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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars make seven roster moves, add pair of RBs; Grant, ASJ to IR

Zach Goodall

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Jul 28, 2018; Englewood, CO, USA; Denver Broncos running back David Williams (36) runs the ball during a drill on the first day of training camp at Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Jaguars have made a slew of roster moves following several key injuries to the offense that have landed running back Corey Grant and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on the injured reserve.

In correspondence to the IR moves, the Jaguars have signed RB Jamaal Charles, rookie RB David Williams off of the Denver Broncos practice squad, and TE David Grinnage from their own practice squad, per the team.

In order to create an extra roster spot, the team waived RB Brandon Wilds. The Jaguars also added TE Pharoah McKever to the practice squad in place of Grinnage.

Charles, who most notably played for the Kansas City Chiefs for nine seasons, has 7556 career rushing yards and 44 rushing touchdowns, as well as 2586 receiving yards and 20 touchdown catches. He most recently played for the Broncos in 2017. Charles’ career has been riddled with knee injuries, however he played in 14 games last year.

Williams signed with the Broncos as an undrafted free agent, and the 6-1, 229 lb back recorded 168 total yards on 39 touches in the preseason, with 29 carries and 10 catches. He was placed on the Broncos practice squad after being waived on roster cut down day in early September.

Grinnage was on the Jaguars practice squad last season, and began this year’s training camp on the PUP list. After the preseason, the team waived Grinnage and eventually put him back on the practice squad.

Grant suffered a Lisfranc injury in his ankle and his season is over, whereas Seferian-Jenkins has been dealing with a core muscle injury since Week 1 and will be eligible to return from the short-term IR in at least eight weeks.

 

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 sign Josh Lambo to contract extension, per report

Demetrius Harvey

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Sep 23, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars punter Josh Lambo (4) looks on during the second half against the Tennessee Titans at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have extended Kicker Josh Lambo’s contract according to John Reid of Jacksonville.com. Lambo was set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. Lambo was originally signed during the Jaguars 2017 season after giving up on Jason Myers.

Lambo has excelled greatly in Jacksonville. In 2017, Lambo missed only one field goal and two extra points. Last season Lambo missed only two field goals and one extra point. It is safe to say that the contract extension was well deserved.

It is not currently known the terms of Lambo’s contract. We will update this story as more information becomes available.


UPDATE:

Josh Lambo has confirmed the extension was for four years.

Lambo was signed to a four-year $15.5M contract with $6.5M in full guarantees.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

2019 NFL Draft: Locked On Jaguars Mock Draft 1.0

Demetrius Harvey

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Dec 29, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray (1) scrambles in the 2018 Orange Bowl college football playoff semifinal game against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 NFL season is officially over, and the draft order has been set. Although free agency is a very popular topic, the NFL draft is arguably more popular, and what a better way to express that than yet another mock draft?

While there will be many Jaguars-centric mock drafts from this website, we decided to take a crack at the entirety of the first round with the majority of our contributors. We split up the mock draft in seven parts with each person getting 4-5 picks.

Prior to the draft, we decided to change it up a little by including no trades in the draft itself, however, we did have one pre-draft trade. The Arizona Cardinals sent Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for their first round pick (15th overall).

So without further adieu, I present to you the Locked On Jaguars Mock Draft 1.0:


1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

Christopher Thornton: Let’s blow the roof off this [redacted] place.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State

Zach Goodall: Duh.

3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, UK

Noah Thomas: Allen is probably the second-best edge rusher after Bosa, and it is only fitting he goes one pick later.

4. Oakland Raiders: Brian Burns, EDGE, FSU

Zak Dewitt: The Raiders desperately need a pass rushing presence off of the edge after getting rid of Mack last year. Burns provides elite bend at that position.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama

Demetrius Harvey: The Buccaneers took a defensive tackle in the first round last year, and they will quite possibly do so again this year if Williams falls to them. He possesses incredible strength in the interior to hold up against the run and provides a more than adequate pass rush to boot. He’s a slam dunk pick for the Bucs considering their situation with Gerald McCoy who is a potential cap casualty this offseason.

