The Jacksonville Jaguars and the Pittsburgh Steelers faced off today at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville Florida.
The Jaguars would start off the game with the ball and just when things seemed to be going well, they faltered. Blake Bortles and the Jaguars would gain one first down and end up punting after a poor Bortles ball bounced off T.J. Yeldon’s face/hands falling incomplete.
The Jaguars defense fared better forcing the Steelers to go three-and-out on their very first drive of the day. A great stop by Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones who started over Malik Jackson today. One issue with this team is discipline, and that showed on the Steelers second drive of the day when Yannick Ngakoue was flagged for unnecessary roughness after a gain of one.
The Jaguars offense would drive down the field for nearly nine minutes on the back of their running game. 15 plays with 14 running plays. This is Jaguars football and what they are supposed to do best. Unfortunately, Tyler Shatley was called for a hold during the drive and it stalled. Josh Lambo would kick a 48-yard go-ahead field goal. 3-0 Jaguars after a quarter and change. The Jaguars defense would also get back to what they do best. Just straight up great defense as Jalen Ramsey and D.J. Hayden would have key pass breakups to force the Steelers in yet another three-and-out.
Jaguars offense back out on the field and they were able to run the ball straight down the Steelers throat for yet another Jaguars field goal. 6-0 Jaguars. So far Fournette would have 61 yards on the day. This is only six minutes into the second quarter.
Here come the Jaguars. All-Pro Cornerback who was subject to trade rumors this morning is having himself a day. He picks off Ben Roethlisberger who was throwing to Antonio Brown deep down the middle of the field. This led to yet another Jaguars field goal by Mr. Automatic, Josh Lambo. 9-0 Jaguars.
After another three-and-out forced by the Jaguars defense, the Jaguars offense got cute and threw two passes, taking one sack. This would allow the Steelers to get the ball back, however, on the very next play, Big Ben throws yet another interception, this time to Barry Church.
Unfortunately, the Jaguars quarterback woes continued, and they threw the ball yet again. Unable to capitalize after Blake Bortles threw 3 ducks in a row, including one out of bounds with the Steelers out of timeouts.
This tweet puts the Jaguars last two drives before halftime into perspective.
You're on the plus-46. You literally need 6 yards to get into Lambo's range. And you pass three times. Someone explain this logic to me. https://t.co/IuYiMF5fJP
— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) November 18, 2018
The Jaguars would pick up on defense right where they left off as they would force yet another three-and-out to open the second half.
The Steelers bet against the Jaguars in their opening drive after accepting a holding call which negated a three-and-out and won. They were able to force a fumble on Blake Bortles which was recovered by Jermey Parnell. The Jaguars would punt anyways, and the Steelers gained at least 10 yards of field position.
The refs came to play on the very next drive for the Steelers. After a great Myles Jack interception, it would be called back due to a very questionable roughing the passer call on Calais Campbell. On the very next play, Telvin Smith is called for an unnecessary toughness which was also questionable.
When you have a superstar on your team you can count on him to make big plays in key moments. Jalen Ramsey is a superstar, and that’s exactly what he did on this drive when he blanketed Antonio Brown which led to his second interception of the game.
Speaking of superstars, the next Jaguars possession was all number 27. Leonard Fournette took the Jaguars offense basically on his back down for a 2-yard leaping touchdown. Fournette had 21 touches for 133 yards thus far in the game.
All good things must come to an end and the Jaguars finally blew a coverage deep for a 78-yard touchdown to Antonio Brown. Gipson was seemingly the man responsible for the coverage miscue.
The Jaguars would get the ball back in Steelers territory thanks to a Westbrook punt return to the 40-yard line. Unfortunately, two sacks later the Jaguars were forced to punt. The Jaguars defense would continue their trend of not allowing the Steelers into the red zone but once in the entire game, however, the Jaguars run offense had come to a halt.
The Steelers would go down and score on the back of Roethlisberger and the Steelers passing offense. Vance McDonald would end up scoring a touchdown on Telvin Smith and Tashaun Gipson in the back of the end zone. 16-13 Jaguars.
