- The biggest need, the hidden need and what else the Jaguars should be looking for in the 2019 draft.
Two weeks ahead of the NFL draft, Andy Benoit and Gary Gramling are breaking down draft needs for all 32 teams. You can also see every team in a single post here.
Biggest Need: Right Tackle
Jermey Parnell, nearing decline, was released. In his stead could be Bengals 2015 first-rounder Cedric Ogbuehi, who never climbed high enough to have anywhere to decline from. Or, it could be last year’s fourth-round pick Will Richardson, who spent most of his rookie season on I.R. The decision to build a smashmouth offense around uninspiring third-year tailback Leonard Fournette is about 20 years out of date, but if that’s the way this franchise insists on going, then a mauling right tackle is especially in order.
Hidden Need: Tight End
Just because free agent ex-Cowboy Geoff Swaim was signed doesn’t mean the Jags have fully addressed this position. Swaim, like incumbent Jags tight ends Ben Koyack and James O’Shaugnessy, is a No. 2 at best. New offensive coordinator John DeFilippo wants to feature tight ends in his scheme, which is built on multi-level play-action route combinations. Give DeFilippo someone to scheme around.
Also Looking For: Safety
As a rookie last year, third-rounder Ronnie Harrison played well enough as the big nickel corner/third linebacker in base situations to warrant a look at strong safety. And at free safety, replacing the released Tashaun Gipson with veteran backup Jarrod Wilson is a downgrade, but not the end of the world. Still, Harrison and Wilson are unproven as full-time starters, and Jacksonville’s Seahawks-style Cover 3 scheme is dependent on quality safeties. Talent-wise, this Jags D is on par with that mid-2010s Seahawks D... if that D hadn’t had Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor.
Who They Can Get
Florida OT Jawaan Taylor fits what the Jaguars are trying to do offensively. Though Iowa TE T.J. Hockenson, a physical blocker and the most well-rounded tight end in this class, will likely interest them as well with the seventh pick. If they wait until Round 2 (they have the 38th pick) to get their tight end, the options will be along the lines of Ole Miss's Dawson Knox and Texas Tech's Jace Sternberger, though it wouldn't be a shock if Iowa's Noah Fant was still on the board. As far as safeties who could be available in Round 2, Florida's Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Alabama's Deionte Thompson and Delaware's Nasir Adderley would all pair nicely with Ronnie Harrison.
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