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2019 NFL Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars Pre-Combine 7-Round Mock Draft

Zach Goodall

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Apr 30, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announces the number third overall pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 vs. Texans: Five observations, red zone issues remain

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws under pressure from the Houston Texans defensive line men during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) will be left with a lot to work on during their bye week. There was plenty to gather from the team’s 26-3 loss against the Houston Texans (6-3) in London.

1. Jaguars red-zone woes are still prevalent and have no fix in sight

In the red zone this season, the Jaguars have completed 34.5% (10/29) of their opportunities for touchdowns.  This ranks only better than the Cincinnati Bengals (33.33%) in the entire NFL.

While quarterback play is an issue in this area, the Jaguars have not made the most of their play-call opportunities either. The Jaguars entered the Houston Texans’ red zone only twice in 11 drives on Sunday.

During the two drives in the red zone, the Jaguars completed 0 passes and ran the ball one other time with Leonard Fournette for three yards. Simply not good enough.

Jaguars’ offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has spoken about the team’s ineffectiveness on red zone opportunities. “We moved the football well, but we need to do a better job in the red zone,” DeFilippo said on Thursday following the team’s week seven victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. “I need to do a better job of helping our guys get open. We need to do a better job executing and being more detailed and throwing the ball on time and all of those things. Again, all of that starts with me, and I will do a better job with that.”

Two weeks later and the team’s struggles have continued.

2. Gardner Minshew might take a backseat

Already discussed, the Jaguars might be in for a quarterback change coming out of their week 10 bye week. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in Sunday’s game, and head coach Doug Marrone will have a tough decision to make.

Although Minshew was playing with a sore right shoulder, he was able to practice in full all week leading up to their matchup at Wimbley. Regardless, the Jaguars will have to make a decision, and everything points to Nick Foles being the team’s starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11.

Now completely Minshew’s fault, his struggles in the red zone have been evident for the past several weeks. Foles — during the 2017 and 2018 seasons when he started for the Philidelphia Eagles — was efficient in the red zone, which could point to his maturity as a passer more than anything.

The Jaguars will want to see what they can get out of their veteran quarterback, and there is a reason to believe the Jaguars’ head coach is leaning in this direction. If Foles is not named the starting quarterback next Sunday, it is very likely the veteran will never start for this Jaguars team, at least not under the current staff.

3. Jaguars’ run-defense regressed

Without starting nickel corner D.J. Hayden and SAM linebacker Leon Jacobs, the Jaguars were forced to remain in their nickel package for much of the day. Rookie cornerback Breon Borders replaced Hayden in the starting lineup and while he was not the reason why the run defense suffered, not having a competent linebacker on the strong side of the ball impacted the team greatly.

Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde gashed the Jaguars’ defense 19 times for 160 yards during Sunday’s matchup. Part of the reason why the Jaguars were unable to stop the Texans’ running game late was the sheer amount of plays the Texans ran to begin the game.

In the first quarter, the Texans ran 20 total plays while the Jaguars offense was only able to produce nine total plays.

4. Jaguars cannot rely on penalties, but two changed the course of the game

While the Jaguars should not, and cannot rely on penalties, the team had two costly controversial calls in the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup.

With an opportunity to score, Minshew threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to Jaguars’ receiver DJ Chark Jr. who was able to haul in the pass but was called for offensive pass interference. A few plays later the Jaguars would botch a field goal attempt and give the Texans the football at the 50-yard line.

Following the change of possession, Jaguars’ defensive end Calais Campbell was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Specifically, Campbell was called for lowering his head to initiate contact with a defenseless rusher. The Texans would net only a field goal on this drive, but it was a potential 10-point swing as Chark’s interference call was questionable, and Campbell did not even touch Watson on the play.

5. Keelan Cole shines in Dede Westbrook’s absence

Although the Jaguars clearly missed their 1B receiver in Dede Westbrook, rarely-utilized receiver Keelan Cole was able to step up to the plate and put on his best performance of the season, and possibly since 2017.

While it was not sensational, Cole hauled in five out of six of his targets for 80 yards on the day. The Jaguars could not get anything going down the field, however, Cole was able to get open on routine crossing routes.

In the coming weeks, look for Cole to have a bigger role in the Jaguars offense, especially with veteran receiver Chris Conley playing so up-and-down (2 receptions on 7 targets for 32 yards).

DeFilippo recently spoke about Cole and understands the third-year receiver may be frustrated with his snap count.

“I am proud of the way he stayed in it and even though he has not gotten the playing time,” DeFilippo said after the Jaguars victory over Bengals. “Everyone wants to play every snap. I’m sure he wants [more playing time]. He has done a great job staying in it.”

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Jaguars to make tough decision next week, Minshew Mania over for now

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass in the first half against the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) were embarrassed early Sunday morning via a 26-3 loss to the rival Houston Texans (6-3). Minshew-Mania may be over for now, but it won’t be the last time the rookie sensation starts for the team.

To put it simply, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew did not play well at all yesterday. Completing 27/47 (57%) of his passes for 309 yards, two interceptions, and two fumbles lost, Minshew looked lost during the second half of the game on Sunday.

Minshew has been everything the team could have hoped for — and much more — out of a sixth-round quarterback, but between what transpired yesterday, and a few of his past performances — against winning teams –, the Jaguars will likely see what they can get out of veteran quarterback Nick Foles.

