The 2019 NFL Combine is set to kick off tomorrow, February 26th, so in case you didn’t realize by the mock drafts and scouting reports in the past couple of months here at Locked On Jaguars – draft season is here.
Let’s cut to the chase: A seven round, Jaguars-only mock draft heading into the Combine. Between now and the draft, you’ll see plenty of changes to how mock go about based on Combine performances and breaking down more tape, but this is how I would approach the 2019 NFL Draft for the Jaguars with my G.M. cap on.
1st round – 4th overall (TRADE w/OAK): Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Jacksonville trades their 7th overall pick, 69th overall pick (third round), and a 2020 2nd round pick to Oakland for their 4th overall pick and 131st overall pick (fifth round).
Before the pick gets broken down, take a look at Rich Hill of PatsPulpit.com‘s NFL Draft pick value chart. After the NFL revised their private value chart when compensatory picks became tradeable, Pro Football Talk publicly endorsed Hill’s chart, as he has tracked every draft-pick trade since the rookie wage-scale was created in the latest CBA agreement and based the scale on how teams value picks – not necessarily how they should be valued from the eyes of analysts. In other words, it’s totally objective and based on data.
Future picks are generally valued at a round later than what they actually are, so the 2020 2nd round pick is valued as a 2019 third round pick – and we will match it’s value with the Jaguars 69th overall pick rather than project where they will be selecting next year for the purpose of this exercise. According to the chart, by current value:
- 7th overall = 425.5 points + 69th overall = 71.38 points + 2020 2nd = 71.38 points = 568.26 points
- 4th overall = 490.52 points + 131st overall = 18.08 points = 508.6 points
By value, the Raiders would win the trade by just under 60 draft pick value points, but in reality that’s just how it works. Teams moving up typically have to trade away more than what might seem “fair”, but at the end of the day, the Jaguars get their quarterback, get back a fifth round pick to replace the fifth rounder they sent to Cleveland in 2018 for running back Carlos Hyde, and maintain ownership of draft picks in every round this year. Remember – they stsill own the Los Angeles Rams’ 95th overall pick in the third round after trading defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. to L.A. It’s a win-win trade.
Dwayne Haskins is the best quarterback in this draft – that’s a spoiler for when I release my official quarterback rankins after the combine. He’s a tremendously accurate quarterback when it comes to West Coast concepts, which the Jaguars center their pass game around, and has flashed the ability to grow as a deep-ball thrower over time. Haskins knows where his routes develop and identifies coverages well pre-snap, and is smart with the football – he recorded a 1.5% interception rating with only eight interceptions in 533 attempts in his 4831 yard, 50 touchdown sophomore season.
Told myself not to get distracted by QB1 when studing McLaurin… but I can't get the Rae Sremmurd song "Buckets" out of my head when I watch this toss from Haskins. pic.twitter.com/Ybnpkq2UcY
— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) January 29, 2019
Is it risky to select a one-year starter so high? Of course, but Haskins displayed plenty of growth in key areas as his 2018 season went on – and what made that even more impressive is against the competition he was going against while he showed that growth. In a late three-game stretch against Michigan (ranked 2nd in team defense in 2018), Northwestern (64th – Big 10 Championship game), and Washington (12th), Haskins completed 71.7% of his passes for 1146 yards and 14 touchdowns, with only one interception.
And I’m not too worried about teams trying to jump higher than fourth overall for Haskins, as Arizona, San Francisco, and New York (Jets) are all in ideal spots to land top-tier pass rushing talent that they so badly need. It would be a lot more expensive to move into those picks for other teams, and truth be told I don’t believe QB-needy teams will be willing to vastly out-bid Jacksonville. The New York Giants, Miami Dolphins, and Washington Redskins have plenty of big needs to address other than QB, and could elect to wait for a QB on Day 2 or in 2020 rather than get into a bidding war.