6. New York Giants: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State

Ruairi Songer: As much as I would like Haskins to fall to the Jaguars, I just don’t think the Giants would let that happen without the Jaguars having to trade up. Haskins is a very efficient pocket passer, who would be an immediate upgrade over an aging Eli Manning. This will also allow the Giants to fully utilize weapons such as Saquon Barkley and Odell Beckham Jr.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars: T.J Hockenson, TE, Iowa

Dylan Goldman: I know this pick might not be the “sexy” pick, but without the two best QBs in the draft available, the Jaguars can plug another vacant hole here. Hockenson can fill the void left by Austin Seferian-Jenkins (if they do not pick up his option) at an already weak position for the Jags.

8. Detroit Lions: Jachai Polite, EDGE, UF

Christopher Thornton: Detroit lands one of the best edge rushers in the class to finally give them a longterm edge rusher with Ansah likely gone in free agency.

9. Buffalo Bills: N’Keal Harry, WR, ASU

Zach Goodall: The Buffalo Bills badly need to add weapons for second-year QB Josh Allen. While D.K Metcalf is widely viewed as WR1, he is fresh off of a neck injury that could move him down draft boards. Harry provides excellent size at 6-4, and athleticism to win contested matchups and create yards after the catch in the short game.

10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri

Noah Thomas: Everyone seems to be placing Lock and Elway together in a marriage. This pick is a little bit of dot connecting and need. Drew Lock is likely the third QB picked regardless.

11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin White, LB, LSU

Zak Dewitt: With the Bengals looking to move on from Burfict, they desperately need a hard hitter in the middle and White will do well in today’s NFL.

12. Green Bay Packers: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State

Demetrius Harvey: Montez Sweat might have improved his draft stock tremendously at the senior bowl, and what better of a team to draft him than the Packers. For years they have lacked an edge rusher to match the production of Clay Matthews and now that Matthews is getting a little older, it is time for them to invest.

13. Miami Dolphins: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU

Ruairi Songer: Greedy Williams would be an excellent addition to a rapidly maturing Dolphins secondary. Adding Williams would allow the Dolphins to have more flexibility with Minkah Fitzpatrick, and would give Xavien Howard a dynamic counterpart.

14. Atlanta Falcons: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston

Dylan Goldman: Ed Oliver is a physical freak, who Atlanta would be lucky to get and plug their hole at defensive tackle.

15. Arizona Cardinals (via WAS): Jonah Williams, LT, Alabama

Christopher Thornton: Arizona’s OL was a mess for Rosen and the Cardinals offense last year. Now, after drafting another QB top 5, they look to actually protect him and get a line for David Johnson. Williams comes in and starts day one at either left tackle or left guard.

16. Carolina Panthers: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State

Zach Goodall: Panthers badly need to address their offensive line, across the board. Risner is a durable, experienced offensive lineman who can play center, right guard, and right tackle and is relatively scheme universal.

17. Cleveland Browns: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

Noah Thomas: Byron Murphy would be an excellent pairing with Denzel Ward. The Browns can afford this luxury after finally getting their quarterback last year.

18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma

Zak Dewitt: The Vikings will likely run the ball more in 2019 and Cousins needs a good OL to prosper. Ford gives them a great right tackle that could play guard if needed.

19. Tennessee Titans: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson

Demetrius Harvey: Mullen is the type of cornerback to perfectly fit in with Mike Vabrel and the Tennessee Titans defense. He offers enough length and physicality to match up against big corners and enough quickness in the short area to match the quick-twitch receivers in the AFC South.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia

Ruairi Songer: The Pittsburgh secondary desperately needs help, and luckily for them, Baker falls right into their lap at pick 20. Baker isn’t the flashiest corner, but he is technically refined and does a good job at diagnosing routes. His lack of athleticism is extremely exaggerated, as he should test as a middle of the road athlete. Baker should be able to contribute right away and should be a solid starter for years to come.

