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2019 Senior Bowl: Jacksonville Jaguars Scouting Notebook

Zach Goodall

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Jan 24, 2019; Mobile, AL, USA; Endzone pylon during the North squad 2019 Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The 2019 Senior Bowl is in the books, and after attending the practices and watching the game, it’s time to break down all aspects of the major scouting week and how they apply to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

This scouting notebook will be broken down into several sections: Senior Bowl prospects the Jaguars should target, a breakdown of the quarterbacks, prospect meetings, one-liners, and a Jaguars Senior Bowl-only mock draft.

Just for context: When Day 2 of practice was closed from the media due to weather, Filip Prus of Locked On Jaguars/Optimum Scouting, Riley Auman of the Tampa Bay Times, and I spent about eight hours in the Senior Bowl coaches film room, extensively studying Day 1 and 2 practice tape and putting together our thoughts and observations. The analysis to follow mainly comes from my takeaways during those sessions, as well as some from the Day 3 and game broadcast.

Let’s begin!

Senior Bowl prospects who the Jaguars should target

Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College

The 51-straight game starter was a big winner in Mobile. Despite measuring in ever-so-slightly undersized compared to NFL guards at 6-3 3/4, 303 lbs, Lindstrom’s arm length – 34 1/8″ – was a big win for the Boston College prospect.

When on the practice field, Lindstrom did work as a run blocker. His lower body power mixed with active feet drove defenders left and right consistently to open gaps in the run game. He routinely executed perfect combo blocks with right tackle Dalton Risner, ripping the right shoulder of the 3-tech and pushing off the responsibility to Risner before quickly getting to the second level and sealing the lane from linebackers. Lindstrom also had several impressive seal blocks when working on outside zone, crossing outside of the 3-tech and attacking the left shoulder, one play opened a gap in perfect time for RB Karan Higdon to cut through and break into open field.

In pass protection, there were times where you’d want to see Lindstrom utilize more extension with his lengthy arms, but that was more in 1v1 drills rather than team exercises. He did display a powerful punch when timed correctly, great mirroring with his active feet, and solid recovery when he would lose on an initial speed rush move.

Lindstrom likely played his way into the first round in Mobile, and will probably be considered iOL1. However, if he falls into the second round – assuming the Jaguars can hold onto 38th overall as they search for a quarterback – Lindstrom would be a home-run selection as A.J. Cann’s replacement at right guard.

Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

A defensive player that should be a “must-target” for the Jaguars? Yes, hear me out.

Jelks fits the Jaguars one-gap “big-end” position – a 5-technique defensive end who’s a primary run-stopper and offers a power-presence in the pass rush. Calais Campbell currently fills the position, but despite his fantastic production over the past two seasons, he isn’t getting any younger – he will be 33 before the 2019 season kicks off. The Jaguars went looking for an heir to Campbell last year when they drafted Taven Bryan in the first round and moved him to DE, however that project didn’t work too well. Bryan got moved back to defensive tackle midseason, and now serves as the heir to Malik Jackson.

So, despite huge needs across the board on offense, “big-end” could very well be a target-position for Jacksonville once again this year, and Jelks’ athletic profile and Senior Bowl performance could have put himself on the Jaguars radar. He came in at 6-5 1/2, 250 lbs, with 33 7/8″ arms and 9 1/2″ hands. He’s a bit lanky, but lengthy, and extremely athletic. Jelks recorded 15.5 sacks, 30 tackles for loss, and 11 batted passes at Oregon.

Above, Jelks is playing inside and displays burst off the line and violent hand usage to create pressure. While I believe with his length that he’s capable of putting on weight without slowing down, his size is best suited at defensive end. He also already plays with a lot of power, and with added beef, he could play even stronger at the next level.

Jelks has several pass rush moves, can seal edges vs. the run and provides the type of burst Jacksonville likes out of their draft-pick pass rushers (See: Bryan), but his weight, some technique issues that need refining, and the lack of a pass rush plan will drop him down boards. He’s a true project-player, but he’s the type of project the Jaguars are in a great position to take on. He fits their style, he wouldn’t start until at least the second, and probably even third, year of his career until Campbell really slows down, and would receive great training from Campbell himself. In an ideal world, Jelks would become a full-time starter at “big end” in his third season, standing at a muscular 270 lbs.

