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Jaguars Draft Questions with Former NFL GM Phil Savage

Christopher Thornton

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When talking with former NFL GM Phil Savage, he mentioned a few names when asked about players who could fall and be a good fit for the Jaguars at 29.

One of the first players he said was QB Lamar Jackson, however, he led with the thought process that if you’re an NFL team and don’t possess a top five or ten quarterback in the league, there is usually an interest, even if it a little bit, at the quarterback position. He mentioned his athleticism and how it could help him in the NFL.

He then followed the Jackson comment by stating that current Jaguars quarterback. Blake Bortles is an NFL starting caliber quarterback, so take that how you will.

Nov 25, 2017; Lexington, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball against the Kentucky Wildcats in the first half at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The next name Savage mentioned is addressing the LB spot and suggested a great candidate fill that gap is former Alabama LB Rashaan Evans. He talked about Evans’ speed and tackling ability and his ability to read the play and make the tackle.

Adding Evans would allow Myles Jack to firmly take over the MLB job and maybe allow the Jaguars to play a base 4-3 defense more compared to the Nickel defense they primarily ran during the 2017-18 season. Evans is easily a day 1 starter and arguably one of the best prospects in this draft and if he were able to fall to the Jaguars at 29 (or possibly even trade up for him) would be a huge boost for the defense.

Addressing the same positional group, Savage mentioned Boise State linebacker, Leighton Vander Esch. He said Vander Esch is built like an outside linebacker but can play inside well. He mentioned Vander-Esch is a linebacker “with some speed.”

One of the final positions that was discussed but by far the least talked about area is the wide receiver position. He mentioned the 32 teams probably have 32 different rankings for this WR class. He mentioned the names Calvin Ridley, D.J Moore, and Christian Kirk as guys who could go to Jacksonville but also mentioned that wide receivers are “A dime a dozen.”

Another topic discussed was UTEP offensive guard Will Hernandez. The Jaguars added All-Pro LG Andrew Norwell this offseason which means the LG spot is locked up for some time.

However, Will Hernandez is a mauling left guard in the run game, coming in at 6’2 348 pounds. Phil was asked whether he feels Hernandez could compete at the same level being moved possibly from LG to RG. Phil responded with “Some guys have a tough time going from a left stance, especially if they have done it for a long time, to going to a right-handed stance.”

He added that he believes Hernandez could make the switch and perform at a high level still but would likely “take a few weeks” to adjust from a left-handed stance over to a right-handed stance.

Nov 18, 2017; El Paso, TX, USA; UTEP Miners guard Will Hernandez (76) before facing the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs at Sun Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Christopher Thornton Is the Co-host for Locked On Jaguars. Christopher lives in Jacksonville and is currently a season ticket holder for the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can find me on Twitter (@Mistochristopho) and contact me at [email protected]

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