21. Seattle Seahawks: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson

Dylan Goldman: The Seahawks need to keep rebuilding their ever-changing defense, and Lawrence –who was a huge part of Clemson’s dynamic defense over the past few years– could really help them.

22. Baltimore Ravens: D.K Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss

Christopher Thornton: It seems the Ravens have been chasing that elusive WR1 for years now and they might *finally* find their man. D.K Metcalf is my WR1 and the Ravens front office should be sprinting to the podium if Metcalf is there at 22.

23. Houston Texans: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida

Zach Goodall: Much like my Carolina pick, Houston might need OL more than any team in this draft to protect Deshaun Watson. Taylor is a highly athletic right tackle who improved drastically this past season at UF, and he can take over right tackle duties as Kendall Lamm’s contract is up. Lamm also allowed the 2nd most pressures across the Texans OL in 2018.

24. Oakland Raiders: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke

Noah Thomas: Daniel Jones has to go somewhere, and Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden seemed to be very impressed with the Duke alum during the senior bowl. If the Raiders decide to get rid of Carr soon, they need someone to take over. Having three first round picks doesn’t hurt either.

25. Philidelphia Eagles: Jeffery Simmons, iDL, Mississipi State

Zak Dewitt: The bread and butter of the Eagles defense the past couple of years has been their defensive line. They add a top 10 prospect who just happens to play a “devalued” position.

26. Indianapolis Colts: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State

Demetrius Harvey: Besides T.Y. Hilton, the Colts have basically nobody at receiver. Butler’s stocks have been rising throughout the league, and the Colts would be pleasantly surprised if he fell to them at 26. Butler offers the size and catch radius to be Luck’s go-to receiver and complements Hilton’s quickness very well.

27. Oakland Raiders: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma

Ruairi Songer: The lifeless Oakland Raiders offense is in need of some playmaking wide receivers, and Jordy Nelson, Marcell Ateman, and Brandon LaFell won’t cut it. Enter Marquise Brown, the electrifying speedster out of Oklahoma, and cousin of NFL superstar Antonio Brown. Marquise is an impressive route runner, and possess elite speed and acceleration. If small size doesn’t impede his NFL development, he should be able to become a playmaker for Derek Carr (or any Quarterback) and company immediately.

28. Los Angelas Chargers: Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama

Dylan Goldman: Mack Wilson was an integral part of Alabama’s dominant defense in 2017 and 2018, and Wilson is an intriguing player to help bolster old friend Gus Bradley’s defense in Los Angelas.

29. Kansas City Chiefs: Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

Christopher Thornton: The Chiefs had one of the worst secondaries in the NFL last year, somewhat neutralizing the powerhouse of an offense they had at times. Thompson is an athletic pure safety that should fill in beautifully next to FS Eric Berry if he ever returns to his old self.

30. Green Bay Packers: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College

Zach Goodall: I can’t stop lovin’ on this OL class. Aaron Rodgers should bounce back with an innovative offensive mind in Matt LaFleur as head coach, but he needs two new guards to give him time to throw. Lindstrom is the best pure guard in this class.

31. Los Angelas Rams: Jalen Jelks, DE, Oregon

Noah Thomas: Jalen Jelks is a project, but given how his senior bowl went, he could easily be the guy who makes it to the bottom of round one. He brings a versatility to the Rams defensive line which will need to be revamped given their salary cap situation coming up.

32. New England Patriots: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Zak Dewitt: Ferrell will give the Patriots a solid rusher off the edge who will allow them to still be creative with their defense.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars should pursue running back Le’Veon Bell in free agency

Zach Goodall

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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26) carries the ball past Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson (97) during the second half in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars enter the 2019 offseason needing to address virtually every position along the offensive side of their roster. Not every position necessarily needs a new starter, but after what was an abysmal offensive showing during the entirety of the 2018 season, nothing should be ruled out.

In which case, how about totally canning the Leonard Fournette experiment at running back and making a huge, unexpected free agency splash in targeting former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell?

