The Jacksonville Jaguars, who are in desperate need of a franchise quarterback, are unfortunately not in an ideal scenario to get one. At least, not without some help.
There appears to be only one quarterback worth taking in the top 10 as thing stand, that being Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who we broke down in a scouting report here. And considering the Jaguars have live-scouted OSU five times this year, according to a mix of sources and reports, there appears to be clear interest in the quarterback from this quarterback-needy team.
If they truly do value Haskins as their guy, they need to do whatever it takes to get him. The Jaguars will own the 7th pick in the NFL Draft, after the QB-needy New York Giants picking 6th. On top of that, the Oakland Raiders, who pick 4th, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who pick 5th, could be dark-horse teams to select a QB, and teams such as the Miami Dolphins (13th pick) and the Washington Redskins (15th pick) may be in the running to trade up for their guy as well.
The bottom line is, there are teams who definitely need a quarterback, as well as some who could surprise us and take one, in this thin QB class. Therefore, if the Jaguars want to land their guy, they’re going to need to make a move up the board to ensure they get him. At minimum, they need to jump the New York Giants.
Who could the Jaguars trade up with to get their guy? Let’s look at all of their options, and breakdown how expensive it would be to trade up with each team and where the other team’s needs are.
Note: All trades are meant to be as realistic as possible, with the help of Calculator Soup’s NFL Draft Pick Trade Calculator. Percentage equals gain or loss of value for the team Jacksonville would trade with.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Needs: OL, iDL, DB, WR
Would they trade out?: Probably not, unless the offer is too good to pass up.
What it would likely take to trade with Jacksonville: 7th overall, 2019 2nd, 2019 3rd (from LAR) 2020 1st = +4.8% gain
The Cardinals are deprived of talent at a lot of different positions across their roster – other than three of the most important posotions in football that is. Last year they landed their franchise QB in Josh Rosen, pass rusher Chandler Jones has accumulated 41 sacks in three years with the team, and Patrick Peterson is an eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro cornerback at the age of 28.
But even with those three key positions nailed down, they could use a lot of help. The offensive line is a mess, they could use interior presence to their defensive line to stop the run and pair with Jones to create a terrorizing pass-rush duo, and Peterson needs a running mate to create turnovers in the secondary.
Arizona is best suited to stick at No. 1 and take Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams with the first pick. He’s been the most dominant interior defender in college football during the 2018 season and would give the Cardinals that deadly duo in the pass rush.
However, if they view offensive line as their biggest need, or entertain the idea of maximizing value given how deep of a defensive class this is, perhaps they could look to trade out, gain a ton of picks, and take either Alabama offensive tackle Jonah Williams or the best available defender.
The Jaguars 7th overall pick is a good spot for one or the other, and Jacksonville would have to part with a ton of assets to make it happen, because Arizona has the leverage to shoot the price up. If the Jaguars are willing to risk that to ensure the QB, Arizona might bite.
2. San Francisco 49ers
Needs: EDGE, DB, OL, WR
Would they trade out?: Less likely than Arizona, unless Arizona drafts Nick Bosa.
What it would take to trade with Jacksonville: 7th overall, 2019 2nd, 2020 1st, 2020 4th = +3.2 gain
The 49ers could use edge pass rushing help more than anyone in this year’s draft, and will have at least one if not two fantastic defensive end prospects fall into their laps at No. 2 in Ohio State’s Nick Bosa and Kentucky’s Josh Allen.
However, much like Arizona, there’s got to be a price that will catch the 49ers’ attention, even though they could be best suited to take a superior prospect at a huge position of need with their current draft slot. At 7th overall, the 49ers could have prospects such as Florida State DE Brian Burns, Florida DE Jachai Polite, Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell, Alabama safety Deionte Thompson, LSU CB Greedy Williams, and so on, available to them.
One thing that could make a 49ers trade possible, at least more so than it is right now, is if Arizona surprises everyone and selects Bosa first overall. While he’s widely considered the best prospect in this class, defensive end isn’t nearly as much a need to the Cardinals as other positions. While Josh Allen is a fantastic prospect, there is a bit of a drop off between the two.