Much like a Lindstrom selection, it all depends on what picks the Jaguars have on draft night in their pursuit of a quarterback. But let’s assume they hold onto all four of their picks in the first three rounds. If that’s the case, the Jaguars first 3rd round pick (69th overall) would be the sweet spot for Jelks, after landing a QB and an offensive lineman with their first two picks, and another third rounder to follow and use on an offensive prospect again.

Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

Another offensive lineman who should be on the Jaguars radar, Risner put on a show as well in Mobile. While there have been debates on his best position fit considering he played right tackle and center in college, Risner is on record saying he while he will play wherever he’s asked to, he feels most comfortable at right tackle, and his 6-4 5/8, 308, 34 1/4″ arms and 10 5/8″ hands are solid measurements for the position.

Risner played with a mean streak all week, putting opposing pass rushers in the dirt and displaying a violent punch at initial contact and through his pass sets. With his right guard partner-in-crime Chris Lindstrom, the two consistentoy executed combo blocks where they double-teamed rushers, and eventually the responsibility of the rusher went solely to Risner as Lindstrom moved to the second level. These types of blocks require great processing speed, hand usage, and chemistry with the guard, and Risner displayed all three of these aspects – the chemistry with Lindstrom despite never playing with him before the Senior Bowl being the most impressive and speaks to his “team-player” mentality.

Risner might have locked himself into the first round in Mobile, as his versatility, experience, technique and mean streak will boost his stock and might put him in discussion for OT1, which carries more draft value than interior offensive line. That puts him out of range for the Jaguars 38th overall pick, but if he’s somehow still available at their second round selection and they view him as a guard or want to add competition at right tackle, Risner, like Lindstrom, would be a no-brainer pick.

Foster Moreau, TE, Louisiana State

Moreau is widely regarded as a blocking tight end by draftniks, and up until the Senior Bowl I was in that camp. He simply didn’t show much on film, nor on the stat-sheet, that displayed a ton of promise for him as a dominant receiving tight end in the NFL.

But this is what the Senior Bowl is all about: Putting your skills on display while under the microscope of NFL talent evaluators, and Moreau put on a show. Starting off at weigh-ins, Moreau came in at 6-4 and 1/4, 250, with 33 3/4″ arms and 9 7/8″ hands – He looks like your prototype tight end, and he utilized that size to win as an in-line blocker and at H-back.

While he primarily played in-line at LSU, he told me that he has been working on his ability to block in space – an H-back responsibility. Jaguars new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo knows a thing or two about H-backs, as he was on staff that saw TE Trey Burton rise to success at the position in Philadelphia. Considering Moreau played well at H-back as well as in-line in Mobile with DeFilippo as well as several members of the Jaguars staff in attendance, it’s safe to say he’s on their radar. They met with Moreau as well.

But beyond blocking, Moreau consistently won contested catch battles during practices. While he is a little stiff out of his in-line stance, he separated decently to get open in the middle of the field and showed off solid body control to win jump balls vs. defenders near the boundary, utilizing sure-hands and not relying on his body to catch the ball. Moreau also displayed violence with his hands at the cushion of a man-coverage defender, which is a good trait to have against press.

Moreau is considered a Day 3 prospect, as he doesn’t possess great athleticism and carries the “blocking TE” tag, but his performance at the Senior Bowl certainly made me comfortable for him to be the Jaguars second 3rd round pick (the NFL may not agree with me due to his athleticism and how deep the TE class is), as they badly need to address the TE position. He fits the Jaguars mold and has potential beyond what we’ve seen from him at LSU as a receiver.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State

The Jaguars met with Terry McLaurin of Ohio State early and often during the Senior Bowl, and considering he was regarded as a Day 3 prospect heading into Mobile, my early assumption was these meetings were held to do dig up some background info on his teammate, QB Dwayne Haskins, who is a top-10 lock for the upcoming NFL Draft.

However, McLaurin put on a show during practices as well. He displayed elite long-speed which allowed him to separate well when he broke cushion against man coverage defenders and in 1v1 drills.

He also showed off short/intermediate route running prowess, with clean cuts and footwork to beat defenders to the middle of the field. The ability to win routes in the short/intermediate middle of the field is a vital part of the offense the Jaguars have run in the past, and while it is yet to be seen if DeFilippo will change the pass game philosophy drastically, West Coast receiving traits are great traits to have. And McLaurin has them.

The cherry on top: Despite measuing in at 6-0 flat, just under average WR size, with 32″ arms (right about the 50th percentile among NFL WRs), McLaurin made some contested catches during the week that caught the eyes of scouts and media alike. He looked like an all-around receiver and his stock is soaring after a great week in Mobile.

