A two-part mock draft series in the two days leading up to the NFL Draft? This is the content you’ve been dying for.
Utilizing The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator, I generated two seven round mock drafts, picking as the Jacksonville Jaguars, and approached each differently. The first one, which I’ll go over below, is how I’d approach it if I were the general manager, while understanding the team’s ideals, pre-draft visits, needs, and so on. I wanted to make it as realistic as possible, but at the same time in a way that earns my own stamp of approval.
Tomorrow, I’ll drop another TDN-simulated mock draft based on how I believe the Jaguars will approach the draft themselves. But for now, let’s get to mocking!
1st round – 7th overall: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Hockenson is the 4th ranked player on my personal Jaguars big board, behind Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa, and Dwayne Haskins. Haskins was available at this pick, and while doubling down at QB is my dream scenario, I opted to add an offensive weapon to keep this more realistic.
T.J. Hockenson is the best tight end prospect I’ve ever evaluated, and would provide an immediate dual-threat weapon to the Jaguars offense that so badly needs an upgrade at tight end. On top of being a rare breed as a blocker, Hockenson recorded 49 receptions for 760 yards and six touchdowns in 2018, while sharing tight end targets with fellow projected first round tight end Noah Fant at Iowa.
QB Nick Foles has targeted tight ends on 33% of his passes over the past two years. He’s reliant on the position to contribute in a major way. Hockenson can make that happen.
2nd round – 38th overall: Chris Lindstrom, RG, Boston College
A guy I’ve been pounding the table for since October of last year, Chris Lindstrom would be an immediate upgrade over A.J. Cann at right guard and turn Cann into a solid depth piece. Like Hockenson, it’s hard to find a real weakness in Lindstrom’s game – he’s just a good all-around blocker who wins with a mix of power and athleticism in the run game, and mirrors extraordinarily well in pass protection.
Lindstrom told me at the Senior Bowl that he has a relationship with Jaguars scout Chris Snee, who played right guard at Boston College in the early 2000’s and is Jaguars EVP of Football Ops.’ son-in-law Tom Coughlin. So, the team definitely has a connection to Lindstrom and that should only help his case.
3rd round – 69th overall: Deionte Thompson, FS, Alabama
Reuniting Deionte Thompson with Jaguars strong safety and former Alabama player Ronnie Harrison would be really cool, especially in a sense where they’re both considered 3rd round “steals”. And that’s just what happens here.
Thompson was widely viewed as a first round prospect before a sour late-season stretch in the playoffs pushed him down boards a bit. However, Thompson has elite range and is willing to come down to make a play in the box as well, which would allow the Jaguars to continue making their safeties interchangeable in terms of responsibilities to throw an opponent off-guard. Thompson record three interceptions, seven defended passes, three forced fumbles, and 4.5 tackles for loss in three seasons at Alabama.
3rd round – 98th overall: Oshane Ximines, EDGE, Old Dominion
Could Oshane Ximines be the next Yannick Ngakoue?
Okay, he’s probably not going to be that big of a steal, but I see glimpses of Ngakoue’s game in Ximines and that makes him appealing as a rotational pass rusher, which is what Ngakoue was originally drafted to be before earning a starting job.
Ximines recorded 32.5 sacks and 51 tackles for loss, as well as 11 forced fumbles, 12 defended passes, and an interception in four years at Old Dominion. This production led to a 2019 Senior Bowl invite. He’s a bit undersized at 6-3 1/2, 253 lbs (I believe he will play under 250), but is an above average athlete (see web below) and provides an arsenal of pass rush moves to get to the QB. Ximines is my guy for the Jaguars to target to replace Dante Fowler Jr.’s rotational pass rushing role.
4th round – 109th overall: David Montgomery, RB, Iowa State
Despite signing Alfred Blue and Benny Cunningham as insurance policies at running back this offseason, the Jaguars need to find a legitimate change-of-pace runner to replace T.J. Yeldon’s role.
David Montgomery can do that, and so much more. Montgomery a shifty back with absurd contact balance at 5-10 1/8, 222, who recorded 2925 rushing yards on 624 carries (4.7 yards per carry) and 26 touchdowns in three seasons at Iowa State. He also not only caught the ball out of the backfield, but even lined up as a receiver outside, and hauled in 71 receptions for 582 yards in the same time frame. Montgomery isn’t a great athlete, posting below average scores in every athletic test other than a 71st percentile broad jump, but his all around game as a shifty runner, receiver, and pass blocker makes him a fantastic fit for the No. 2 RB job.