It will be up to San Francisco, like Arizona, if gaining more valuable picks, both immediately and in the future, is worth losing out on the best prospects in the draft at their biggest position of need. Much like Arizona, it probably isn’t likely, but everyone has a price, and Jacksonville is in a desperate situation and could offer the price the 49ers would demand.
3. New York Jets
Needs: EDGE, OL, WR, RB
Would they trade out?: Most likely out of the top 3 teams.
What it would take to trade with Jacksonville: 7th overall, 2019 2nd, 2019 3rd (from LAR), 2020 4th = +0.91%
Truthfully, Josh Allen fits the Jets’ 3-4 defensive scheme and personnel as things stand. Now, a new scheme could be on it’s way when New York hires their new head coach, but we will base this on the assumption that the new staff sticks with what this personnel group is assembled to play.
In that case, Josh Allen makes a ton of sense, and should be available at No. 3 for the Jets to select.
The Jets sent the Indianapolis Colts four second round picks between the 2018 and 2019 NFL Drafts’ in order to nab their franchise quarterback in Sam Darnold last year, and it would be shocking if they didn’t want to get some of that value back. Assuming they do, the Jets are a prime trade-up candidate for Jacksonville. With two third round picks this year, Jacksonville can let one go on top of swapping firsts, and tacking on their 2nd round pick and an early Day 3 pick in 2020 to get their pick.
This is the most likely trade scenario for Jacksonville, or any team, to move up for Haskins.
4. Oakland Raiders
Needs: EDGE, DB, WR, LB
Would they trade out?: 50/50 chance, depends on first three picks.
What would it take to trade with Jacksonville?: 7th overall, 2019 3rd, 2019 3rd (from LAR) = +3.83%
While it’s smartest for the Jaguars to try to trade into the top 3, far ahead of the Giants as well as ahead of dark-horse QB teams like Oakland or Tampa Bay, the Raiders would be the consolation call if the top 3 teams lock themselves onto certain prospects.
In that case, the Raiders would miss out on the two star EDGE prospects of the class, however there are still plenty of defensive ends worth taking throughout the top 10, and we all know Jon Gruden loves getting as many assets that he can after trading Amari Cooper and Khalil Mack for a combined three first round picks and more.
Jacksonville can give Gruden an extra two third round picks this year, which would have Oakland selecting a whopping seven times in the first three rounds. The extra thirds would make up for the Raiders’ lack of a second round pick, and meanwhile they’d still land a premier edge defender at 7th overall.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Needs: DB, OL, EDGE
Would they trade out?: Probably
What would it take to trade with Jacksonville?: 7th overall, 2019 3rd = +2.65%
Much like the above picks, the Buccaneers could do with landing an elite defender, either at EDGE rusher out of whoever remains out of the top-10 worthy guys, or a defensive back such as CB Greedy Williams or safety Deionte Thompson. However, considering Jacksonville is only two picks back, Tampa Bay wouldn’t lose much talent-wise in moving back, whereas they could receive an early third rounder this year and gain value.
Therefore, Jacksonville gives up only one of their two third round picks, and manage to hop in front of the Giants and land their quarterback.
Which of these trade options would you prefer the Jaguars to make? Or would you rather them sit back and take a QB at 7th overall? Or perhaps another position? Let us know in the comments.
REPORT: Jaguars re-sign tight end James O’Shaughnessy
The Jaguars have re-signed tight end James O’Shaughnessy according to a report released by the team. O’Shaughnessy now re-joins a group that includes newly signed tight end Geoff Swaim, Ben Koyack, and Pharoah McKever.
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) March 21, 2019
This is great news for the Jaguars tight end group. O’Shaughnessy was a reliable receiving threat for the Jaguars last season, although he was horribly underutilized.
