Jacksonville Jaguars' Mock Draft Roundup
With the NFL draft less than two weeks away, draft experts are putting the finishing touches on their 2014 NFL mock drafts.
For hopeful Jacksonville Jaguars fans, this draft promises to bring in a new foundation that can contribute to a long-term winning tradition after the team has failed to record a winning record in the past six seasons.
With a list of needs and 11 draft picks, the Jaguars will have an opportunity to add starters and depth pieces in a very deep draft.
So who fits best?
I’ve taken the time to search and compile all the experts' draft projections so that you don’t have to!
Below are the experts whom we’ll be examining:
- Mel Kiper, ESPN Draft Analyst (ESPN Insider, subscription required)
- Todd McShay, ESPN Draft Analyst (ESPN Insider, subscription required)
- Walter Cherepinsky, WalterFootball.com
- Luke Easterling, The Draft Report
- Daniel Jeremiah, NFL.com Draft Analyst
For fun, I'll add in my take on the picks and what selection I would make in my mock draft.
Let's get started!
Round 1, Third Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Mel Kiper: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Todd McShay: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
Luke Easterling: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Drafttek: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Daniel Jeremiah: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
The Jaguars desperately need a playmaker here. While Johnny Manziel would certainly sell tickets, it’s about creating a consistent contender in Jacksonville. The truth is that he isn’t a sure bet at the next level.
General manager David Caldwell has an opportunity to do something big for his club here. Of the few elite prospects in this year’s draft, two are staring the Jaguars in the face: Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins.
With this being a deep draft for receivers, Mack is the most obvious choice to me. He could fit perfectly into the defense’s “Leo” position and be a freak off the edge.
The Jaguars should take the best player long term, avoid risks and turn this team into a contender.
My Pick: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
Round 2, 39th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Luke Easterling: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Drafttek: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
Jeremiah, McShay and Kiper bowed out after one round, but the show must go on! It’s almost a consensus here with all but one of the experts picking Garoppolo.
Personally, I wouldn’t mind either pick.
Crichton is a hard-nosed, blue-collar type player who never takes a play off. He’s explosive as a pass-rusher and also does well in pursuit. Nevertheless, this team needs a quarterback.
Garoppolo may not be starter material right away, but he can come in, learn and be the guy this franchise needs after a year or two of training. He has a strong arm and above-average mobility and makes quick decisions. The Jaguars would love to land a guy of his caliber here.
One wild card would be Teddy Bridgewater, who is reportedly having bad workouts that are contributing to his stock falling. If he is available in the second, Caldwell will have to pull the trigger on the talented quarterback from Louisville.
My Pick: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Round 3, 70th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Kyle Van Noy, DE/OLB, BYU
Drafttek: Paul Richardson, WR, Colorado
Luke Easterling: Weston Richburg, C, Colorado State
And then there were three...
I like all of these selections. The Jaguars could use help at all these positions, especially wide receiver with the uncertainty surrounding Justin Blackmon.
The third round may be to too early to snag an offensive center, and Kyle Van Noy will make some noise at the next level, I think this is the round where Jacksonville has to target a wide receiver.
I like Richardson, but Round 3 may be a little high for a guy who has torn an ACL in the past. He has great speed but a very slim build that makes me question his durability.
Instead, I’ll focus on a guy like Jordan Matthews who has size, speed and big-play potential every time he’s in the game. This may seem a little late for Matthews, but considering the depth of this class, I believe he’ll be available in the early third round.
My Pick: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Round 4, 105th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
Drafttek: Christian Kirksey, OLB, Iowa
Luke Easterling: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
I like all of these players for this team, and they all hit needs. I think that Bruce Ellington is very similar to Ace Sanders, but you can never have enough playmakers.
In my mock draft, I have the Jaguars addressing the depth of their defensive line. Despite a strong offseason where they revamped it through free agency, they’re still lacking some strong developmental youth.
Enter Caraun Reid.
He is a fierce defensive tackle out of Princeton who can play either the 1- or 3-technique. He’s explosive and strong and gains good leverage against opponents. He'd be a perfect fit for Gus Bradley’s defensive scheme.
My Pick: Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton
Round 4, 114th Overall
Walter Cherepinksy: Travis Swanson, C, Arkansas
Drafttek: Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State
Luke Easterling: Marcus Roberson, CB, Florida
It was unfortunate to hear that Russell Allen had been released and that he was going to retire due to experiencing a stroke on the field last season. With Allen gone, the Jaguars could use some linebacker help.