6th round – 178th overall: Gary Jennings, WR, West Virginia
Gary Jennings has been overlooked in the draft process due to the name recognition fellow WVU WR David Sills V has following him, but Jennings is a really solid big slot WR who can also play Z-WR when needed. He specializes on winning contested catch battles, recorded 168 receptions for 2297 yards and 17 touchdowns in his four year career at WVU.
Jennings also has special teams experience and a willingness to block, two “musts” for Jaguars receivers. He’s best suited running routes on a vertical plane, but he has the vertical athleticism to be a big playmaker in the NFL. I was surprised Jennings fell this far in this simulation, but as stated before, he’s been overshadowed by Sills and what is a very, very strong wide receiver class starting on Day 2.
7th round – 236th overall: Isaiah Prince, OT, Ohio State
You’re probably wondering why I waited so long to address right tackle – I’ve been vocal in my support of right tackle Will Richardson in the past. While I would welcome a blue-chip upgrade, I view right guard as a bigger need than RT, simply because we know A.J. Cann has proven to be way too inconsistent whereas Richardson was a highly touted offensive line prospect, despite falling into the fourth round last year.
In that case, I utilized their final pick to add extra depth at right tackle with Richardson getting the starting nod. The Jaguars signed Cedric Ogbuehi and Leonard Wester to compete for the depth spot as well, but Prince meet’s the Jaguars offensive tackle thresholds perfectly, played in 54 straight games for Ohio State, and was live-scouted by the Jaguars five times in 2018.
How would you grade this Jaguars mock draft? Check back tomorrow for my “what will the Jaguars do” approach to a final mock draft, with the NFL Draft set to kick off Thursday night.
Jaguars vs. Titans preview: Keys to success, matchups to watch
Distractions, distrust, disobedience. The Jaguars will have to overcome it all in order to gain a victory on Thursday against the Tennessee Titans.
This week, the Jaguars will play host to the Tennessee Titans on Thursday Night Football. Typically, an 0-2 team facing their archnemesis would have nothing but the game on their minds — especially in a short week. This week, however, has been derailed due to the unexpected trade request by cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
As the Jaguars are wont to do, they have positioned themselves in a terrible spot, and have no one to blame but themselves as to why Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville. First, however, they have a game to play.
Game Time info
- When: Thursday, September 19th, 8:20 PM ET
- Watch: NFL Network, CBS47 locally (click)
- Listen: Jacksonville 1010XL AM, 92.5FM
Five Keys to Success
- Stay healthy
Staying healthy is still the theme of the season. Luckily for the Jaguars, they are getting healthy just in time for their most important matchup of the season against the Titans. Cornerback A.J. Bouye (hip), left tackle Cam Robinson (knee), and swing tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) should all be good to go for tonight.
- Contain Derrick Henry
The Jaguars are well aware of the 99-yard touchdown run that embarrassed the team last season. While they are all sick and tired of seeing it, the team will still need to be fully aware of Titans running back Derrick Henry’s presence. Containing him, as they have done sometimes in the past will go a long way to winning this football game.
- Don’t get distracted
This team cannot afford to get distracted. At 0-2, tonight’s game becomes a must-win and getting distracted by the ongoing trade rumors surrounding their star cornerback should not affect them. The players say they are focused on the task at hand but will need to prove it.
- Figure out the offensive line
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Wednesday during his post-practice press conference that Cam Robinson and A.J. Cann will be starting tonight at left tackle and right guard, respectively. However, Marrone also indicated that he would not be surprised if guard/tackle Will Richardson and swing-tackle Cedric Ogbuehi get some playing time. The Jaguars need to figure out their five best offensive linemen and play them for the remainder of the season.
- Free Gardner Minshew
Last week the Jaguars let rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew loose for the final possession of the game. This week, they will need to let him loose the entire game. There’s no reason to have kid gloves on Minshew anymore. The running game has been almost nonexistent the first two weeks of the season, and the offensive line is finally getting healthy. Let Minshew-mania rock the bank tonight, and hope the “Souther Swagger” connection between himself and receiver DJ Chark, continues.