2nd round – 38th overall: Chris Lindstrom, guard, Boston College
The Jaguars will most likely be moving on from right guard A.J. Cann this offseason, unless he is willing to re-sign on a cheap contract as a depth piece moving forward. But considering the free agent market being bare of talent at guard, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Cann test his market and find a new home with a better salary.
Lindstrom has been a favorite prospect of mine going back to when I first started watching prospects in October. He started 51 straight games, dating from the beginning of his freshman season until his final game at Boston College, and that durability will undoubtedly catch the Jaguars’ eye after the uncanny amount of injuries their offensive line saw in 2018. In those 51 games, Lindstrom started 44 games at right guard and seven at right tackle. So while he has mainly played and excelled at guard, he offers some flexibility to play outside in a pinch. He measured in at 6-3 3/4, 303 lbs, with 34 1/8″ arms and 9 1/4″ hands at the Senior Bowl last month. While he doesn’t possess the biggest frame, his lengthy arms will help him lock-out blocks.
He comes from a power-based scheme at Boston College, so his transition to the Jaguars offense shouldn’t be a tough transition. Lindstrom wins with power and active feet as a run blocker, and while he has some work to do with hand placement consistency to gain leverage in pass protection, he mirrors pass rushers well to slow down pass rush moves and often leads to a solid recovery when he gets beat on initial contact.
Lindstrom processes responsibilities well, as seen on this pull. He keeps eyes downfield and picks up the shooting LB off the edge perfectly to open a gap that A.J. Dillon seizes and takes this carry to the endzone. pic.twitter.com/zwbo8UzjLm
— Zach Goodall (@zach_goodall) January 22, 2019
Lindstrom has ties to the Jaguars as well. He told me at the Senior Bowl that he has a good relationship with Jaguars college scout Chris Snee, a former Boston College offensive lineman who played for the New York Giants under former head coach and current Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin from 2004-2013. Fun fact: Coughlin is also Snee’s father-in-law, as Snee married Coughlin’s daughter Kate in the same year the Giants drafted him, and they had a child together in college. It’s safe to say, if Coughlin wants to do some background research on Lindstrom, he has a good avenue through Snee.
3rd round – 98th overall (from LAR): DaMarkus Lodge, WR, Ole Miss
Offense, offense, offense.
In case that hasn’t been clear (it has been for a while), that’s what the Jaguars must prioritize this offseason. Fix the offense. Add as much talent to the offense as possible.
DaMarkus Lodge offers a ton of potential to be a pass-game weapon on the outside. At 6-2 with lengthy arms (we will get his arm length at the NFL Combine), Lodge offers the length to make contested catches and a fantastic catch radius to back that up. He finished his Ole Miss career with 122 receptions for 1790 yards and 14 touchdowns.
— THE Underdog (@DaMarkusLodge18) January 18, 2019
Lodge didn’t run a complex route tree during his time at Ole Miss, as tracked by the staff at The Draft Network. However, he separates well on all vertical plane routes and that should solidify his floor as a deep-threat at the next level. In a West Coast style offense like what the Jaguars have run as of late, Lodge will have to develop his routes across the middle of the field, but their biggest need is someone who can consistently separate and win contested catch battles at all levels of the field. Lodge offers that, and as a one year starter in the same offense that featured receivers D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown as well, Lodge is a bit overshadowed in this draft process and will likely slide. He’d be a steal of a pick for a Jaguars team that so badly needs a player of his caliber.
4th round – 109th overall: Foster Moreau, TE, LSU
Another offensive position that the Jaguars are preparing to overhaul: Tight end. After declining the option on Austin Seferian-Jenkins contract last week, the remaining tight ends under contract for the Jaguars in 2019 are as follows: Ben Koyack and Pharoah McKever. James O’Shaughnessy is set to become a free agent, and while it’s logical to assume Jacksonville will attempt to re-sign him, pen has not met paper yet.
