Jaguars' Top 2021 NFL Draft Targets

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistApril 28, 2021

Jaguars' Top 2021 NFL Draft Targets

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    The Jacksonville Jaguars will kick off a new era when they make the first selection of the 2021 NFL draft Thursday.

    Urban Meyer has taken over as head coach, they are widely expected to be getting their quarterback of the future and they own five of the first 65 picks of this draft, which should produce an impressive haul of young talent.

    Meyer's team might not rebound from the 1-15 record that landed them the first pick in 2021. There are still plenty of holes on the roster, and they are already the second-youngest team in the league even before adding a large draft class.

    This draft class will serve as the foundation for a new era for better or worse. If the Jags can come away with multiple difference-makers and Meyer successfully transitions to the NFL, this will be viewed as a turning point. If they blow their draft capital and Meyer doesn't work out, the results will be disastrous.

    With the first, 25th and 33rd selections to work with, here are the players the Jaguars should be looking to add.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

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    Brian Blanco/Associated Press

    Let's not make things complicated. Trevor Lawrence is the best player in the draft. It's been expected that commissioner Roger Goodell would be calling his name as the first pick of the draft shortly after he stepped on campus at Clemson.

    Lawrence has been in the spotlight from the beginning of his collegiate career, and he hasn't disappointed. Bruce Feldman of The Athletic spoke to NFL coaches to get an idea of the perception of him around the league. Even those who wanted to poke holes in Lawrence's game had a hard time.

    "He's the no-brainer top guy," an anonymous coach told Feldman. "I was trying to be critical and not just go with the flow, but the more you study him and the other guys, he's the best by a wide margin."

    Lawrence is athletic, has the arm to make all the throws and is a proven winner. The ability to add the quarterback to their roster had to factor into Meyer's decision to come to Jacksonville. He will breathe new life to a Jaguars offense that needs it.

Teven Jenkins, OT, Oklahoma State

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Hopefully the Jaguars decision-makers took a good look at what happened in Cincinnati last season. The Bengals took Joe Burrow with the first overall pick and drafted him a new weapon in Tee Higgins but then failed to protect him in the regular season, and he suffered a season-ending knee injury after taking a beating.

    The Jaguars made a somewhat surprising move bringing back Cam Robinson on the franchise tag. He surrendered five sacks and committed five penalties last season and was graded as the 62nd tackle out of 79 by PFF.

    Jawaan Taylor was even worse on the right side, grading out as the 71st tackle in the league and giving up eight sacks with six penalties.

    To recap, that's one player they will be forced to pay like a top-five tackle for a year and another who didn't play like an NFL starter last season.

    Should Teven Jenkins make it all the way to No. 25, he would be an excellent addition to the Jags roster. He's ranked as the second tackle on Bleacher Report's big board and is expected to go in the 20s by most mock drafts.

    Fortunately, there are other options at tackle with either the 25th or 33rd picks. Christian Darrisaw, Liam Eichenberg and Stone Forsythe are all in the top 32 in B/R's rankings.

Tre'von Moehrig, S, TCU

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    Brandon Wade/Associated Press

    With the addition of a new offensive tackle and Trevor Lawrence, the offense could be set to develop nicely under Meyer. There are weapons in place to help the Clemson product make an immediate impact, with DJ Chark Jr., Marvin Jones Jr. and James Robinson playing important roles.

    The defense is in need of young upgrades as well. The Jags were active in free agency to elevate a unit that ranked 30th in efficiency last season.

    Roy Robertson-Harris and Malcom Brown should fortify the defensive line, Shaquill Griffin was brought in to play opposite C.J. Henderson and the linebacking corps was a strength last season. Adding Tre'von Moehrig to would boost the secondary as they continue the makeover.

    Moehrig is a playmaker on the back half of the defense. According to PFF, he forced incompletions on 25 percent of his targets at TCU, the top mark among all safeties.

    The 6'2", 200-plus-pounder has shown the ability to be a versatile defender. He's comfortable in deep zones but is also a willing tackler in the alley. He would find a role on the Jaguars defense early.