- Myles Jack vs. Derrick Henry
It is well documented what went down during their last matchup, and one player who is well aware of the Play? Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack. Jack was one of the key players who missed multiple tackles on Henry during the teams’ last meeting. Jack will need to be on his A-game tonight as the Titans absolutely will look to recreate it.
Derrick Henry with 99-yard run!pic.twitter.com/G16Oz96gPS
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 7, 2018
- Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Jalen Ramsey
This is kind of tongue-in-cheek, but the Jaguars will need to have the disgruntled corner reeled in for the game tonight. There is no doubt Jalen Ramsey does not want to become a distraction, however, he simply is. If he can go out and play at a high level — as he has done for the past 50 games — the Jaguars should be in good shape tonight.
- Jaguars offensive line vs. Titans pass rushers
The Titans pass rush is nothing to scoff at. Newly acquired outside linebacker Cameron Wake already has 2.5 sacks on the season, and will be looking for more against a rusty left tackle in Robinson. The Jaguars offensive line is still in flux and dealing with Wake and Titans defensive tackle Jurell Casey will be a tough task.
Players to watch
Gardner Minshew — The rookie quarterback is looking to build off of his impressive late-game heroics last week against the Houston Texans, and an impressive week one performance. The Jaguars will need to keep the rookie grounded, but allow him to play his game all the same.
Jalen Ramsey — Just keep an eye out here. Does Ramsey continue business-as-usual or does his antics during last week’s game — which ultimately led to his trade demand — continue? Our guess is Ramsey plays as if nothing is going on away from the field as he typically has.
This could be Ramsey’s last game — or more likely last home game — in a Jaguars uniform. Fans will have some mixed emotions, however, there is no argument about how much Ramsey has meant to this franchise over the past three seasons.
It is still baffling the Jaguars organization allowed it to get to this point, but here we are.
Leonard Fournette — Fournette has to play better than he did against the Houston Texans. Although he impressed with a couple of receptions, his play on inside runs left a lot to be desired. The Titans have the worst missed tackle percentage through two weeks this season (26%), and Fournette along with the Jaguars must take advantage.
It is worth noting that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo told members of the media on Tuesday he does not mind the number of repetitions Fournette has received. That trend should continue today. Last week, Fournette played on 65/67 offensive snaps.
Cam Robinson — The Jaguars offensive tackle will make his regular-season debut tonight playing for the first time in over a year. Robinson told Locked On Jaguars after practice on Wednesday while there will be some rust, he is excited and anxious to finally get out on the field.
Official game prediction: Jaguars 24, Titans 21 — Jaguars somehow overcome all the distractions and rally around their rookie quarterback.
FILM ROOM: Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is building a résumé
Drafted in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is growing into the number one receiver the team envisioned.
After recording only 14 receptions for 174 yards during his rookie year, Jaguars receiver DJ Chark is slowly turning into a legitimate go-to receiver for the Jaguars. Only two games into the 2019 season, Chark has already accumulated 11 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns.
Hard work and dedication to his craft during the offseason is beginning to pay off. The young receiver believes his confidence level is growing. “A lot,” Chark told Locked On Jaguars when asked about how much his confidence level has grown. “Just from knowing where to be, when to be there. Knowing the offense. Knowing the routine. All that helped me out a lot.”
Every offseason, while players work on everything, they typically hone in on one specific area. For Chark? “My routes. That’s the biggest thing,” Chark said. “Getting in-and-out of breaks, understanding my playbook, and just tweaking small things in my game.”
While the second-year wide receiver is confident heading into week three, he knows there’s a lot he needs to do to get better. “I think I’ve been doing well, but I haven’t had a perfect game,” Chark said when asked if he was satisfied with his game. “A lot to work on, a lot to get better at. Also we 0-2. A lot we need to work on, so not satisfied, no.”
Typically, it takes about a year for a receiver to truly get into a rhythm as far as the speed of the game, knowing where to be, how to be there, and all of the little things that a receiver needs to understand. Chark has seemingly met at least some of those goals, and while he still has a lot to work on, the first two weeks into the 2019 season has been a fantastic start.