The Jaguars got the ball back but proceeded to do nothing with it for a fourth straight three-and-out. It would be up to the Jaguars defense yet again to secure this victory. In a heartbreaking defeat, the Jaguars would allow Big Ben to score a game-winning touchdown after what looked to be a game-saving interception get called back due to a facemask.
20-16 Jaguars final.
THREE PLAYS OF THE GAME
- Jalen Ramsey amazing interception #1
Jalen Ramsey made an incredible interception early in the game for the Jaguars. Although the Jaguars would go on to lose, it was easily the Superstar’s best game.
- Leonard Fournette TD
Leonard Fournette was the only Jaguars offensive player to make any plays this week. He accounted for 141 yards and one touchdown on 30 touches today.
- Yannick Ngakoue gets a sack
The Jaguars pass rush has been completely decimated by opposing teams’ offensive lines all season. Fortunately, the Jaguars were able to get a couple of sacks including this one by Ngakoue which came at an opportune time.
JAGUARS PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Ramsey is your Jaguars player of the game. The Jaguars offense, specifically Blake Bortles, made his performance all for not. The Jaguars superstar had two interceptions and allowed very few yards on the entire day. All for not.
This is a game you can place solely on Blake Bortles and the Jaguars passing game. His abysmal play directly led to the defeat by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and there is very little room to debate. The Jaguars run offense early in the game could not be stopped by the Steelers, however, they made a few adjustments and forced the Jaguars to pass.
That is where everything went wrong. Blake Bortles would be sacked 6 times, including the last snap of the game and he made terrible decisions throughout. The Jaguars defense had the Jaguars in this game the entire way and only a play or two difference, they could have one it for them. Although many will point to this game as the Jaguars defense finally getting it right at the end of the day the Jaguars anchor of a quarterback held them back once again.
The Jaguars are now 3-7 with little to no shot at the playoffs and will face the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo next week.
2019 NFL Draft: Jaguars select Kentucky DE/OLB Josh Allen at No. 7
The defense has been the Jaguars calling card for the past two seasons, and on Thursday Night, that didn’t change. With the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the rich got richer with the selection of Kentucky outside linebacker/defensive end Josh Allen.
The Jaguars and EVP Tom Coughlin have made numerous statements on the importance of pass rushers. Drafting defensive tackle Taven Bryan in the first round last year was one of the actions which indicated such.
Josh Allen is one of the most impactful DE/OLBs in this draft class. He stood up and put his hand in the ground throughout his career as a Wildcat. Allen consistently dominated his competition even making some plays against fellow potential first-round pick Jawaan Taylor. Allen was the most productive pass rusher in the SEC last year — credited with 17.0 sacks — and throughout his entire career. Allen produced 42 tackles for loss and 31.5 sacks in four years with the Wildcats.
Although Allen played a lot of outside linebacker at Kentucky, he has the size (6’5″ 262 lbs) to become a very productive edge in the NFL. Allen will likely begin his career with the Jaguars as a rotational defensive end, and they may even sprinkle in some 3-4 elements into their scheme. The Jaguars hired Dom Capers — former Packers defensive coordinator — as a senior defensive assistant and he may help implement these elements specifically for Allen.
Many believed Allen would be drafted in the top three, but he somehow fell after the Raiders surprisingly took Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell with the 4th pick. The Jaguars landed an absolute blue-chip player in Josh Allen and he should eventually take over for defensive end Calais Campbell opposite of Yannick Ngakoue. Allen is good enough to allow the Jaguars to get rid of the “big end” position in their defense as he should eventually develop into an excellent edge setter.
2019 NFL Draft: Final Jaguars 7-round mock draft
Today’s the day that Jaguars fans have, unfortunately, been waiting for since around October when it was clear the team would not contend in 2018.
The 2019 NFL Draft is upon us. Here’s the haul I’m projecting the Jaguars to walk away with, put together based on their reported interest and visits with players, needs, and emphasis on high-character prospects after a bit of a locker room fall-out in 2018.
Let’s get to mocking!
1st round – 7th overall: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
There’s been reports dating back to March of Jacksonville’s interest in the three year starter for Alabama, but the rumor mill regarding that interest has been spinning faster than tires on I-95 throughout the past week after reports surfaced of his top 30 visit. The Jaguars should be looking for blue-chip, polished prospects to immediately contribute to this team, both on the field and off, and Jonah Williams fits that bill. Jacksonville got to see Williams live three times in 2018.
