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2019 NFL Draft: Jaguars pre-draft visits and workouts tracker

Zach Goodall

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Oct 29, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Florida Gators offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor (65) blocks against the Georgia Bulldogs during the second half at EverBank Field. Florida Gators defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL Draft being only a couple of weeks away, pre-draft visits and workouts are in full swing. Teams are granted 30 visits with prospects at team facilities, where players can meet with team brass, workout on the field, and talk football.

As we collect who the Jaguars are hosting for their top-30 visits, we will update this blog with each report and provide some info on each prospect. Make sure to bookmark this article and keep checking in!

Note: Top-30 visits don’t necessarily reflect team big boards. Teams hosts players that could go top 5, undrafted, and anywhere in between.

Jaguars top-30 visits tracker (UPDATED: 4/21/19 11:40 A.M.)

Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama, 6-4 1/2, 302, testing scores

The Jaguars hosted Alabama offensive lineman Jonah Williams for a top 30 visit before the top-30 visit deadline, according to a report from ESPN. Williams started 44 games over three seasons for the Crimson Tide, earning SEC All-Freshman honors in 2016 as the starting right tackle, opposite of now-Jaguars left tackle Cam Robinson. Since, Williams has earned numerous All-American and All-SEC honors at left tackle. Some analysts believe his 33 5/8″ arms translate better to guard rather than tackle at the next level, but I believe he’s fully capable of playing both inside and outside due to his on-tape athleticism and technique.

Jan 7, 2019; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide tackle Jonah Williams (73) blocks against Clemson Tigers defensive end Austin Bryant (7) during the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Nate Davis, OL, UNC-Charlotte, 6-3 1/4, 316, testing scores

The Jaguars have hosted UNC-Charlotte offensive lineman Nate Davis for a top-30 visit, per source. Davis started 37 games for the UNCC 49ers and earned a 2019 Senior Bowl invite, after posting a Pro Football Focus pass blocking grade of 85.1 as a redshirt senior in 2018. While having experience at both guard and tackle in college, Davis projects to strictly play inside at guard at the next level due to his size.

Jan 26, 2019; Mobile, AL, United States; North offensive guard Nate Davis of Charlotte (64) before the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Dillard, tackle, Washington State, 6-5, 315, testing scores

Adam Schefter reports that the Jaguars have either hosted or worked out Washington State left tackle and projected first round pick Andre Dillard. The stand-out pass protector started 39 straight games in three years at WSU, allowing just one sack on 677 pass snaps in 2018.

Dillard doesn’t quite meet the team’s length thresholds at tackle, but is a standout player worth looking into considering his skill-set and availability in college. He participated in the 2019 Senior Bowl. We won’t count this report against the Jaguars 30 visits count just yet, due to the wording of Schefter’s report making it unclear if Dillard has visited the facility. But the team’s interest in Dillard is worth reporting.

Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State, 5-8, 200, testing scores

Source tells Locked On Jaguars that Utah State running back Darwin Thompson is visiting the Jaguars today. The speedster recorded 153 carries for 1044 yards (6.8 yards per carry) and 14 touchdowns in hsis one season at Utah State, following his time in junior college. He added 23 receptions for 351 yards (15.3) and two touchdowns in the passing game. Thompson would fill the role Corey Grant served in Jacksonville, should the Jaguars select him in the NFL Draft.

Dec 15, 2018; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Utah State Aggies running back Darwin Thompson (5) jumps over North Texas Mean Green safety Khairi Muhammad (4) during the first half at Dreamstyle Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Fant, TE, Iowa, 6-4 1/8, 249, testing scores

Sources tell Locked On Jaguars that Jacksonville has hosted University of Iowa tight end Noah Fant for a top 30 visit. The former Hawkeye is viewed as a first round prospect, along side his former teammate T.J. Hockenson. In three years at Iowa, Fant recorded 78 catches for 1083 yards and 19 touchdowns. Fant also is a polished blocker in-space, although he has some work to do when playing in-line. However, his dynamic athletic ability provides promise that he can be a great all-around TE at the NFL level.

Sep 22, 2018; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant (87) reacts after a touchdown against the Wisconsin Badgers during the second quarter at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State, 6-4 5/8, 249, testing scores

The Jaguars have hosted another widely-considered Day 2 tight end prospect in San Jose State product Josh Oliver. Oliver, who converted to tight end as a freshman from pass rusher due to injuries at the TE position, is now a true receiving threat who posted 98 receptions for 1067 yards and seven touchdowns in his career since the transition.

Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama, 6-3, 303, testing scores

One of the best football players in the 2019 NFL draft will be visiting the Jaguars today according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Quinnen Williams is one of the most athletic defensive tackles in the draft. Williams entered the draft after his redshirt sophomore season where he accounted for 19.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks on the season. Easily one of the most powerful and athletic defense line players in the draft Williams would instantly become a staple in the Jaguars defense if they should be lucky enough to have him fall in their laps.