This adds some continuity into the room with Ben Koyack as the only Jaguars tight end with in-game experience with the team. O’Shaughnessy accounted for 24 receptions for 214 yards last season. O’Shaughnessy’s only other reported interest in free agency has been with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Look for the Jaguars to continue to upgrade the tight end position during the draft later this offseason.
2019 Jaguars NFL Draft Profile: Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson
After months of quarterback scouting that have all become relatively moot, it’s time to start going in-depth at other positions of need for the Jacksonville Jaguars here at Locked On Jaguars.
With quarterback Nick Foles in the fold after signing a four year, $88 million deal with the Jaguars last week, it’s safe to assume quarterback is just about out of the picture for the team’s seventh overall selection in next month’s NFL Draft. Sure, the Jaguars could elect to draft a QB to backup Foles and eventually utilize the two-year “out” to usher in his heir, but that seems highly unlikely at this point. Jacksonville paid Foles to be their franchise quarterback, and they must build around him immediately to get things back on track.
In which case, the Jaguars need to add weapons on offense. During his time in Philadelphia over the past two years, Foles has targeted tight ends on 33% of his 296 passing attempts. It helps that the Eagles had multiple talented TEs on their roster during that time in Zach Ertz, Trey Burton, Brent Celek, and Dallas Goedert, but the Jaguars must attempt to replicate the tight end production Foles had that helped him find so much success.
T.J. Hockenson from the University of Iowa can immediately provide a spark at the tight end position and replicate that formula.
The redshirt sophomore burst onto the scene during the 2018 season, hauling in 49 receptions for 760 yards and six touchdowns in Iowa’s 52.9%-to-47.1% run-to-pass offense. Iowa ran a ton of multiple tight end sets, mainly 12-personnel (1 RB/2 TE), in order to add bodies to the tackle box for the run game and best utilize both Hockenson and fellow Hawkeyes tight end Noah Fant – who, like Hockenson, is a projected first round pick. The two tight ends combined for 88 receptions, 1279 yards, and 13 touchdowns in 2018.
The differences between Hockenson and Fant, which were drawn out well by my friend Ryan Keiran of PatsPulpit.com, are their playstyles at the same general position. Fant is going to be a dynamic receiving tight end on a bit of an NFL learning curve as he is far from a polished blocker, who is best utilized as the new “big-slot” TE that the NFL is beginning to transition towards.
I’ll do a full film review on Fant at another time here at Locked On Jaguars, but my early take is he’s an Evan Engram-style of tight end who would benefit from a pass-happy, vertical offense. Not all of these teams need a tight end, but the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers would be great fits for Fant who could move him around and play him vertically.
Hockenson is much more universal in terms of scheme fit. He’s athletic enough to play vertically, like Fant, fluid and explosive enough to win in the underneath game, and is the best run-blocking tight end prospect I’ve ever evaluated. And that last nugget is something that will undoubtedly catch the eye of the power-run heavy Jacksonville Jaguars.
Let’s get to the film. Be prepared – there’s really no negative aspects to his game.
I typically don’t clip up a lot of run blocking plays for film reviews, because you can usually get a good feel for a player’s ability in that aspect from a couple of early-down reps.
But good lord, T.J. Hockenson makes run blocking a sport of it’s own – and he’s a first-team All Pro in it.
Hockenson’s pure strength and explosion into his block is enough to “wow” you from an entertainment perspective, but his technique makes the difference between a “good” block, and the “great” block that leads to him driving the defensive end 10 yards backwards and into the turf. His fluid explosion through contact out of his three point stance creates instant pad-level leverage by getting the DE vertical. Hockenson maintains the lower pad-level and his strong hands stick in the chest frame despite the defender attempting to wiggle himself free like a fish in a fishnet.
You’ll never, ever see Hockenson quit on a block until the whistle is blown. His rep is won by the time the standing EDGE defender crosses the numbers at the top of the field, but Hockenson drives him out of bounds and into the sideline area a yard behind the line of scrimmage. When Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin stated “I suggest we adopt the term ‘grit’ as a way to define ourselves,” at the Jaguars’ State of the Franchise press conference in 2017, plays like this are what he was referring to.