However, it’s hard to expect the Jaguars to draft a tight end early. Under general manager Dave Caldwell, the earliest round the Jaguars have ever selected a tight end is… the seventh (Koyack in 2015). And Coughlin doesn’t have a history of drafting tight ends early either, as the earliest round a tight end has been drafted with him as head coach is the third (Travis Beckum in 2009 with the Giants). So despite the tight end talent at the top of the draft this year, don’t get your hopes up on a guy like T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant wearing black and teal.
Foster Moreau is a very intriguing mid-round option, who met with the Jaguars at the Senior Bowl and is both close friends and former teammates with Jaguars WR D.J. Chark and RB Leonard Fournette. He’s far from an explosive athlete and comes off as a stiff route runner, but he’s a superb run blocker who has experience lining up in-line, in the slot, and as an H/full-back to do so. He offers nice size at 6-4 1/4, 250 lbs with 33 3/4 inch arms, and at the Senior Bowl he put that length on display to win multiple contested catch battles in the redzone. At LSU, Moreau recorded 52 catches for 629 yards and six touchdowns.
His lack of polish as a route runner due to his athletic limitations will drop him into Day 3 consideration, but Moreau fits the mold of tight end the Jaguars fawn over, and meets their tight end draft range.
LSU TE Foster Moreau taking everybody out…. pic.twitter.com/ul4ZU0BDxt
— Cole Cubelic (@colecubelic) October 2, 2018
5th round – 131st overall (from OAK): Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon
Finally, a defensive pick!
Oregon defensive end Jalen Jelks is a lengthy, yet lanky, five-technique prospect who plays with a ton of burst and is polished against the run. Considering his size, you don’t want him playing inside, but he has the length to add some weight without losing athleticism and burst in order to better compete with the strength of the NFL.
He doesn’t have much of a pass rush plan at all, but Jelks has flashed a couple of pass rush moves on film and a combination of burst and power has led to a nice bull-rush despite his slimmer figure. These factors will undoubtedly push him down draft boards as he will br a true project in need of pass rush polishing and adding weight/muscle. But with Calais Campbell’s contract option getting picked up, keeping him in Jacksonville for at least two more years, the Jaguars can afford to gamble on the raw talent Jelks possesses and develop him as Campbell’s eventual heir. He finished his Oregon career with 15.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, and 11 batted passes.
EDGE Jalen Jelks (Oregon, 6’5”, 250lbs)
Not a fan of using him inside (his burst/athleticism is his best quality right now), though he did still show flashes of anchoring & disengaging vs. the run.
Also shows strength to maintain the edge from the outside, redirecting RBs. pic.twitter.com/w2DApaoT7Y
— Jeremy Stevenson (@MyColtsAccount) February 14, 2019
6th round – 178th overall: James Williams, RB, Washington State
With T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant set to be free agents and following an incredibly disappointing 2018 season for Leonard Fournette, I’d be floored if the Jaguars didn’t sign or draft a running back at some point.
James Williams is a bit undersized compared to the Jaguars standards (their last two draft pick RBs, Fournette and Yeldon, stood at 6-0/240 lbs and 6-1/226 lbs, respectively), standing at a listed 5-11, 195. He also hasn’t been fully utilized at WSU, seeing only 518 touches over the past three years. However, he’s turned that small workload into big production as both a runner and a receiver, with 2977 scrimmage yards and 27 touchdowns. Williams has averaged 4.9 yards per carry and 7.1 yards per reception during his time at Washington State.
On film, Williams displays fantastic ability to catch out of the backfield and a surprising amount of contact balance for a player of his stature. He’s a slippery runner with solid, but not great, speed as a whole. He’s a fun complementary type of back who could carve out the role in Jacksonville that fans wanted Corey Grant in for years.
