7 Players the Jacksonville Jaguars Should Target on Day 3
The franchise drafted former Florida International strong safety John Cyprien with the No. 33 pick, and turned around in the next round and drafted former UConn cornerback Dwayne Gratz.
Both players are expected to compete for a starting role from Day 1 and they fit head coach Gus Bradley's scheme perfectly.
Cyprien is an in-the-box safety who has the range to get back in coverage, where he is aggressive. Gratz is among the strongest cornerbacks in the draft, which should allow him to thrive in press-coverage.
Counting first-round pick Luke Joeckel, the Jaguars have found three immediate starters who fill major areas of need. The team has upgraded itself at several key positions, which made Michael Schottey declare Jacksonville as the draft's biggest winner thus far.
The draft is far from over, however, as the majority of the rounds are still ahead of us.
General manager David Caldwell emphasized (per Action Sports 360) that the remainder of the draft will be used to find depth who can compete for starting roles.
There are still a lot of talented players available, so who should the Jaguars target on Day 3?
Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse
Ex-Syracuse quarterback has to be drafted at some point, right? Right?
So why not Jacksonville?
GM Caldwell is still planning on adding a quarterback (per AP's Mark Long), and nobody could've imagined Nassib would still be available.
He can make accurate throws with velocity to all levels of the field. He can move around in the pocket to create space to make throws, and he can place the ball accurately on the move. He has a strong release and puts air under the ball to allow his receivers to run under it to make the catch.
The Jaguars could continue to add talent at other positions and wait until undrafted free agency (per AP's Mark Long) to add a quarterback, but Nassib's value in the fourth round may be too much to pass up.
Sanders Commings, CB, Georgia
Although Jacksonville added two immediate starters in the secondary on Day 2, the franchise could continue to bolster the cornerback corps with Sanders Commings.
Commings is a big (6'2", 215 lbs) and tough cornerback who gets physical with receivers at the line of scrimmage, which would make him a natural fit as a press-coverage corner.
He's already been drafted once before, as an outfielder by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Those outfielder skills are still evident in his game as he has the ability to extend away from his frame to haul in interceptions.
The Jaguars brought Commings in for a visit (per Ian Rapaport of NFL.com), which could signal interest from the team.
Commings seems tailor-made for Jacksonville's defensive scheme, and the franchise could find a shutdown cornerback by drafting him.
Cornelius Washington, DE, Georgia
The Jaguars have yet to address their league-worst pass rush so far in the draft, but that could change by targeting Cornelius Washington.
Washington's skills would make him a perfect fit in the LEO role in Jacksonville's defense, which is designed for an explosive pass-rusher who uses speed to pressure the quarterback.
He showed off his speed and athleticism at the combine, where he worked out as a linebacker. He was at or near the top of linebacker performances in the 40-yard dash (4.55), bench press (36), vertical (39) and broad jump (10'8").
Although he worked out as a linebacker, his skills translate more to playing the LEO position in Jacksonville's defense.
Washington has an excellent jump to get off the snap to challenge tackles. He has the quickness to get inside and the strength to cause turnovers.
He didn't have great production in college, which has resulted in him falling down to Day 3. Washington does have the potential to be successful in the NFL and he could help fix Jacksonville's pass rush at the LEO position.
Brian Schwenke, C/G, Cal
The Jaguars solidified the right side of their offensive line with first-round pick Luke Joeckel. There are still some questions with the interior of the line, and Brian Schwenke could help nullify those concerns.
Jacksonville's center Brad Meester is entering his 14th year in the league and his play has been declining for the last few years. The Jaguars could draft Schwenke to be Meester's successor while providing depth for the time being.
The Jaguars also have some concerns at left tackle. Will Rackley was decent as a rookie in 2011, but missed all of last season after injuring his ankle in training camp. The starting left guard position is far from decided, and Schwenke could compete for the role.
He has experience at guard, as he started 24 games in college at the position. He could provide help at guard before transitioning to center when Meester retires.
Schwenke's athleticism and agility would help him succeed in Jacksonville's zone-blocking system. He is quick off the snap and consistently wins leverage battles against defenders.
Schwenke could contribute at several positions along the offensive line, and his versatility should make him an asset. If the Jaguars decide to address the interior of the offensive line, he would be a great pick who could become the team's long-term center.
Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State
Jacksonville could look to find ex-Jaguar linebacker Daryl Smith's replacement late in the draft, and Gerald Hodges would be a good choice to do so.
Hodges, a former safety, is a tackle machine who has the quickness to track down ball-carriers and drag them to the ground. He possesses the quickness to cover at multiple levels on the defense.
He can stay with running backs and tight ends in man coverage and has the ball skills to knock passes away without interfering.
He is still growing into a strong-side linebacker, but he has the ability to be a consistent tackler in space.
His coverage skills alone make him worth drafting, but he's continuing to develop the other aspects of his game. Hodges is well worth a Day 3 selection as he could develop into Jacksonville's strong-side linebacker of the future.
Quanterus Smith, DE, Western Kentucky
Quanterus Smith is another late-round option who would be a nice fit in the LEO role on the Jaguars defense.
Smith is explosive off the snap and has the flexibility to dip around the edge. He has a high motor and hustles across the formation to get to the quarterback. He has the agility to contain the edge or drop back in coverage.
He is coming off a torn ACL that he suffered in November, so there are some injury concerns. He checked out healthy (per Gil Brandt of NFL.com) in early April, so he should be able to return to form.
Smith's explosiveness and athleticism seems to make him a perfect fit in the LEO role, and the Jaguars could take a chance on the pass-rusher late in the draft.
Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
The Jaguars could look to add a running back who could spell Maurice Jones-Drew at some point in the draft, and Kerwynn Williams should be available in the seventh round.
Williams is a between-the-tackles runner who has enough breakaway speed to be a big run threat. He's also a reliable receiver out of the backfield and can adjust to the ball in the air.
He should be on the Jaguars radar because of his kick-return abilities.
Jacksonville finished 27th in the NFL in average yards per kickoff return last year (21), which has to be fixed before next season. Williams finished his collegiate career averaging 25.2 yards per kick return, which would be a dramatic improvement over what the team currently has.
The Jaguars could find a dynamic kick returner in the seventh round, which would be a good find late in the draft. Anything Williams would contribute on offense would just be a bonus.