Hockenson plays with grit on every snap.
Hockenson is more than just an in-line blocker. He’s equally as dominant as a space blocker, which will reap benefits for a team that will use him in pass protection vs. loaded boxes and blitz. Diagnose this look as Cover 2-man underneath with the MIKE linebacker responsible for Hockenson (hovering over the left tackle behind the DE). The MIKE reads pass from the QB – the play was a QB draw – and gets his eyes up to Hockenson quickly, but even with eyes on the tight end, the MIKE was unable to stand his ground from the bulldozer of a blocking tight end and eats dirt. It’s the same thing over and over again, whether it’s in-line or out in space – Hockenson wins with a fantastic combination of athleticism and technique which cements his high floor as a blocker at the NFL level.
Hockenson’s technique becomes important when taking on rush and disengaging moves from opposing rushers and defenders. Hockenson wins with initial leverage and hand placement, but the defender gets an arm free to attempt top rip out Hockenson’s arms. But with the lower pad level, Hockenson can get his disengaged arm back up-and-under through the rip and back into the defenders chest, and turn him 180 degrees away from the play.
The next six clips will be the last of Hockenson’s blocking breakdown before moving to his receiving ability, all displaying his ability to seal-block on designed runs and backfield throws to completely open up the field. This obviously requires the previously stated technique and strength through blocks, but the processing speed to diagnose his responsibilities and time his blocks, as a lead-block from H-back/fullback, in-line, and out in space. He can do it all.
Simply put: Enjoy.
You’ve probably had a lot of fun watching T.J. Hockenson, the blocker, so far… (or maybe not, and maybe I’m just a football nerd).
But I promise you, that’s not all the Iowa product has to offer. The Jaguars prioritize the ability to run block in their tight ends, but in today’s NFL, tight ends need to contribute significantly as receiving threats in order to be considered dynamic.
Hockenson hasn’t mastered all nine routes of the route tree, but he’s proven he can win multiple routes in all three levels of the playing field. His athletic testing results (see below) also offer promise that Hockenson can develop on just about any route there is, too. It’s not that Hockenson struggled with certain routes – he just wasn’t asked to run them in Iowa’s run-heavy offense.
His high-pointing ability wasn’t often utilized at Iowa given their run-heavy philosophy, but the talent, size, and technique is there for Hockenson to be the redzone threat the Jaguars have desperately been searching for.
Hockenson squeezes through a tight, two-defender gap on an outside release with explosion off the line in order to breeze by the coverage LB and separate despite little field room in the redzone. The QB lofts a ball to the back of the endzone, and Hockenson’s mix of technique and athleticim finishes the rep. He identifies the ball and times his full-body extension at the top of his vertical jump in order to get both hands on this ball and bring it down in bounds without ever letting the closing defender have a chance to make a recovery play.
In order to win in contested areas such as the redzone, fighting through contact and adjusting to throws is as important as anything. Being nearly 6-5 with a 90th percentile vertical jump (see his athletic profile later in the report) is obviously a benefit in this category, but Hockenson has the natural ability to fight for and win contested throws across the field.
Hockenson releases inside to draw the linebacker off of the seam that he intends to get vertical before breaking into a post on a deep mesh concept to keep the safety modest. This is a well-run, pro-style yet schemed-open route that Hockenson can win on at the next level, but the play turns into a YOLO-pass. The QB scrambles left with pressure closing in, and lets this ball rip back towards the middle of the field where Hockenson is playing the scramble drill back towards the left side of the field. He tracks this underthrown ball while navigating back to the side he came from, fights through contact and comes down with a huge gain on what was on pace to become a 4th-and-long punt.
If the Jaguars intend on running the similar, if not the same, passing concepts with Foles in the fold, then plays like this are important in Hockenson’s evaluation – winning in the short-to-intermediate levels of the passing field. Otherwise known as the routes that make a West Coast offense operate.