Telvin Smith is an athletic linebacker who plays with intensity and range. He has solid speed and decent strength and is strong in coverage. Although he is a little raw right now, he could contribute immediately for this team and potentially develop into a starter in the next few years.
My Pick: Telvin Smith, OLB, Florida State
Round 5, 144th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty
Drafttek: Tyler Larsen, OC, Utah
The Jaguars are hurting for a legitimate center, but it seems a little early to take Larsen at this point in the draft.
Aikens gathered some buzz after showing up big at the Senior Bowl. He is a big-body guy who plays very physically. He is above-average against the run and can cover in both zone and man coverage. He can sometimes get too aggressive, but the overarching thought is that he could be a slot corner who develops into a starter over time.
My Pick: Walt Aikens, CB, Liberty
Round 5, 150th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Crockett Gillmore, TE, Colorado State
Drafttek: Isaiah Lewis, SS, Michigan State
Drafttek seems to be reaching with its choice of Isaiah Lewis who, in my opinion, shouldn’t be higher than a seventh-round pick.
Additionally, I don't even consider Gillmore a target here with so many other pending needs still to be addressed.
I think this is where the Jaguars should start looking to shore up their guard position considering they released Uche Nwaneri this offseason.
In my mock draft, Brandon Thomas, the guard from Clemson who tore his ACL in workouts, is still available.
Prior to the injury, he was among the top-ranked guards in the draft. The Jaguars would get a shot at him in the value rounds. If he gets healthy, he could be a terrific addition for this team.
My Pick: Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson
Round 5, 159th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Jon Halapio, G, Florida
Drafttek: Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Halapio would be a great depth add for this offensive line. He represents a guy who could develop into a viable swingman in case of an emergency.
As for Colvin, he is another defender who plays aggressively. If the Jaguars don't have a cornerback yet, he could be someone to watch.
However, in my mock draft, the Jaguars took Aikens at No. 144.
In this scenario, the Jaguars need to address the center position, and Gabe Ikard out of Oklahoma is still available.
He could easily go in the fourth round, but the value of centers sometimes doesn’t translate well during the draft. He is a hardworking offensive lineman who utilizes good technique and strong hands and knows how to work against bigger defenders. While he does need to improve his blocking, surrounding him with the right coaching staff could turn him into a stud.
My Pick: Gabe Ikard, C, Oklahoma
Round 6, 179th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina
Drafttek: Cornelius Lucas, OT, Kansas State
Both of these picks are interesting because they are about upside. Lucas is a mammoth of an offensive tackle who could swallow any opposing defender. On the other end, Taliaferro is a power back who is solid in pass protection and has above-average hands as a receiver in the backfield.
In the later rounds, teams are looking for an upside player who might develop, and that’s why the Jaguars will take a chance on Taliaferro.
My Pick: Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, Coastal Carolina
Round 6, 205th Overall
Walter Cherepinsky: Connor Shaw, QB, South Carolina
Drafttek: Rob Blanchflower, TE, Massachusetts
This late in the draft, the Jaguars would be happy to get any player who could contribute. While tight end depth is an option, Blanchflower is a hard target to understand here. He is a hardworking tight end but doesn’t possess any great attributes that would project him as a guy who could develop.
While Blanchflower wouldn’t fit the bill, maybe someone like Colt Lyerla would.
He is an athletic beast with elite speed and great ability as a pass-catcher. If not for an off-the-field issues, he would be considered in the first two rounds. This is a risk/reward situation that could pay off in a big way if Lyerla commits to being a solid all-around person.
My Pick: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
Round 7, 222nd Overall
Drafttek: John Urschel, OG, Penn State
I haven’t agreed with Drafttek too much in this roundup, but I love this pick. The Jaguars desperately need guard help, and while they’ve added some picks throughout the draft, no one will argue with a strong depth player.
Urschel is a smart player who made the All-Big Ten Academic Team three times and graduated with a master's degree from Penn State. As an athlete, he is worth taking a risk on. He’s an all-around player who does everything good but nothing great. He’s strong off the field and a relentless worker on it. He’d be a great addition to a franchise that is trying to build a reliable core.
My Pick: John Urschel, OG, Penn State