It sounds really crazy at first, and many fans would hate the idea of giving up on the former 4th overall pick so quickly, but when you connect some dots and really think about the idea, it can make sense.

With the quarterback position being the biggest need this offseason, the idea of chasing Philadelphia Eagles QB Nick Foles in either free agency or via trade is popular amongst Jaguars fans and media alike. He’s a former Super Bowl MVP who has filled in and won games when starter Carson Wentz went out with injuries. As former Jaguars and current Eagles beat writer Mike Kaye wrote on the Foles/Jaguars rumors the other day, “Foles would be the biggest celebrity in the city once he put pen to paper, even with All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey on the roster”.

However, acquiring Foles will not be cheap, and comes with a lot of risks. Sure, he played some of his best football under new Jaguars offensive coordinator and former Eagles QB coach John DeFilippo, but he’s a bit of a journeyman who’s had an up-and-down career as a whole. His first three years in Philadelphia provided flashes, including a 27 touchdown and two interception sophomore season, with 2891 passing yards and a 64% completion percentage in 13 games. However, he was traded to the St. Louis Rams after his third year with the Eagles after throwing 10 interceptions in eight games and going on the injured reserve with a broken collarbone in Week 9.

Foles looked no better in one season with the Rams than he did the year prior, throwing only seven TDs and 10 INTs in 11 games, then requesting to be released after the Rams traded up and selected QB Jared Goff with the first overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He spent the 2016 season as Alex Smith’s backup with the Kansas City Chiefs, starting one game against the Jaguars where he threw for 187 yards and a TD. Foles made his way back to Philadelphia as Wentz’s backup, and the rest is history: He’s thrown for 1950 yards, 12 touchdowns and six interceptions in 12 games filling in for Wentz, and won the Super Bowl 52 MVP Award.

While recency bias would say Foles is a prime candidate for the Jaguars starting QB job, his shaky career history should keep Jacksonville from breaking the bank on the 30 year old signal-caller. And as mentioned previously, he’s going to be expensive. Reports broke after he bought out his team-option that the Eagles were planning on franchise tagging Foles in order to trade him away before free agency. That provides a ton of risk for Philadelphia if no team is willing to pay his franchise tag price plus trade away assets for Foles, as the tag is projected at $25 million in 2019 for quarterbacks and the Eagles reportedly are asking for a third round pick in return for Foles services.

Considering the Jaguars are currently projected to be $4,316,311 under the cap, and have so many needs on offense, it doesn’t make much sense to spend that much on a 30 year old quarterback who’s never consistently played well as a starter in the NFL.

However, the Jaguars are going to be trimming fat anyway this offseason to get into a better position with cap space. Whether it’s to go after Foles or not, the team is expected to release players such as defensive tackle Malik Jackson (clearing $11 million in cap space), right tackle Jermey Parnell ($6 million), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($4,328,125), running back Carlos Hyde ($4.7 million) and possibly more to get back “into the green” and be able to sign/extend players.

So, if the Jaguars are to create a bunch of cap space, chances are they’ll spend some to improve the team. But instead of going after a somewhat inconsistent and expensive quarterback, why not utilize that money on other positions and draft a young franchise quarterback instead?

Why not go after running back Le’Veon Bell?

The Jaguars are in limbo at running back, more than fans are willing to admit. Starting running back Leonard Fournette has missed 11 games in his first two seasons from a mix of lower body injuries (which were a red flag for the LSU product before he was drafted) and suspensions. When he was actually on the field, he averaged a mere 3.7 yards per carry and only 740 rushing ards per season. The team waived his guarantees in his contract following the 2018 season for his behavior – he now has to earn every penny on his originally fully-guaranteed rookie deal. In all honesty, his situation has become a real headache, and the team has the ability to move on from his deal easier now than before his guarantees were waived.