For three quarters, Minshew looked okay. While there was plenty that went wrong, the rookie was able to make key throws, during key situations. One play, in particular, stands out. With a little over five minutes left in the second quarter, the Jaguars could not seem to get anything going before Minshew scrambles around and eventually finds a wide-open Ryquell Armstead in the middle of the field. Armstead would take the ball 31 yards and set the team up for their only points of the game.

Minshew’s ability to improvise has been his bread and butter this season, and although he was not able to work his magic often against the Texans, these were the types of plays that gave pause in the Minshew/Foles debate.

During the fourth quarter, the Jaguars and Minshew were forced to take more shots downfield in a sort of desperation move while trailing 19-3. Although playcalling can certainly be questioned, the decision making of the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback was equally perplexing. Throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles, Minshew had no chance at making a little magic to lead the team to another come-from-behind victory.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be forced to make a decision on his quarterback, but not right now. After the game, Marrone indicated he will wait until the Sunday before the team returns from their week 10 bye week to talk to both quarterbacks.

“I think after those 48 hours are over, I’m going to step away a little bit, take a break because I don’t have to make a decision and have time,” Marrone said shortly after the game when asked about making the quarterback decision. “That’s what I’m going to talk to the quarterbacks about, and then I’ll tell them probably right before we come back on Sunday, we’ll be able to discuss where we’re going to go. That’s pretty much my plan.”

While Minshew did not have a great game yesterday, the decision will be made on more than just one game, Marrone said.

The Jaguars’ head coach is stuck with an incredibly tough decision. At 4-5, the team needs a spark. The Jaguars need to win down the stretch and having to rely on a rookie — still going through ups and downs — is exhausting. While Foles may not be “the answer”, he is the only other option at this moment, and the Jaguars absolutely believe in the veteran.

Although this may be the end of Minshew starting in Jacksonville this season, his achievements — 188/307 (61%) completions for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions — should not go unnoticed. The team absolutely still believes in the rookie quarterback, and he has a golden opportunity — if not this season — next year to prove everyone wrong.

One of the best, most fun performances out of a Jaguars’ quarterback over the first half of the season ever, is nothing to get upset about. Minshew provided spectators with Minshew-Mania, Minshew-Magic, and any other Minshew-ism one can think of.

For now, it is very likely Foles will make his Jaguars’ debut once again after breaking his left clavicle during the opening game of the season. In 11 plays this season Foles completed five out of eight of his passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

It may be over for now, but this is just the beginning, and having the problem of deciding between a former Superbowl MVP and a rookie sensation at quarterback is a good thing. Depending on how Foles plays — if he is to be named the starter next Sunday –, Minshew could get yet another opportunity as the Jaguars progress from their 4-5 record.

Bonus clip:

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Jaguars fail to seize opportunity in London, falling 26-3 to Houston Texans

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rushes for a first down during the first half of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) fell to Houston Texans (6-3) in a disappointing pre-bye week game in London, England. The Jaguars absolutely did not have home-field advantage on the day. 

The Jaguars took to their annual London voyage with a lot of optimism, however, all of that optimism was quickly quieted by the Houston Texans (6-3) as they were able to bottle up Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars, holding the team to just three points on the day.  The Texans would win 26-3 and kill any chances the Jaguars may have had at earning the division title in a few weeks.

To begin the game, the Jaguars opted to start out on defense with the Texans struggling early on in games this season. Holding the Texans to just three points to start the game, the Jaguars defense showed up big, especially as Jaguars’ cornerback A.J. Bouye shadowed Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who finished with just eight receptions for 48 yards. The Jaguars seemed to find a groove early on during the first half of the game, but their inability to score in the red zone reared it’s head yet again.

In what is likely his last game starting for the Jaguars this season — at least for now — Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew completed just 27 out of 47 of his passes for 309 yards and two interceptions. Minshew also fumbled the football two times near the end of the game, which would ultimately end it at Wembley stadium.

While the Jaguars defense played well early on, they stood no chance against Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson who completed 22 out of 28 of his passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Extremely elusive, Watson was able to escape from the Jaguars pass rushers all day long. The Texans effectively ended any chance of the Jaguars coming back after Watson completed a long throw to Hopkins for 21 yards to the Jaguars’ one-yard line. The Texans would score on a one-yard run by Duke Johnson putting the team up 19-3 late in the third quarter.

All four of Minshew’s turnovers would come in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars attempted to climb back in the game. Missing their second-most targetted wide receiver in Dede Westbrook, the Jaguars and Minshew couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game.

The Jaguars’ run game was equally disappointing today as running back Leonard Fournette could only edge out 40 yards on 11 rushes.

Perhaps the best play of the game by the Jaguars’ defense, near the end of the game Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde sprinted free and was looking to go into the endzone when Jaguars’ safety Jarrod Wilson showed incredible hustle to force a fumble at the last second, turning the ball over to the Jaguars’ offense.

The good fortune wouldn’t last long, however, as Minshew would go on to throw his final interception of the game to completely seal the game for the Texans offense.

The Jaguars’ offense simply did not get anything going today, similar to their game against the New Orleans Saints in week six earlier this year. Minshew was sacked only four times on the day as the Texans did not want him to escape the pocket.

The team will have a very tough decision to make during their week 10 bye week. Ultimately, the team will need to decide between veteran quarterback Nick Foles or the rookie quarterback in Minshew.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be making the decision, and after falling 26-3 today largely due to the play of the team’s quarterback, it may be a no-brainer.

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