Jeff Smith, WR, Boston College, 6-0, 191, testing scores

The Jaguars are hosting another offensive-skill player in Boston College wide receiver Jeff Smith, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Auman reports that Smith’s visit will last two days. Smith put up 136 catches for 902 yards and nine touchdowns in four seasons at Boston College.

Smith ran a 4.36 40 yard dash at his Pro Day, which help produce an elite relative athletic score. Jacksonville has shown interest in multiple Boston College prospects, meeting with tackle Aaron Monteiro after the BC Pro Day, as well as tight end Tommy Sweeney at the Senior Bowl. Guard Chris Lindstrom also has a personal relationship with Jaguars scout Chris Snee.

Irv Smith Jr., TE, Alabama, 6/2 3/8, 242, testing scores

Their first skill-position visit, the Jaguars are hosting Alabama tight end Irv Smith Jr. for a top 30 visit tomorrow. Jordan Reid of Cover1.net reported the meeting first. Smith is undersized compared to the traditional tight end, but compares athletically and physically to Chicago Bears TE Trey Burton, who Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo worked with during their time with the Philadelphia Eagles. Smith Jr. recorded 58 receptions for 838 yards and 10 touchdowns in two seasons at Alabama, and provides line-up versatility as an in-line tight end, slot receiver, and an H-back.

Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan, 6-3, 253, testing scores

The Jaguars are hosting defensive end Chase Winovich out of Michigan. Winovich is entering the NFL Draft as a senior. Starting the last two seasons as a Wolverine, he accumulated a total of 13.5 sacks and 34.5 tackles for loss. Winovich is a lesser known name than his counterpart Rashan Gary, although he has produced far more in his time with Michigan than Gary has. For example, Gary has only accumulated nine sacks in the past two years with 18 tackles for loss. Gary has also visited the Jaguars.

Michael Dogbe, DT, Temple, 6-3, 286, testing scores

The Jaguars are hosting defensive tackle Michael Dogbe out of Temple. Dogbe was a fifth-year senior upon entering the NFL draft and while he is a little light for a defensive tackle, his ability to rush the passer and penetrate the offensive line is evidenced by the seven sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss he had during his last season at Temple. This is one of the more under the radar top-30 visits as the Jaguars — and other teams — will frequently meet with players they may view as a later round pick. Not all of the Jaguars top-30 picks will be drafted in the first round.

Josh Allen, DE/OLB, Kentucky, 6-4 7/8, 262, testing scores

The Jaguars are hosting pass rusher Josh Allen out of Kentucky. The former Wildcat surprisingly went back to school last year to prove he was worthy of an eventual first round pick, and his 17 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles in 2018 alone put him firmly in top-5 pick talks.

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida, 6-5, 312, testing scores

Jawaan Taylor is a popular mock draft pick for the Jaguars with their seventh overall selection. Following his best season at UF, Taylor enters the 2019 NFL Draft with excellent size and athleticism on tape that make him intriguing. With the Jaguars need at the right side of the offensive line, Taylor would make sense even if the seventh pick is a bit of a reach for his services.

Kaleb McGary, OL, Washington, 6-7 1/8, 317, testing scores

Kaleb McGary does not meet the Jaguars’ length threshold at offensive tackle with 32 7/8 inch arms (they shoot for around 35″ arms), but McGary plays with a mean streak and was a stud at the 2019 Senior Bowl. After starting for over three years at UW, he should be on the board when the Jaguars pick 38th overall in the second round, but won’t be around long after that. He suffers from A-Fib, a heart issue, but has played through that disability since he was a kid and is expected to handle it well at the NFL level.

Brian Fineanganofo, OL, Idaho State, 6-6, 304, testing scores

A name neither you nor I have ever heard of before this report, the Jaguars have met with Brian Fineanganofo, who logged over 30 career starts at Idaho State at offensive tackle. He accepted an invite and played in the 2019 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. His size and athletic scores make him an intriguing prospect match for Jacksonville.

Montez Sweat, DE, Mississippi State, 6-5 3/4, 260, testing scores

If you didn’t know who Montez Sweat was before the NFL Combine, you certainly do now after he ran a 4.41 40 yard dash at his size and position – that’s unheard of. Sweat has tallied 22.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss over the past two seasons at MISS ST., after transferring from Michigan State following a dismissal from the Spartans football team. It was revealed Sweat has a minor heart condition that was found during health tests at the Combine, but it is not believed to make an impact on his football career. Another projected top-10 pick.

Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan, 6-4 3/8, 277, testing scores

Despite a lack of elite college production in three seasons at Michigan, Rashan Gary possesses elite athleticism and the tools that NFL teams drool over in a defensive lineman. He’s projected as a top-10 pick lock at this point, even though he recorded a mere 9.5 sacks and 23 tackles for loss in 34 games, with 21 starts.

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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