The Jaguars need to add a boundary, contested catch receiver more than any other type, but McLaurin appears to have the skill-set that, with coaching, could turn into that type of receiver on top of his West Coast and deep threat ability.

Oli Udoh, OL, Elon

Who?

That’s Jermey Parnell-clone Olisaemeka Udoh, to you.

Udoh, the son of Nigerian immigrants who own a medical clinic, went to Elon for the free education on a football scholarship he earned in order to follow his parents suit in the medical field. He gained a ton of (unhealthy) weight in college, at one time weighing 384 lbs, but when the NFL came calling, he began to eat healthier and has transformed into a legitimate NFL prospect along the way. You can read a feature on Udoh’s background and path to the NFL Draft in this article from Greg Auman of The Athletic here.

Now, Udoh stands at legitimate right tackle size, and while he’s cut down on a ton of weight, he still possesses some elite measurements. He stands at 6-5 3/4, 327 lbs (with a goal of 320 by the NFL Combine), with 36″ arms and 10″ hands. That arm length would be good for t-11th longest in the NFL among tackles since 1999.

He’s certainly got some technical issues that must be addressed, including controlling his pad level and hand usage when taking on pass rushers in space, but he plays with a ton of strength and active feet that make him very intriguing, paired with his size. He’s going to be a Day 3 pick unless he blows away the Combine, but the size/trait combo is enticing and he has all the potential to be an NFL starter with the correct grooming.

Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina

Deebo Samuel had an electric week in Mobile as well. He started off at weigh-ins coming in slightly under six feet at 5-11 and a 1/2, 216 lbs, with nice 32 1/2″ arms and big hands at 10 1/8″. Those hands were on display all week, as Samuel only dropped one ball and it was on a pass thrown slightly behind him on a crossing route – hard to blame him.

Samuel wanted teams to know that, while his preference is the slot, he can and will play every WR position there is, and he proved that at the Senior Bowl. His long speed isn’t great, but he ran clean routes to the short, intermediate, and deep field in every practice. Plus, his sharp footwork literally had analysts and scouts “whewww”-ing in the film room.

Samuel also spent time returning kicks and punts in special teams exercises, and discussed that he was used as a punt team gunner during his time at South Carolina. The week he had in practice on top of his proven versatility is certainly shooting him up draft boards, however, Jacksonville could use a more dominant outside receiver rather than a slot guy, and while I believe Samuel is capable of the former, he seems to want to play the latter.

But hey, I’m not making the decisions here. If Jacksonville has a range they want to grab a receiver and want to add the best receiver available, Samuel would make a ton of sense so long as he’s available. His special teams ability is a cherry on top for a team that values that kind of skill-set from their WRs like the Jaguars.

The Quarterbacks

Simply put, Jaguars fans: No.

The Jaguars franchise quarterback wasn’t in Mobile this year. The group as a whole underperformed compared to previous groups, despite some hype that it yielded before the week kicked off.

Drew Lock (Missouri), arguably the best prospect of the bunch, still displayed some footwork and decision making issues during practices that make him more of a project rather than a sure-thing. Jacksonville isn’t in the position to gamble on a quarterback like that, but I don’t see him making it past Denver.

Daniel Jones (Duke) had high expectations coming in, being dubbed a first round quarterback by Oakland Raiders head coach, and coach of Jones’ North team at the Senior Bowl, Jon Gruden. However, his lack of arm strength was a notable problem in Mobile, and he struggled with decision making and reading pressure from time to time. His connections to Peyton and Eli Manning are intriguing, but he’s got some work to do.

Will Grier (WVU) certainly talked like an alpha QB, calling himself the “best quarterback in this draft” after practice on Tuesday, but he didn’t always look it. He missed some easy throws in the middle of the field during team and individual drills, and tried to make hero-ball plays out of nothing at times where there were healthier alternatives, much like his West Virginia tape has shown in the past.

Trace McSorley (Penn State), Ryan Finley (North Carolina State), Gardner Minshew (Washington State), and Jarrett Stidham (Auburn) did nothing to elevate their game during the week, and all four of these quarterbacks had major question marks on their scouting reports heading in. The only QB who made more of a name for himself in Mobile was Tyree Jackson (Buffalo).

He didn’t have a fantastic week, but teams wanted to see more than a naturally strong arm out in practice, and rather more accuracy, ball control, and decision making. He struggled at times, but there were definitely glimpses of all three of these aspects being fine-tuned. Jackson told me he’s been focusing on control and lower body mechanics with Jordan Palmer this winter in California. He’s got a long way to go, but his tools mixed with some positive growth did him some favors at the Senior Bowl.

