingo, who could fill Coach Bradley's LEO position.
The LEO is a designated pass-rusher who lines up loosely along the line of scrimmage, either standing up or with his hand on the ground. Bradley utilized the position in his Seattle defense by using Bruce Irvin and could look to replicate its success in Jacksonville.
Mingo would be a perfect fit for the LEO position.
He is an explosive pass-rusher who gets his hands up to block passes when he can't get to the quarterback. He is quick off the edge and has shown impressive power. Mingo has good instincts and can track down the ball-carrier and drag them down with his tackling ability.
Mingo has the size to play the LEO at 6'5" and 250 pounds, and he can still add muscle to his frame.
His production dipped during his final season at LSU, finishing the year with just 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss. Mingo still has elite pass-rushing ability, and he will only continue to improve as he gets stronger.
If the Jaguars are looking to add the LEO, Mingo would be the best player to fill the role.
2. Bjoern Werner, Florida State
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Florida State's Bjoern Werner is another pass-rusher the Jaguars could look at with the second overall selection.
Werner was one of the country's best collegiate players, finishing his final year as a Seminole with an ACC-high 13 sacks and a team-best 18 tackles for loss. When he couldn't get to the quarterback, he would block passes, as he has eight pass breakups in 2012.
His stellar play landed him on the AP All-American First Team, the All-ACC First Team and earned him the ACC Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Werner has good quickness off the snap and has strong hands to beat opposing linemen around the edge. He possesses exceptional awareness by being able to locate the ball-carrier and bat down passes.
He is still a raw prospect, as he has only been playing football since he was 15, but he has natural instincts and a high ceiling to continue to improve.
Werner is an intriguing prospect, and the Jaguars should consider with the No. 2 pick.
1. Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
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Texas A&M's Damontre Moore is another pass-rusher the Jaguars could consider with the second pick in the draft.
Moore was moved from outside linebacker to defensive end prior to the 2012 season, and the move paid off as he excelled at the position. He finished his junior year with 12.5 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. Moore's play earned him spots on the All-SEC First Team and AP All-American Second Team.
Moore has nice speed coming off the edge and has a good late-burst to close in on ball-carriers. Not only is he quick, he also has the ability to bull-rush linemen and beat them with a spin move. Moore locates the ball well and has the strength to pull down ball carriers.
He is still improving against the run and would upgrade the Jaguars 30th-ranked defense in rushing yards allowed per game.
Moore was a dominant player in college and has all the potential to be on in the NFL, too. He is a player the Jaguars are going to have to consider second overall, and he is the player whom the franchise could build the defense around.