Hockenson possesses the explosion off the line and agility to maintain speed through his turns in the route to operate in a timing-based passing offense which can be seen in the fluidity of his release from the slot anf through the deep crossing route – a staple of Jacksonville’s offense over the past two years. And with clean footowork, Hockenson cleanly separates with hip fluidity and no wasted movement as soon as the defender begins to pedal vertically again. So long as the QB leads this ball (after years of watching a QB fail to do so, it’ll be a sigh of relief to see that from Foles), this is a yards-after-catch route that Hockenson would wreak havoc with in the Jaguars’ WCO-offense.
Did someone mention yards after the catch?
Hockenson does a great job at keeping his feet underneath him through vertical route breaks, with no wasted movement whatsoever in order to maintain a comfy cushion from the coverage defender. And once again, this is a timing route based off of play action with a relatively immediate release at the top of the route.
And your arm tackles will do nothing to slow down the Hock. He’s a yards after catch and yards through contact machine.
This rep was just disrespectful, and provides another feel for how Hockenson can transcend the offense beyond WCO concepts and integrate some vertical philosophies.
Hockenson lines up in-line in 23 personnel (2 RB/3 TE) – this looks like it’ll be a run play or short-field pass off play-action to get an easy 3rd and 1 conversion, right?
The outside TEs in Hockenson (to the weak side of the formation) and Fant (strong-side – safety help follows) run a Yankee concept that acts like a deep mesh pattern between the most outside players in the formation, getting vertical up the seam and crossing. With the one-on-one matchup and a rub to benefit from, Hockenson gets wide open and the safety tries to recover as the top of the defense is exposed at the rub.
What makes this rep so disrespectful? Watch the second half of the clip. Hockenson wins route-running leverage vs. his man coverage defender by running an inside release. With so many defenders in the box that make an inside release difficult to manuever, Hockenson literally pulls a swim move on the play-action-biting stack linebacker (#14) and breezes to the middle of the field, easily separating from the man-cover #25.
To begin this crucial 4th and 8 rep, with under a minute left in the game tied 28-28, it’s obviously clutch of Hockenson to make a backside sliding catch to get both across the line-to-gain and into field goal range. That’s just a given.
But his explosion off the line of scrimmage is real. Sure, he plays the line at the snap compared to the top outside WR, but to be three yards removed vertically post-snap before the shorter-build, assumptively quicker and nimbler even crosses the line is impressive for any tight end. And Hockenson matches his LOS burst with a fluid hip-turn at the top of this curl to ensure separation from a breaking safety on the most important play of the game up until this point. The QB getting the ball out late eliminates some of that separation, but Hockenson held up to his end of the deal with ease.
Athletic profile (via MockDraftable.com)
Hockenson offers typical height for the tight end position, but based on his NFL Combine testing, he comes in slightly underweight and with below-average length compared to the average NFL TE.
As mentioned while describing his redzone touchdown catch above, however, Hockenson has legitimate athleticism to cover for his lack of elite size at the position. His vertical (37 1/2″) and broad (123″) rank in the 90th and 91st percentiles among NFL TEs in MockDraftable’s database that has collected testing numbers dating back to the 1999 NFL Draft class.
His top speed comes in above average as well, as he recorded a 4.7s 40 yard dash (68th percentile). This is a huge benefit for any team looking to add some vertical field stretching via Hockenson, and if Jacksonville wants to catch teams off guard beyond their traditional WCO passing concepts, Hockensons’s skillset + measurables give them that flexibility.
Last but not least, Hockenson’s 77th percentile, 7.02s 3 cone drill is a cherry on top. A widely praised drill for testing a players ability to change direction, the Jaguars brass is likely salivating at this number. As mentioned previously, Jacksonville’s WCO concepts require short-field route running and the ability to create YAC in a timing-based play. These factors require twitch and quickness from a change-of-direction standpoint. Hockenson’s 3-cone drill proves one thing: He’s anything but stiff, and at bare minimum he can fit the Jaguars current mold as a receiving TE.
