Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-Round Mock Draft Adds Two New Weapons for Trevor Lawrence and a Fresh Face on the Defensive Line

NFL QB Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
NFL QB Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars land a potential superstar at wide receiver, an immediate starter at tight end, and a glue guy for the middle of the defense line in this 3-round mock draft. See which players land in Duval below.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a streaky 2022 season. The team lost week one, then won two games in a row, and is currently suffering from a four-game skid. The win-loss record is not the best way to gauge success in Doug Pederson’s first year at the helm. Many positive signs have surfaced over the first half of the season.

Quarterback Trevor Lawrence will not blow you away by looking at the box score, but his play in 2022 is a night-and-day difference from last season. It is amazing what having an adult in the room does for a young NFL team. Urban Meyer exudes chaos, and luckily for the Jags faithful, Lawrence is turning over a new leaf despite it.

The second-year quarterback has flashed his Hall of Fame potential on several throws this season. Lawrence looks more confident than he has at any point since his Clemson days, and this shows as he is unafraid to challenge defenses.

Last season, TLaw threw 17 interceptions. So far in seven games, Lawrence only has four against him. Pederson is doing a better job of getting easy, quick reads for Lawrence. The fumble numbers have skyrocketed, but it is promising to see the youngster cut down on the throwing errors nonetheless.

On defense, 2022 No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker is getting better each week. He forms a nasty duo coming off the edge, as he consistently meets fellow pass rusher Josh Allen at the quarterback. Walker is playing at a high level, but their “other” first-round pick is ahead in the Defensive Rookie of the Year rankings.

Linebacker Devin Lloyd is one of the best at the position in the entire league this season. The former Utah captain is quarterbacking the defense in the NFL as well. Lloyd mans the middle of the field and does anything from covering assignments downfield to coming downhill as a run stuffer, to even mixing in some pass-rushing moves when asked to rush.

Lawrence, Walker, and Lloyd give general manager Trent Baalke a strong foundation of upside players to build around. Add that talent to the likes of Josh Allen and Travis Etienne, and it is easy to see why Jaguars fans are beaming with excitement.

Still, at 2-5, the team could definitely be in a better position than they are. All five of those losses have come by a touchdown or less. A few plays go differently, and Jacksonville would be sitting atop the division. Impressively two of the losses came against the 6-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 6-1 New York Giants.

Knowing how close this team is to breaking through, the 2023 NFL Draft should serve as the push over the top for their roster. What positions need addressed the most in order to capitalize on all of this young talent on rookie deals?

The offensive line is better this year, but that is not saying much. Doug Pederson is at his best when the run game is effective, so it would not hurt to upgrade at a few different spots on the offensive line.

Wide receiver is another position that is providing serviceable play in 2022. However, it should still be toward the top of the list of moves to make this coming offseason. Marvin Jones Jr. is on his last legs, and Zay Jones is unreliable weekly. Free agent signing Christian Kirk is performing well, but ideally, he is a strong No. 2 option on an offense, not a No. 1.

Defensively, the Jaguars need help in the secondary. The team needs another starter on the outside at cornerback; a capable safety next to Andre Cisco would make a world of a difference. Sticking to Pederson’s MO, it would not be a surprise to see more big bodies added to the defensive line.

Now that we know where the roster stands — the strong spots and the weakest areas — let’s do a quick three-round mock draft to get an early idea of what the Jaguars could do in the 2023 NFL Draft!

*Note: NFL Draft order determined by Tankathon*

Jacksonville Mock Draft: Jaguars Land Star WR, Immediate Starter at TE, and a Glue Guy for the Middle of the Defense

Round 1, Pick 8: Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU

This is far from going out on a limb, as both Jake Schyvinck and myself have paired Johnston and the Jags in the past two mock drafts here at NFLMocks. What can I say? I love the marriage between the prospect and the team in this mock draft.

Christian Kirk is good for a big play every once in a while, and running back Travis Etienne is a playmaker out of the backfield, but the offense lacks a true game-breaker outside. That is where the big-bodied TCU pass catcher comes into play.

With the Horned Frogs, Johnston is averaging over 18 yards per reception on an astounding 93 career catches. He already has a career-high with 38 receptions through seven games in 2022 and will surely challenge for 1000 receiving yards on the year.

This type of home run hitting production is lacking in Duval, but Trevor Lawrence is finally getting a bonafide No. 1 option at wide receiver. Johnston has the top-end speed to blow by defenders on their heels and the massive 6-foot-4, 193-pound frame to come down with 50/50 tosses downfield.

It is time to get a potential franchise player on the outside if you want Trevor Lawrence to live up to the lofty expectations that he entered the league with. If the Jags can add Quentin Johnston to their already respectable arsenal of weapons, Jacksonville will challenge for a playoff spot in 2023.

Round 2, Pick 39: Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

I mentioned earlier that adding to the offensive line would fit the philosophy that Doug Pederson lives and dies by. I also stated a moment ago how the team needs players with elite upside to serve as pass catchers for Trevor Lawrence. Michael Mayer checks both boxes in this mock draft.

Not only is Mayer the best tight end in this class, but he is also a realistic target early in round two due to his lack of otherworldly athleticism. Don’t get me wrong, the Notre Dame tight end has his fair share of ability as a receiver and runner after the catch, but it is not to the degree of former top-ten picks at tight end like Kyle Pitts and TJ Hockenson.

What he lacks as an athlete, Mayer more than makes up for with his jaw-dropping contested catch ability and technique as a route runner and blocker.

Michael Mayer carves up defenses, not to be confused with the Michael Meyers character from the Halloween franchise. He takes advantage of mismatches in college and will be able to do the same on Sundays.

Mayer checks all the boxes as a long-time starter in the NFL. The tight end position is a vital spot in the Doug Pederson scheme, so the team should use its resources wisely and get a high-upside player rather than going after a retread on the free agency market. Johnston and Mayer will add two day-one starters to the depth chart.

Round 3, Pick 71: Keeanu Benton, DL, Wisconsin

The Jaguars’ offense will be a force to be reckoned with if the first two picks of this mock draft come to fruition. They must use the rest of the picks to build up the trenches. An offensive lineman makes sense here, but the value of Keeanu Benton is worth jumping on.

Benton is the starting nose tackle for the Wisconsin Badgers. Although nose tackle is an under-appreciated position, there is a chance that the versatility of Benton allows him to see a rise in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Right now, until he can test in front of scouts, the thought is that Benton is a long-term projection at nose tackle. The Jaguars run a three-man front, and I am confident in saying that Benton will be able to run any of the three at a high level.

The current starters are Roy Robertson-Harris, Davon Hamilton, and Folorunso Fatukasi. Drafting Benton in the third round would provide immediate competition at all three spots and will only serve to make the team better and deeper on the defensive line.

Benton is best served as a run stuffer, as you can imagine, due to his position. However, the most intriguing part of Benton’s game is his ability to create pressure and collapse the pocket from the interior. It is rare for an interior defender to cause as much disruption as Benton does.

Putting the 6-foot-4, 317-pound mammoth of a man between Travon Walker and Josh Allen on the edge would make for a week-long of nightmares for opposing offensive coordinators. A massive cherry on top of this mock draft class.