Wiliams is a powerful lineman with fantastic hand technique to overcome length concerns, has started 44 straight games at both left and right tackle and earned multiple All-SEC and All-American honors each season, plays with more athleticism than his tests would say, and is as dedicated a lineman as they come: He tracks opponents pass rush moves on Excel spreadsheets for Pete’s sake.
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone has a “key” connection to Williams as well, through Williams’ OL coach Brent Key during his time at Alabama. Marrone and Key have coached together previously and have maintained a relationship, and Key influenced the Jaguars’ selection of left tackle Cam Robinson in 2017.
Based on all of this, on top of conversations I’ve had with people I trust, I have a very strong feeling that Williams will be the pick at 7th overall, barring a trade-down or an elite defender falling into the team’s lap.
*TRADE*: 1st round – 29th overall: Noah Fant, tight end, Iowa
*Jacksonville sends their 38th overall pick (2nd round), 98th overall pick (3rd round, from LA Rams), and their 2020 5th round pick (from LA Rams) for the 29th overall pick.*
6-4 1/8, 249 lbs, 33 1/2″ arms, testing scores
Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said on Monday that the team had the flexibility to move back up in the draft – potentially even the first round – with the 3rd round compensatory pick they obtained from the Los Angeles Rams in the Dante Fowler Jr. trade in 2018.
Caldwell didn’t need to reveal that much info when asked about the comp. pick. He could have avoided mentioning the idea of trading back up as a whole, much less back into the first. Considering this quote, I 100% think that Jacksonville would like to do just that, if the right guy falls late into the first. And Noah Fant could be that guy, as the NFL has proven in the past that it doesn’t value tight ends in the top half of the first round often despite analysts valuing them there (see: O.J Howard in 2017). Fant had a top 30 visit with Jacksonville.
So, the Jaguars send their early 2nd rounder, their late 3rd rounder from L.A., and their 2020 5th rounder from L.A. to Seattle, who only has five picks this year and no 2nd round selection, in order to hop in front of the tight end-needy Green Bay Packers at 30th overall and New England Patriots at 32nd overall. Pats Pulpit has tracked NFL Draft pick trades from 2011-2018 to understand how the NFL values picks, and the Jaguars/Seahawks trade above comes out to a 0.15 point value difference – it’s a totally balanced trade, where Seattle inherits an extra Day 2 pick in a draft where they so badly need it. The value of the 2020 5th round pick is based on L.A.’s 2019 5th round pick, 170th overall.
Fant is a freak of nature for the tight end position, finishing in the 95th percentile or better among NFL TEs in the 40 yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, and 3-cone drill at the NFL Combine – at about 6-4, 250 lbs. He recorded 78 catches for 1083 yards and 19 touchdowns in three years at Iowa. Fant would be an excellent addition to an offense that will heavily utilize TEs with Nick Foles at QB, especially considering the team has no one at the position to hang their hat on.
3rd round – 69th overall: Deionte Thompson, FS, Alabama
6-1, 195, 32 1/8 arms, testing scores
The Jaguars would probably prefer to go EDGE here, with a really solid group of edge rushers expected to be available that could fill the third down sub-pass rusher role that has been vacated since Dante Fowler Jr. was traded. But it’s impossible to pass on the value of lengthy free safety Deionte Thompson here, as he was once viewed as a potential first round pick before a couple of tough games to end the 2018 season.
Thompson recorded three interceptions and seven defended passes at Alabama, as well as three forced fumbles and 4.5 tackles for loss in 29 career games. Thompson frequently played opposite of now-Jaguars strong safety Ronnie Harrison in 2017 at Alabama, so re-creating that duo would be a huge plus for chemistry purposes. As mentioned under the Jonah Williams pick, Jacksonville live-scouted Alabama three times in 2018.
As Daniel Popper of The Athletic has noted, GM Dave Caldwell has mentioned that newly-resigned free safety Jarrod Wilson was brought back so he “could come in and compete as that starting free safety”… but other than pure special-teamer Cody Davis, Wilson currently has no one to compete with at FS. Therefore, Popper believes the Jaguars will target a free safety on Day 2. If the board falls like this and Thompson (or another safety higher on their board) becomes a value pick, then I totally agree.