But even considering Jackson’s showing, none of these guys change your franchise for the better right now. And Jacksonville needs an alpha-QB to come in and win games out the gate. There’s two guys in this draft who are capable of such, and neither of them were eligible for the Senior Bowl this year.

Jaguars prospect meetings

Per myself, Chris Thornton, and Filip Prus of Locked On Jaguars, the Jacksonville Jaguars met with the following prospects at the Senior Bowl.

* = Multiple meetings

QB Will Grier, WVU

QB Drew Lock, MISS

QB Tyree Jackson, Buffalo

WR Terry McLaurin*, Ohio State

WR Jakobi Meyers*, NCST

WR Gary Jennings*, WVU

RT Dalton Risner, Kansas State

RG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

RG Beau Benzschawel, Wisconsin

TE Foster Moreau, LSU

TE Tommy Sweeney, Boston College

CB Corey Ballentine, Washburn

Senior Bowl one-liners

Here’s a mix of great one-liner quotes fron prospects, coaches, and media alike from my first time at the Senior Bowl.

“I think every quarterback here would be like ‘If I could throw for 50 touchdowns and win the games that Patrick Mahomes does’, then we’d all say ‘Heck yeah, what do you need from me? I’ll give you whatever you need.” – Missouri QB Drew Lock

“Let em play! Let em play! Nobody’s here to see you guys ref!!” – North team/Raiders head coach Jon Gruden after a penalty in the Senior Bowl

“Mr. Elway, my name is Dalton Risner. I’m from Wiggins, Colorado, and I’m doing everything I can to represent our state well out here.” – Kansas State OL Dalton Risner to Broncos G.M. John Elway

“[Peyton and Eli Manning] are two of my role models, and are guys I’ve looked up to… well maybe role model is a strong word, my dad’s my role model.” – Duke QB Daniel Jones

“I’m the best quarterback in this draft.” – WVU QB Will Grier

“Nate Davis of Charlotte. Hell of an ass on that guy.” – Anonymous media member

“I feel like I’ve always been overlooked… More than anything I’m not trying to prove anybody wrong, but prove the people who believed in me right.” – Washington State QB Gardner Minshew

Jaguars Senior Bowl-only mock draft

Based on fit and need, here is a Jaguars mock draft based solely on my favorite Senior Bowl prospects and where I believe their value is.

2nd round – 38th overall: Chris Lindstrom, RG, Boston College

3rd round – 69th overall: Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

3rd round – 96th overall (from LAR): Terry McLaurin, WR, Ohio State

4th round – 103rd overall: Foster Moreau, TE, Louisiana State

6th round – 165th overall: Oli Udoh, RT, Elon

Final musings

The Jaguars need to get the (non-Senior Bowl) QB with the 7th overall pick (or trade up if necessary), but the 2019 Senior Bowl provides enough talent at different positions for the Jaguars to address a ton of different needs across their offense, and even on defense.

It was a fantastic first trip to Mobile, as I got to take time off of my full-time restaurant job and watch football with Twitter-turned-real life friends, eat some really awesome Mobile food, interview big-name football people I once dreamed of being, join Jacksonville radio stations as a guest, and provide analysis and news to Jaguars fans. I hope this Senior Bowl coverage is what you’ve been looking for, because you better believe I’ll be back in Mobile next year and for years to come.

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 linebacker Telvin Smith apparently fined by team

Demetrius Harvey

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Dec 2, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Telvin Smith (50) reacts during the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

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https://www.instagram.com/stories/telvinsmith50/

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Demetrius Harvey

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The Jacksonville Jaguars announced today the signings of WR Tre McBride and Rookie DT Kalani Vakameilalo. Both players had a tryout during yesterday’s minicamp practice. They have waived LB Nick DeLuca and LS Christian Kuntz to make room.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars finalize draft class with signing of LB Quincy Williams

Demetrius Harvey

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Photo courtesy of nfldraftdiamonds.com

The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially wrapped up their 2019 NFL Draft class with the signing of third-round pick Quincy Williams the team has announced today. Williams played college football at Murray State as a linebacker and safety and will be playing LB with the Jaguars.

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Williams spoke briefly following the signing of his contract stating, “I’ve been dreaming on this and waiting on this moment my whole life,” Williams said. “I’m just here to answer the question of, ‘Who is Quincy Williams?’”

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