James Williams 👀 pic.twitter.com/qgRbLCh4iQ
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 20, 2019
James Williams is an elite receiver. This is a play a receiver makes, not a RB. Dude is going to be dynamic. pic.twitter.com/rmgv7LiXmt
— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) February 24, 2019
7th round – 236th overall (from BAL): Trysten Hill, DT, UCF
With so few picks focusing on defense, it might be puzzling to see the Jaguars double dip at one of their strongest position groups across the roster – defensive line. However, with the talent Jacksonville has there, they’ve dedicated a lot of cap space across the entire line and are in the position to start drafting heirs across the board. We saw that with the Jelks pick, as well as the Taven Bryan selection last year.
Hill is a raw, explosive athlete from a school not too well known for their defense in 2018. He rotated a lot with other players at defensive tackle – specifially nose, but still put up solid production over his three year career as a Knight: Six sacks and 20 tackles for loss.
He plays with a lot of burst and explosion, much like Jelks and Bryan, but little technique and relies on the burst to create pressure. There’s a lot of refinement he will need to do in order to find NFL success, but at 6-1, 315 lbs, he has the size and athletic ability to become a solid nose tackle at the next level. Perhaps drafting Hill would lead to releasing Abry Jones, which would save the Jaguars $4 million in 2019.
UCF DT Trysten Hill plays insanely hard pic.twitter.com/EXP56Bf4GE
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) February 20, 2019
Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee officially taken off PUP list
The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially taken wide receiver Marqise Lee off of the physically unable to perform (PUP) list today. Head coach Doug Marrone announced the development at his pre-practice press conference today. Marrone says Lee will be practicing today.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2019
Lee has not practiced or played since his preseason knee injury almost a year ago today. With this progression, the Jaguars will go into the season — at least for now — with their top receivers active and relatively healthy. If Lee is able to make any sort of contribution during the start of the season it will be a major success for the Jaguars.
Currently, the Jaguars have relied on newcomer Chris Conley along with veterans Dede Westbrook, and D.J. Chark along with other newcomers to make up for Lee’s absence. It is not yet known how this will affect the Jaguars roster come the cut-down day.
The Jaguars have not announced a corresponding move as of right now. The roster stands at 91 until they do so.
REPORT: Jaguars sign RB Elijah Hood, release QB Tanner Lee
Earlier today the Jacksonville Jaguars announced the signing of running back Elijah Hood. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released quarterback Tanner Lee.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) August 17, 2019
Hood, 5’11” 230 pounds, was originally drafted in the seventh round by the Oakland Raiders. After bouncing around on the Raiders practice squad for the year, he was eventually waived following the 2017 season.
Hood most recently played the Carolina Panthers, however, his time with the Panthers was cut short in 2018 due to a torn ACL. He will get an opportunity to prove himself with the Jaguars and potentially live up to his collegiate career where he accumulated 2,580 yards and 29 touchdowns while at UNC.
With the injury to running back Alfred Blue (ankle) this past Thursday along with other running backs on the roster, the Jaguars needed to add depth at the position. Hood will get every opportunity to make the team, but his chances are rather slim.
Lee, a 2018 6th-round pick by the Jaguars was finally released as a corresponding move to signing Hood. Releasing Lee will not come to much of a shock for Jaguars fans. Lee has struggled throughout the offseason and in the preseason during both of his seasons with the Jaguars. This leaves backup quarterbacks Gardner Minshew and Alex McGough to battle it out in the Jaguars last two preseason games — although it looks like Minshew has the upper hand as of right now.
Jaguars defensive end Datone Jones has inside track on backup job
Earlier this offseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars opted to sign seven-year veteran Datone Jones as a means to create more competition and depth behind defensive end Calais Campbell. At the time, this was seen as more of a roster-filler type move, essentially to make sure the Jaguars have enough bodies during training camp. However, the situation has completely changed due to the way Jones has played during the offseason and into training camp.
Jones, 6’4″ 285 pounds, was originally drafted 26th overall in the 2013 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. Coming out of UCLA he was expected to make a major impact along the defensive line after accumulating a respectable 62 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks during his senior season. Since being drafted, Jones has bounced around the NFL playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and, most recently, the Dallas Cowboys.