4th round – 109th overall: Justin Hollins, EDGE, Oregon
6-5 1/4, 248, 33 3/8″ arms, testing scores
Justin Hollins is viewed as a tier below the EDGE group I alluded to above, but could provide some spark as a pure 3rd down EDGE rusher opposite of Yannick Ngakoue given his mix of length, explosion, bend ability, and speed (see test scores).
Hollins is a bit of a tweener, with his tall, lankier playing frame (he played at 242 in 2018). He played a mix of defensive end and outside linebacker at Oregon, where he recorded 14 sacks, 36 tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, two interceptions and eight defended passes in 45 career games, starting 37. Hollins earned the East-West Shrine Game MVP this year, as well as both Associated Press and Pro Football Focus PAC-12 1st team All-Conference honors. He was also a team captain in 2018.
With defensive assistant and former NFL defensive coordinator Dom Capers in house after being hired earlier in the year, the Jaguars are expected to add some versatile looks to their defense. Capers notoriously ran a 3-4 defense in his time as a coordinator, so Hollins’ versatility to play both 4-3 DE and 3-4 OLB as a pass rusher and someone who can occasionally drop back into coverage makes him an intriguing fourth round pick.
6th round – 178th overall: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State
6-0 7/8, 225, 10 1/8″ hands, testing scores
Gardner Minshew was an awfully late bloomer as a college quarterback, starting at Northwest Mississippi State Community College for a year before transferring to East Carolina University, where he split snaps for two years at QB. He spent his final season of eligibility as a grad transfer in Washington State’s Air Raid offense, where his career reached new heights: A 70.7% completion percentage, 4779 passing yards, 38 touchdowns and only nine interceptions.
Minshew took the reigns of an offense left by Luke Falk, a three year starter who was drafted in the 6th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and lifted the program following the suicide of the QB who was originally expected to replace Falk, Tyler Hilinski. Washington State went 11-2 and finished 10th in the AP Poll.
I don’t believe Minshew is a polished quarterback whatsoever, and he came from a system that inflated his numbers a good bit. However, his story of improvement throughout his career and the adversity that he lifted a somber football program out of with his high-character will undoubtedly push him up the Jaguars draft board, should they look for another project backup quarterback in this draft.
7th round – 236th overall: Darwin Thompson, RB, Utah State
5-8, 198, testing scores
The final pick of a whirlwind 2019 NFL Draft for the Jacksonville Jaguars gets used on another top-30 visit prospect, which means 50% of their picks in this scenario had already visited the facilities.
Thompson is a slippery back who packs some power despite his size, and is a solid pass catcher out of the backfield with 23 receptions for 351 yards and two receiving touchdowns to pair with his 1044 rushing yards on 153 carries (6.8 yards per carry!) and 14 touchdowns in one season at Utah State. Thompson previously played at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, a junior college.
While his profile may not blow you away, he fits the Corey Grant mold at running back with better potential as an in-between-the-tackles runner, and posted fantastic production in his first and only year at the D-1 level. Thompson would likely compete for the third running back job with Benny Cunningham as a true change-of-pace RB with receiving game upside.
Christopher Thornton 2019 Mock Draft 1.0
You all really thought I would leave Locked on Jaguars before dropping a 100% accurate mock draft?
Anyways, I won’t get into the nitty-gritty of the picks, however, needed a virtual footprint for when my mock draft becomes the first ever to bat 1.000. So without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
1. Arizona Cardinals- Quinnen Williams, DE, Alabama
Best player in the draft should go #1 overall right?
2. San Fransisco 49ers- Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
SF gets itself a premiere edge rusher
3. Washington Redskins (via NYJ)- Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
The second shocker, right after Kyler Murray not going 1st overall on draft night is the Redskins going all the way into the top three, to take… Daniel Jones? I can’t really rationalize this either
4. Oakland Raiders- Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Jon Gruden continues to shock the NFL world with this one
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
Tampa Bay wants to have a versatile defense so why not get a versatile rusher to go with it?