What’s nice is that’s just his floor, and his ceiling can provide so, so much more.
Listen, I understand that selecting a tight end in the top 10 is pretty uncommon, but it isn’t unheard of. Eric Ebron (10th overall, 2014), Vernon Davis (6th overall, 2006), Kellen Winslow Jr. (6th overall, 2004) are the most recent to be selected that high.
Winslow Jr. suffered two early setbacks with a broken leg two games into his rookie season and a torn ACL knocking him out of his second season, but currently ranks 31st all-time in receiving yards among TEs. Assuming he met his career average 650 yards per season in those nearly two fully missed seasons, Winslow would rank 13th all-time in the same category. He was worth the selection in hindsight.
Davis, who is still active today and plays for the Washington Redskins (he played his first 9 1/2 seasons with the San Francisco) currently ranks 9th in all time receiving yards among TEs with 7439. He was worth the selection in hindsight.
Ebron… is a bit of a different story. He’s entering his sixth season in the NFL and looked like a bust with the Detroit Lions, recording 186 catches for 2070 yards and 11 touchdowns in four years there. However, Ebron signed with the Indianapolis Colts this past season, and tore his bust label to shreds. He more than doubled his career touchdowns with 13 alone in 2018, along with 66 receptions for 750 yards – both career highs. The jury is not out on whether or not Ebron’s ability and skillset were worth his selection.
Forget what I said in the introduction about run-blocking: T.J. Hockenson is the best tight end prospect I’ve ever evaluated, period. He’s also the safest offensive player in this draft, and considering the traditional NFL learning curve at the tight end, it’s really rare to ever hear that label being thrown around at the position.
His combination of poise as a blocker in all facets as well as extremely high floor in the pass game for an offense stylized like Jacksonville’s absolutely makes him worth their 7th overall pick, and the Jaguars’ dire need of a tight end right now only further solidifies that.
Quarterback Nick Foles will need as many weapons as he can get here in Jacksonville to get this Jaguars team steered straight. Considering his success in Philadelphia with tight ends, it’s incredibly difficult to assume T.J. Hockenson wouldn’t be one of Foles’ most trusted receiving targets, and as a whole Jacksonville’s most important non-QB offensive player given his immense skill-set as a contributor to the run and the pass game.
REPORT: Jaguars officially sign former Packers LB Jake Ryan
The Jaguars have officially signed former Packers ILB Jake Ryan. While it was reported on Saturday, the Jaguars would be signing the linebacker, there was still a physical pending. Ryan tore his ACL prior to the 2019 season and is still in the middle of his rehab. Today, the Jaguars made it official.
Officially signed ✒️
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) March 19, 2019
Ryan was signed to a 2-year $8M contract with an option during the 2020 season according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. The contract is similar to the contract Austin Seferian-Jenkins deal from last season which essentially boils down to a 1-year prove-it deal.
Jake Ryan (Jaguars), $8M, $1M gtd, $500K signing bonus, salaries $1M ($500K gtd), $5.5M; $31,250 per game active annual, 2020 is option to be exercised prior to 22nd day before 2020 lg yr, if exercised $1M of salary gtd, $1.75M annual playtime incentive
— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) March 19, 2019
Ryan adds another proven veteran linebacker to a group which lacks experience. Before the signing, the Jaguars linebackers on the team were Myles Jack, Telvin Smith, Donald Payne, Blair Brown, Donald Payne, Leon Jacobs, and Nick Deluca. None of them have had much if any experience at the MLB position.
Ryan started 27 games in three seasons with the Packers prior to his injury. He has totaled 213 combined tackles in his career. That is plenty of experience added to the Jaguars linebacker group ahead of the 2019 season. It would not surprise me to see the Jaguars continue to add to the position via the NFL Draft.
It is also worth noting Telvin Smith’s contract cap number reaches its highest point next year ($12.8M). It is possible — if Ryan performs well — for the Jaguars to move on from Smith and move Myles Jack back to his more natural position. Myles Jack will be entering the final year of his rookie contract this season.
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