As the month of May draws closer, the status of every NFL mock draft clears. What is the latest for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Round 1 – Blake Bortles – QB – UCF
I understand Teddy Bridgewater may be more pro ready and Johnny Manziel brings more hype but that doesn’t change facts. Blake Bortles is built better than anybody to play in the NFL. He’s big, strong, mobile, smart and very good in the clutch.
Round 2 – Carlos Hyde – RB – Ohio State
Aggressive additions on defense in free agency will allow the Jacksonville Jaguars to go offense early in the draft. Carlos Hyde will certainly remind head coach Gus Bradley of Marshawn Lynch from his days in Seattle given his power, toughness and sneaky versatility.
Round 3 – Jack Mewhort – OT – Ohio State
Another Buckeye product joins his teammate Hyde. Luke Joeckel should return healthy at left tackle but the Jaguars could use help on the right side. Jack Mewhort is a big, strong and nasty bulldozer who opens lanes in the run game.
Round 4 – Will Clarke – DE – West Virginia
Free agency helped the defense immediately but the Jaguars still need long-term solutions up front. West Virginia defensive end Will Clarke is a high upside prospect with great physical traits to become versatile defensive lineman. What he needs is proper coaching.
Round 4 (f/BAL) – Devin Street – WR – Louisville
Wide receiver figures to get multiple looks by Jacksonville in this draft. Devin Street is a good one to start with. Not only does he have good height but he also has deep speed that makes him a threat from any area of the field provided he can stay healthy.
Round 5 – T.J. Jones – WR – Notre Dame
One player not getting enough respect in any NFL mock draft is T.J. Jones. The Notre Dame product plays receiver the right way from the technique on down. His lack of standout athleticism is what holds back the praise but there is no denying the kid has the drive, smarts and hands to become a reliable target.
Round 5 (f/DET) – Trai Turner – OG – LSU
The offensive line continues to get fresh bodies thrown into the mix. LSU guard Trai Turner has a lot of good traits about him, particularly his size and power base. He looks like a dominant run blocker but needs more time to develop.
Round 5 (f/BAL) – Kevin Pierre-Louis – OLB – Boston College
Outside linebacker isn’t the most pressing need but it’s a position that can use some extra competition. Kevin Pierre-Louis is much more an athlete at this stage of his development. He lacks bulk but already has the speed and athleticism to stick. His production at BC says he can.
Round 6 – David Fales – QB – San Jose State
Ownership of the Jacksonville Jaguars hinted the team would take two quarterbacks in the draft. Here is their second. David Fales makes for a perfect third-string developmental prospect. He’s already an accurate and efficient passer with good size and vision.
Round 6 (f/SF) – Michael Sam – DE – Missouri
Somebody is going to take a chance on the leading sacker in the SEC. Michael Sam may be famous for his being the first openly gay athlete to enter the NFL, but the Jaguars will want him for his ability to rush the passer.
Round 7 – Silas Redd – RB – USC
The late rounds are about pinpointing positions that can produce gems with development. Running back is one such area. While Hyde provides the power, USC product Silas Redd has the skill set to become a perfect scat back who will prove valuable on third down.