The No. 2 RB T.J. Yeldon, who played well in place of Fournette during the 11 games he has missed, won’t be returning to the team as things stand. His rookie contract is up, and he will likely cash in on the free agency market beyond what the Jaguars would be able to pay him for his No. 2 role. A team will pay him to be their starter after he averaged 5.7 yards per touch and scored five total touchdowns in a reserve role in 2018. Also, his “liked” tweets on Twitter are pretty damning:

The Jaguars could easily shake up their RB room this offseason, and Le’Veon Bell could come in and provide elite ability not only as a runner but as a receiver and pass blocker – he’s arguably the best all-around running back the NFL has seen in recent history. He sat out the entire 2018 season due to contract issues, but he had back-to-back 1200 rushing yard seasons in 2016-17, with 16 rushing touchdowns and averaging 4.45 yards per carry. On top of that, Bell caught 160 passes for 1271 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He literally had the 10th most receptions in the NFL in 2018 (85), among wide receivers, tight ends, and running backs. That’s insane.

Le’Veon Bell would walk into Jacksonville as one of the team’s best running backs in franchise history. Obviously, he’d be behind Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, but he’s far ahead of the team’s third all-time leading rusher James Stewart by almost 3000 rushing yards. In only two more career games.

Let’s get down to the money: Bell sat out during the 2018 season because he demanded high guarantees in his next long-term contract, as well as being the highest-paid RB in the league – but the Steelers wouldn’t give him what he wanted. Here’s a quote from his agent that makes Bell’s demands appear well-thought out:

“The Steelers have a unique way of structuring deals,” Bakari said. “These contracts are not fully guaranteed. Le’Veon plays a position that has one of the shortest lifespans in the league. We have to focus on the guarantee. It’s safe to say he’ll get a guarantee [as a free agent] that is more traditional, and he’ll be protected for the balance of his career.”

Based on these statements and how running backs are currently paid, Bell is in line to make a boat-load this offseason. Todd Gurley, the NFL’s highest paid RB, averages $14.3 million a year on his new deal with $45 million in guarantees, including a $21 million signing bonus.

So, one should expect Bell to come in around $14.5 million a year with frontloaded guarantees. My personal projection: Five years, $72.5 million, with $50 million in guarantees spread out over the first three years of the deal, and a large signing bonus around $20 million to knock out 40% of the guarantees. And if the Jaguars release the players stated above, and perhaps a couple of others, they could afford this – in fact, he’d be cheaper than Nick Foles on a year-to-year basis from all angles.

This type of move would be an earthquake across the NFL, but while it seems crazy, it could reap benefits. The Jaguars would hold onto the draft pick they’d have to send to the Eagles for Foles, and save an average of about $10 million in contract value per year (before guarantees factor in). In doing so, the Jaguars would land one of the leagues best running backs and a player who puts up top-20 production as a receiver, all in one, while holding onto funds to pay players such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue down the line.

In this situation, it would become clear the Jaguars would want to draft their own quarterback, and Ohio State QB Dwayne Haskins would make sense. The Jaguars would likely have to trade up for Haskins, with the 4th overall pick being the sweet spot in order to not give up many assets and still solidify themselves above other quarterback-needy teams, but trading up in the draft to land a quarterback on the slotted-rookie contract (which would be around $7-8 million a year) makes a lot more sense than trading away assets to pay an inconsistent QB $25 million a year.

And for Fournette, it’s safe to assume he’d be traded away in this situation. While he could net the Jaguars something like a late third round/early fourth round pick, it’d be interesting to see if they could package him into the draft-day trade up for a quarterback. But if not, at least they can regain some draft day value by shipping him away and continue to address the offense.

Imagine a Jaguars offense with Dwayne Haskins under center, and Le’Veon Bell handling not only running back duties, but providing a legitimate receiving option for the young quarterback? Plus whoever else they draft, as well  as in-house weapons such as Dede Westbrook and second-year WR D.J. Chark.

It’s far-fetched, and these moves would take the entire NFL by storm, but this would be a fantastic way to fix the Jaguars offensive woes heading into the 2019 season, while also saving more money than what it would take to pay Nick Foles.

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