When the NFL Draft begins selections in Arlington, Tex., April 26, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the No. 29 pick in the first round.
Here is an in-depth look at the team’s needs, offseason changes, potential best fit and the selections by NFLDraftScout.com’s experts.
Who would you pick and why?
TOP 5 NEEDS
- Wide receiver: This should be first priority as the Jaguars do not have an elite receiver on the roster. It’s probably too much to ask a rookie to be the team’s No. 1 receiver but if he’s talented enough, he could be that guy. Neither of the team’s two best receivers – fifth-year player Marqise Lee or newcomer Donte Moncrief have shown they can be a No. 1 guy. In their combined eight seasons in the league, only three times has one of them caught more than 40 passes in a season. Both have also been injury-prone with Lee missing nine games his first two seasons and Moncrief sitting out 11 contests the last two years due to injuries.
- Tight end: Even though the Jaguars signed Austin Seferian-Jenkins, securing another tight end will be a priority after the team departed ways with Marcedes Lewis. Seferian-Jenkins will help the passing game in that he’s versatile and can line up at various spots. But the Jaguars also need a big blocking tight end who can be an equal boost to the passing attack. The Jaguars will continue to put a heavy emphasis on the running game and that will necessitate a strong blocking tight end like Lewis was. The good news is that this is a deep draft at the position which means the Jaguars can probably find their man on the second, maybe even the third day of the draft.
- Right tackle: Jermey Parnell will be in his eighth year in the league but will be 32 years old this season. He’s only missed four games in the last three years, but the Jaguars need to start developing his replacement. There is not a solid backup that looks ready enough to step in when Parnell retires or is let go so the Jaguars need to bring in someone that can get a solid year of practice and be ready to move into the lineup as early as 2019. While this isn’t a strong year for right tackles, the right find on Day 2 or 3 could result in the right fit in the future for the Jaguars.
- Linebacker: Myles Jack was tried at the middle spot in the first couple of preseason games last year before he was moved back to his outside spot. But with Paul Posluszny retiring, Jack may find himself in the middle on a permanent basis. Either way, the Jaguars will need another linebacker. Blair Brown started two games and saw action in 13 others a year ago at the outside spot, but he’s not a lock there if Jack moves inside. The Jaguars will take a linebacker somewhere in the draft to play either the middle or outside in a combination with Jack and the talented Telvin Smith.
- Quarterback: At one point during free agency, the Jaguars had just one on the roster – starter Blake Bortles. Backup Chad Henne left to sign with Kansas City and in his place the Jaguars traded for Cody Kessler who played in 12 games the last two seasons with the Cleveland Browns. Kessler was a part-time starter two years ago as a rookie but seemed to regress after that. There is a need for the Jaguars to look hard and deep for someone they can develop over the next couple of seasons.
–BEST FIT: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. If Moore were 2-3 inches taller he might be a top-10 pick. But at an even 6-foot tall, that may be the only drawback against him. Moore caught a school record 80 passes for 1,033 yards and eight touchdowns last year as a junior, and has 146 career grabs for 2,027 yards and 17 scores. At 210 pounds, Moore has spent valuable time in the weight room and combines his strength with above average speed (4.42 in the 40) to gain good yardage after catches. His character and work ethic are impeccable. He has the skill-set to be a 10-year NFL wide receiver. The Jaguars need someone of his size and durability (35 consecutive starts to close out his career). He could develop into the team’s No. 1 receiver in time, possibly as soon as midway into his rookie season.
–Rob Rang: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland. Moving on from Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns, Julian Thomas and Marcedes Lewis means that pass-catcher jobs in Jacksonville are literally up for grabs. Built more like a running back than a traditional receiver at 6-foot, 210 pounds, Moore could be the perfect slant and screen game weapon to penalize defenses loading the box against the run.
–Dane Brugler: Connor Williams, T, Texas. Whether he plays tackle or guard in the league, Williams has the versatility to play either, providing the Jaguars with immediate depth at both positions and a player to groom into a starter in 2019.
FANS ON THE CLOCK, ON THE RECORD
OK, it’s your turn. Tell us in the comments section who you would pick and why. Check out top 1,000 players rated by NFLDraftScout.com, including combine and pro day workouts, biographies, scouting reports.