Last week against the Houston Texans, Chark accounted for seven receptions (nine targets) for 55 yards and a touchdown. The two incompletions came on an overthrown ball from rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, and a fantastic pass breakup made by Texans’ cornerback Lonnie Johnson.
Chark has built a close bond with the Minshew. Something he says is due to the “southern swagger.” Minshew was born and raised in Mississippi while Chark was born and raised in Louisianna. “We from the south,” Chark said when asked about the chemistry the two have together. “It just works that way.”
The two will hope to continue growing together as a dynamic duo over the course of the season.
Shortly after the Jaguars loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was very complimentary of the second-year receiver out of Louisiana State University stating, “I think it’s consistency…He’s a guy that can go in there and make plays and someone that is going to keep getting better and better.”
The team hopes Chark continues to show promise as the season progresses. Having ready-made chemistry with Minshew certainly helps.
Onto the film room:
Thoughts: Probably the best aspect of Chark’s game is his ability to travel from one side of the field to the other effortlessly, and with speed. Chark ran a 4.34 40-yard dash during the combine in 2018, and it shows on the crossing route ran against the Texans last week.
During his weekly press conference on Tuesday, Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo complimented the receiver on how much work he is putting in running all over the field.
What might seem simple at first glance, Chark does a fantastic job at maintaining inside leverage with the corner while creating separation with his speed. The reception itself illustrates a consistency with his hands — something receiver had not been able to find throughout his football career.
Thoughts: Chark made good on his “southern swagger” connection on Sunday. The Louisiana native breaks on his crossing route and follows Minshew throughout to give the rookie quarterback a clear, and clean opening for a would-be game-tying touchdown. The growth and maturity in his game is obvious.
DeFilippo agrees with Chark’s opinion that his confidence is certainly growing. “He’s running across on the touchdown pass and he points up to the sky like they put it up for me,” DeFilippo said when speaking about Chark on Tuesday.
Once again, Chark uses his hands to haul in a perfectly placed football thrown by his rookie quarterback. With his confidence level rising, as DeFilippo points out, the skies the limit.
Thoughts: Against soft coverage, Chark does a fantastic job at selling the nine-route while transitioning to a stop-route just after the first-down marker. In years past Chark likely either runs the wrong route or is too hesitant at the line to sell a deep route. Now, with a full understanding of the playbook and his position, he can just run freely.
Thoughts: On his most impressive play of the game, Chark shows off his insane body control and hands catching. This is a complete 180 from his play last season when Chark was inconsistent in both areas.
The ball from Minshew comes is a beauty. Perhaps slightly earlier than he’d necessarily like, but the moment Chark turns around to look for the ball and makes a perfect adjustment in the air to make the grab on first-and-ten.
The play Minshew missed on. Depending on the move Chark would have put on Texans’ safety Tashuan Gipson this goes for six.
Chark will hope to continue the path to becoming the Jaguars number one receiver on Thursday when the team plays host to their division rival Tennessee Titans. Chark knows how important this game is coming off of a short week against a division opponent.
“It’s pretty big,” Chark said. “But I’m excited. Quick turnaround from Sunday. It’s football — going out there with my offense. Can’t wait.”
Jaguars Wednesday injury report: Bouye listed as questionable
On Wednesday, the Jacksonville Jaguars released their final injury report before their game on Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans.
The Jaguars are getting ready to play after an eventful week of reports surrounding the organization. They look to stay grounded and salvage a season that look to be in for a steep decline if they can’t pull out a win in week three.
Final Week three injury report:
- There is a multitude of players back on the field this week after missing time for the Jaguars throughout the first two games. This includes the likes of Cam Robinson, who will be starting at left tackle and Yannick Ngakoue. Backup swing tackle Cedrick Ogbuehi and wide receiver Marquise Lee are also ready to return to the playing field if their number is called.
- A.J. Bouye is officially listed as questionable ahead of Thursday nights action. The Jaguars expect to have Bouye back after he missed week two with a hip injury. As he continues to work out the minor kinks and get back into football form, Tre Herndon will prepare to go in case Bouye is once again absent.
- Two players that are officially listed as out are first-time Jaguars, Josh Oliver, and D.J. Alexander. Oliver went down in training camp with a hamstring injury and continues to battle with that issue. There is no timetable for when Oliver will be able to return but he would sure help a struggling tight end group.
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