6. New York Giants- Jawaan Taylor, RT, Florida
The Giants *hope* to sure up the right side for good ole Eli
7. Cincinnati Bengals (via JAX)- Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Zac Taylor makes a splash to trade into the top 10 and snag the falling QB before he ever hits the ground
8. Detroit Lions- Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
Detroit reloads with the loss of Ziggy Ansah
9. Buffalo Bills- Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
A lot of folks have the Bills going WR here but honestly, I think they lean on their FA acquisitions to justify not taking one here
10. Denver Broncos- Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
This has been penciled in for 47 months it seems, Flacco trade or not
11. Jacksonville Jaguars (via CIN)- T.J Hockenson, TE, Iowa
The Jaguars snag the best TE in the draft to slot in nicely in Flip’s offense
12. Green Bay Packers- Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
Jonah Williams is going to be a very versatile OL throughout his career, however, I have him going as a Left Guard in the NFL and the Packers could sure use one to help out AR12 and the run game
13. Miami Dolphins- Cody Ford, Right Tackle, Oklahoma
The Dolphins prepare to ride out Fitzmagic by protecting him at all costs
14. Atlanta Falcons- Dalton Risner, Right Tackle, Kansas State
The Falcons get a mauler of a Right Tackle in Risner, and sure up an OL to keep Matt Ryan upright
15. New York Jets (via WAS)- Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C State
Protecting Sam Darnold at all costs
16. Carolina Panthers- D.K Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
Good luck trying to stop D.J Moore and D.K Metcalf at the same time
17. New York Giants (via CLE)- Devin White, LB, LSU
The Giants get one of the first “steals” of the draft
18. Minnesota Vikings- Andre Dillard, OL, WSU
Projected as a zone Left Tackle, but likely starts his NFL journey as a guard, of which the Vikings are in the market for
19. Tennessee Titans- Chris Lindstrom, RG, Boston College
The Titans fortify their OL with arguably the best Right Guard in the draft
20. Pittsburgh Steelers- Devin Bush Jr, LB, Michigan
The Steelers are in the market for an inside linebacker and I personally think that Bush fits that mold in the NFL
21. Seattle Seahawks- Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
Back to back wolverines here as the Seahawks stop Gary’s fall due to the flagged shoulder
22. Baltimore Ravens- N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Another year, another receiver drafted by the Ravens
23. Houston Texans- Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Texans snag a CB to be the heir to aging CB, Johnathan Joseph
24. Oakland Raiders (via CHI)- Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The second of the Iowa tight ends to go first round in this year’s NFL draft. With Jared Cook leaving town, Gruden adds a top tight end to his offense to help rookie QB, Dwayne Haskins
25. Philadelphia Eagles- Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
The Eagles take a chance on Sweat, who could easily fall after being diagnosed with an “enlarged heart”
26. Indianapolis Colts- Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Colts get draft lucky again and land the top CB in the draft towards the end of the first round
27. Oakland Raiders (via DAL)- Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
With Marshawn Lynch finally retiring, that leaves the Raiders with Crowell and Richard as your top tandem, and while that’s a nice consolation when RB1 falls into your lap at 27, you pull the trigger. The added fifth-year option also makes this more enticing in the future
28. Los Angeles Chargers- Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
The Chargers are in the market for a 3-tech, and I think Wilkins projects to be a very good one in the NFL
29. Seattle Seahawks (via KC)- Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, FS, Florida
Although listed as a CB, CGJ projects to be an FS in the NFL to me and with Seattle in the market with the departure of Earl Thomas, I think Gardner-Johnson slots in nicely
30. Green Bay Packers (via NO)- Nasir Adderly, FS, Delaware
Garnder-Johnson and Adderly were FS1 A & B for me and with Gardner-Johnson going the pick before, Adderly was the next domino to fall
31. Los Angeles Rams- Dexter Lawrence, NT, Clemson
The Rams need depth at LDE and NT and Lawrence being an elite run stopper, should show his value here at the end of the first round
32. New England Patriots- Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
Tillery is the perfect mold as to what Bill Belichick looks for in a Defensive lineman. Being able to tag a fifth-year option to Tillery also makes this pick very intriguing for the Patriots in the future
Please roast the mock draft and send those takes here
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