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Jacksonville Jaguars

2018 NFL Draft: Options for the Jaguars on Day 2

Zach Goodall

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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; UCF linebacker Shaquem Griffin arrives on the red carpet before the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

After selecting Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan with the 29th overall pick yesterday, the Jacksonville Jaguars have several directions they could go on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Offensive guard, tight end, and linebacker are still positions the Jaguars need to address before the draft is over, and I’d expect at least one of those positions to be selected by the team today.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some prospects the Jaguars could target in rounds two and three.

Guard

Tyrell Crosby, Oregon: The 6-5, 309 lb versatile former Ducks tackle would be an ideal fit at right guard in the Jaguars power-run scheme, as he is a mauler in the run game and has no issue taking on powerful defensive linemen. Crosby would be an upgrade over current starter AJ Cann and potentially take over right tackle duties when Jermey Parnell retires.

Will Hernandez, UTEP: Hernandez is likely a trade up option, as he was expected to be drafted in the first round. I’m not sure if Jacksonville will pull that trigger since they didn’t love him enough to take him at 29, but he’s a scheme fit and a bully of a run blocker. The 6/3, 327 lb guard would have to switch from left to right guard in Jacksonville, but he would complete the unit and make life easy for running back Leonard Fournette.

Braden Smith, Auburn: Smith is another power-scheme fit, who possesses an ideal frame at 6-4, 309 lbs. He isn’t the most athletic guard prospect in this class and can play a little stiff, but he belittles opposing defenders with his power and drive through blocks.

Tight end

Mike Gesicki, Penn State: The most athletic tight end in this class would be an immediate redzone target for QB Blake Bortles. He offers next to nothing as a blocker, but he produced 11 red zone touchdowns at Penn State and offers the athletic profile to be a primary 50-50 ball type of receiver.

Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State: Goedert has slipped down draft boards due to a hamstring injury he suffered during the Senior Bowl. But the 6-4 5/8, 256 lb former Jack Rabbit totaled 198 receptions for 2988 yards and 21 touchdowns in his college career. Goedert is also is a promising blocker, but level of competition he faced may be a concern to NFL teams.

Ian Thomas, Indiana: Thomas has had an under the radar draft process, as his production at Indiana was incredibly limited by his usage in the offense: 28 receptions for 404 yards and five touchdowns in two years. But he offers the potential to develop as a blocker and athleticism to be an effective receiver, standing at 6-4, 259 lbs and running a 4.74 40 yard dash and recording a 36 inch vertical jump.

Linebacker

Shaquem Griffin, UCF: One of the biggest storylines in NFL Draft history, Griffin could be a true chess piece for the Jaguars defense, despite only having one hand. Griffin would likely start as the Jaguars base-SAM linebacker, but can also get snaps at WILL, defensive end, and even defensive back. He recorded 18.5 sacks, 33.5 tackles for loss, three interceptions, 16 defensed passes, and four forced fumbles as a UCF Knight.

Fred Warner, Brigham Young: Warner is an ideal fit at the Jaguars SAM position, playing at a lengthy 6-3, 236 lbs with 32 inch arms. He has the downhill speed to make plays in the backfield, which he displayed in totaling 6.5 sacks and 32.5 tackles for loss.

Malik Jefferson, Texas: The see-ball, get-ball linebacker doesn’t have the greatest instincts, but he possesses great frame at 6-2, 236 lbs, and athleticism to match what Telvin Smith and Myles Jack provide to the Jaguars linebacker corps. He ran a 4.52 40 yard dash, and jumped 36 inches vertical and 125 inches broad. Jefferson had 13 sacks, 26 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and five defended passes at Texas.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars for the Locked On Jaguars podcast and website. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars finalize coaching staff after landing offensive coordinator

Demetrius Harvey

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Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have finalized their 2019 coaching staff. They’ve officially hired their offensive coordinator as well as other staff members. John DeFilippo was the headliner for today as the replacement for Nathaniel Hackett as offensive coordinator.

The Jaguars also announced the remainder of their staff. As we covered in the past couple of weeks they have hired several position coaches, including Terry Robiskie as running backs coach, George Warhop as the offensive line coach, and Tim Walton as the secondary coach.

The rest of the staff was a mystery until today. The Jaguars announced they will be promoting assistant defensive line coach Jason Rebrovich to defensive line coach, and they have hired David Merritt as their assistant defensive line coach. Merritt spent the past season as the Arizona Cardinals defensive backs coach. Joe Danna will be promoted as well and will be coaching the safeties. Danna has been on the Jaguars staff as an assistant secondary coach since 2017. John Donovan, another assistant coach for the Jaguars, will be promoted to assistant running backs coach.

It is worth noting in today’s presser Marrone stated Tim Walton will coach the cornerbacks, and Joe Danna will coach the safeties. “I thought we could get more out of our coaches and players if we split the secondary,” Marrone said. This is worth noting as Walton actually held a similar role with the Giants for the past couple of seasons.

Scott Milanovich will remain on staff as the quarterbacks coach. Milanovich was the play-caller for the final five weeks of the season. Milanovich has been with the Jaguars as a QB coach since 2017.

There were no other major coaching changes on the Jaguars roster as the rest of the staff will stay intact.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars will retain quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich

Zach Goodall

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Nov 26, 2017; Glendale, AZ, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will retain Scott Milanovich as their quarterbacks coach, according to head coach Doug Marrone.

Milanovich filled in as interim offensive coordinator after Nate Hackett was fired midseason, but the offense saw no improvement with the QB coach calling plays. However, the team appears confident that the former Grey Cup-winning CFL head coach can handle the responsibilities of quarterbacks coach, a position Milanovich has held since Doug Marrone was named head coach in 2017.

The team hired John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator earlier today. You can read why he was a fantastic hire here. Marrone mentioned during his press conference today that Milanovich and DeFilippo have a previous relationship in Maryland.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to hire John DeFilippo as offensive coordinator, per report

Zach Goodall

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Credit: 247Sports.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to hire John DeFilippo as their offensive coordinator, per report.

DeFilippo was the Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator during the 2018 season, but was fired during Week 15, apparently due to a conflict of play-calling interests with head coach Mike Zimmer, who wanted to focus more on the run game than DeFilippo’s strengths with the pass game.

However, despite a lack of calling the run, Vikings quarterback had a historic season as a passer when it came to efficiency, being the first QB in NFL history to throw for 4000+ yards, 30+ touchdowns, 10 or fewer interceptions, and complete at least 70% of his passes. Much of this can be credited to DeFilippo’s influence in the passing game.

Previous to Minnesota, DeFilippo was the Philadelphia Eagles QBs coach during their 2017-18 Super Bowl run, where he was key to the development of Carson Wentz and rejuvenation of Nick Foles’ career after Wentz tore his ACL. He also served as offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns in 2015, where then-36 year old Josh McCown posted the second most touchdown passes of his 13 year career with 12 in eight games, along with 2109 passing yards, a 63.7 completion percentage, and only four interceptions.

DeFilippo’s first NFL coaching job came in 2005 as an offensive quality control coach under then New York Giants head coach and current EVP of Football Operations for the Jaguars, Tom Coughlin. So there’s a definite connection to the team in ths hire.

At the end of the day, the Jaguars number one priority this offseason has to be, and will be, fixing their passing game woes. Quarterback Blake Bortles needs to be replaced, and the team’s next signal caller must be groomed into a successful QB. DeFilippo has proven with Cousins, Foles/Wentz, as well as Josh McCown in Cleveland during the 2015 season, that he’s capable of doing just that.

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