Jones was not able to make as much of an impact on the Packers’ 3-4 defensive front after bouncing around from the defensive line to — surprisingly — linebacker.
For a short time, Jones signed with the Minnesota Vikings shortly after his contract with the Packers ended and expressed the concern of a position switch during an interview with the Vikings update stating, “They didn’t tell me. I found out on NFL Network that they had moved me to outside linebacker, I kind of knew that I would have to make the adjustment or I wasn’t going to be there anymore. I wanted to come into a place where I felt most natural, where I could really showcase my ability, what I could really do.”
Having to make such a drastic change in his career path after being mildly successful — 73 tackles and nine sacks with the Packers — at another position impacted Jones. While Jones did accumulate the most pressures for the Packers during the 2016 season while playing outside linebacker, it still was not the appropriate position for him to play given his natural ability.
Now with the Jaguars, Jones is back along the defensive line and is thriving. With the backup strong-side defensive end position for the Jaguars being completely wide open, Jones has taken the opportunity afforded to him and could be apart of the first group of players coming onto the field for the normal starters.
The Jaguars have tried for a couple of years now to find a good backup behind Campbell. They drafted defensive tackle/end Taven Bryan in the first round just a year ago, however, he has switched to more of a fulltime role on the interior of the defense. Mostly a disappointment his first two seasons, defensive end Dawuane Smoot has also taken a backseat with the arrival of Jones, giving Jones the inside track to win the primary backup job.
Jones has taken that opportunity and has thrived. Able to come off the ball with speed and power, he has the ability to adequately stop the run along with getting to the quarterback. During the game on Thursday, Jones completely took over the Eagles offensive line. One play in particular from Thursday’s game stands out.
Jones lines up on the defensive edge and is unblocked, getting to the quarterback and knocking him (Cody Kessler) out of the game. These are the type of plays which illustrate why he has earned a spot on the Jaguars 53-man roster.
— Datone Jones AKA TONE_LOCC (@IAM_Dat_One) August 16, 2019
A rotation from normal starters Yannick Ngakoue, Marcell Dareus, Abry Jones, and Campbell to Josh Allen, Bryan, Eli Ankou, and Jones illustrates just how deep the Jaguars are along the defensive line.
This past week head coach Jaguars Doug Marrone was asked about the importance of the defensive end spot behind Campbell.
“I feel good about where we are with our D-Line, I do. In other words, I feel like we have good starters, and I feel like we have good depth. I think we have a lot of players there, guys that will probably be, if you look at the roster, I think that can potentially be the toughest. Who is nine, who is 10 if we keep 10, wherever that goes,” Marrone stated.
“Yan obviously looks great out there, but then all of a sudden [Dontavius] Russell, [Michael] Hughes, Datone Jones, I mean you have guys now, big V [Kalani Vakameilalo] is a big body in there. We have guys now that are in there that are pretty good that it’s going to be a tough call.”
A “tough call” that might have gotten tougher — or easier depending on how you look at it — with the performance Jones put on Thursday and throughout the offseason. Against the Eagles, Jones was credited with three tackles and a quarterback hit, however, it was his persistent pressure and pocket collapsing plays that set him apart from everyone else.
Shortly after the game, reporters spoke to Jones about his strong play against the Eagles. “I just wanted to go out there and execute and compete. I felt like I started off really slow the first preseason game and I felt like I owed it to my teammates to go out there today, execute and put my abilities on film,” Jones said.
“[I wanted to] let guys like Calais [Campbell], Marcell [Dareus] and Yannick [Ngakoue] know that I’m here to compete and I want to be in the lineup with those guys. I want to be here in Sacksonville, sacking quarterbacks. Preseason is all about coming out here and displaying and competing and just having fun with your brothers. Executing, you know.”
It is clear playing behind the Jaguars starting defensive line, and seeing the culture within that group has lit a fire under Jones for the better. If he can provide the same production he has done in the past, the Jaguars may have one of the deepest defensive line groups in the entire league.
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