8 Players the Jacksonville Jaguars Should Target on Day 2
The first round of the most unpredictable NFL draft in recent memory is now behind us, and as expected, it was full of surprises.
The Jacksonville Jaguars played it safe with the No. 2 overall pick by selecting tackle Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M.
Joeckel was general manager David Caldwell's most sought-after player (per AP's Mark Long). He will take over the right tackle role as head coach Gus Bradley reassured (via Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union) Eugene Monroe that he's Jacksonville's starting left tackle.
The Jaguars filled a massive need by drafting Joeckel. The team featured a revolving door of ineffective right tackles last season, and it's now a position they no longer have to worry about.
With hindsight being 20/20, drafting Joeckel looks like the right move for Jacksonville. The franchise has bookend tackles while still being in prime position to get a much-needed playmaker on defense.
The draft is just getting underway as the bulk of the work is still remaining.
As expected, Jacksonville is trying to trade (per Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country) the No. 33 pick.
If the Jaguars don't trade back, they have already said they have "no interest" (via AP's Mark Long) in drafting a quarterback with the top pick of the second round, including West Virginia's Geno Smith.
With all this in mind, here are eight players the Jaguars should target on the second day of the draft.
Tank Carradine, DE, Florida State
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The Jaguars could look to fix their league-worst pass rush at the top of the second round by drafting Florida State's Tank Carradine.
The pass-rusher was poised to be a first-round pick before tearing his ACL last November. Carradine's recovery has been amazing and he ran a 4.75 40-yard dash (per Joe Reedy of Cincinnati.com), which all but proves he's ready to return to form.
Carradine is explosive off the snap and can use his strong hands to get by offensive linemen to get to the quarterback. He has the athleticism and strength to routinely make plays in the backfield.
He comes with a lack of experience, which could make the Jaguars shy away from him. Carradine definitely has the talent to succeed in the NFL and would improve Jacksonville's pass rush.
Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
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Kansas State's Arthur Brown is another possibility if Jacksonville stays put at No. 33.
He is an instinctive player who can powerfully tackle ball carriers once he locates them. Brown uses his hands well to fight through traffic and get to the ball carrier, even if it's on the other side of the formation. He does not shy away from contact and often meets fullbacks in the hole.
As good as he is against the run, Brown is just as good in pass protection. He's able to keep up with tight ends crossing the middle and running backs coming out of the backfield. He's also shown quickness on blitzes.
Brown started every game in 2012 at either inside or outside linebacker, and he can play either in the NFL. With Paul Posluszny firmly holding on to the starting middle linebacker spot for the time being, the Jaguars could find Daryl Smith's replacement in the former Wildcat.
Regardless of where he lines up, Jacksonville would get an all-around talented linebacker if the franchise drafts Brown in the the second round.
Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
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Cornerback is an area where the Jaguars are extremely thin after the departures of Derek Cox, Rashean Mathis and Aaron Ross this offseason. If the season started tomorrow, the starting cornerbacks would probably be Alan Ball and Mike Harris, which doesn't inspire too much confidence.
Jacksonville has to find some cornerback help during the draft, and they'll have the opportunity to do just that in the second round with Mississippi State's Johnthan Banks.
Banks has the potential to thrive in press coverage, which is a key aspect of coach Bradley's defense. He has a disruptive jam off the line of scrimmage and can mirror receivers throughout their routes. The former safety never gives up on plays and can knock away passes without interfering.
He is not afraid of contact and is an effective blitzer. Banks always tries to rip the ball away from ball carriers when he's trying to secure a tackle.
Banks needs to add weight to his 6'2" frame to help make him more effective in press coverage, but he has the body type and talent to succeed in Bradley's scheme.
D.J. Swearinger, SS, South Carolina
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Cornerback isn't the only area in the secondary where the Jaguars are thin; the team currently has just three safeties under contract. The only strong safety currently on the roster is the unproven Antwon Blake.
The Jaguars will have to find some talent to add to the depleted secondary, and one player they should target is South Carolina's D.J. Swearinger.
Swearinger is a high-motor player who can lay big hits against both the run and pass. He's an in-the-box defender who uses his physicality and agility to cover opposing receivers. He can haul in interceptions, even when he has to dive for the ball.
The safety visited (per Darryl Slater of The Post and Courier) with Jacksonville, so there could be some legitimate interest from the team. The Jaguars could add some competition to its safety corps with Swearinger at the top of the second round.
David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State
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North Carolina State's David Amerson could be another option at cornerback if the Jaguars trade back in the second round.
Amerson is a physical and athletic cornerback who has the size (6'1", 205 lbs) to fit into a press-coverage scheme. He's an aggressive player who jumps routes to pull in interceptions with his receiver-like hands. He's a wrap-up tackler who closes quick on the ball carrier.
He's also an attacking player against the run. Amerson has the strength to fight through receivers' blocks to shut down the running game.
Amerson should still be available in the middle of the second round, and would be a great pick to start replenishing Jacksonville's secondary.
Sio Moore, LB, UConn
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If the Jaguars choose to wait until the third round to find a linebacker, Connecticut's Sio Moore would be a possibility.
Moore is an athletic and disciplined linebacker who is a dependable tackler. He stays true to his assignments and maintains his responsibilities.He uses his speed and agility (4.65 40-yard dash) to cover tight ends and can win 50/50 balls to force incompletions.
The Jaguars held a private workout (per Jenny Vrentas of The Star-Ledger) with Moore, which could be a sign of interest in the player.
Moore has the athleticism to play at either outside linebacker, which means Jacksonville could find Daryl Smith's replacement in the third round.
Corey Lemonier, DE, Auburn
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Auburn's Corey Lemonier is a pass-rusher the Jaguars could target in the third round if the team goes elsewhere earlier in the draft.
Lemonier's quick first step and agility would make him a natural fit in the LEO role in Jacksonville's defense, which is designed for a pass-rusher who uses speed to pressure the quarterback.
He is an athletic player who can hustle through traffic to reach the ball-carrier. He never gives up on plays and tries to get in passing lanes to try to bat down balls.
Lemonier's stock falls because he doesn't have the body to be a 4-3 defensive end while lacking some of the skills to succeed as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
His nonstop motor and athletic ability would allow him to be productive as a LEO player, and the Jaguars could find a possible answer to their pass-rushing woes by drafting him.
Zac Dysert, QB, Miami (Ohio)
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Although the Jaguars have ruled out drafting a quarterback at No. 33, but there's a chance (per AP's Mark Long) they target one in the third round.
One quarterback the Jaguars have shown interest in (per Mike Loyko of NEPatriotsDraft.com) is Miami University's Zac Dysert.
Dysert has been compared to former Redhawk quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (via Scott Salmon of Gang Green Nation), and it's not hard to see why: Dysert is a tough player who can keep plays alive to move the offense downfield. He's a good athlete and can sidestep defenders while having the speed to pick up first downs with his legs.
He has reliable over-the-top delivery and is accurate even on the move. Dysert has great ball placement on his passes and has the arm strength to get the ball deep downfield.
He is a mechanically sound quarterback who should be available in the third round. The Jaguars would get an athletic and durable quarterback who can make all the throws necessary, as well as someone who could challenge to be the team's starting quarterback.