'Tis the season.
It is just a shade under two weeks until the Jacksonville Jaguars kick off the 2021 NFL Draft with the No. 1 overall pick. As a result, mock drafts are in complete overdrive as analysts and fans across the NFL do their best to sort out how all 32 teams will attack this year's unpredictable draft.
To give an idea of how different draft philosophies can play out, the hosts of The Jaguar Report Podcast (John Shipley and Gus Logue) have put on their team-building hats in the latest episode, conducting dueling mock drafts to see who comes out with the better haul to rebuild the Jaguars.
For the entire podcast and in-depth pick-by-pick analysis and debate, listen below.
We opted to use Pro Football Network's mock draft simulator machine for this exercise; trades were available, and we each conducted the mock live during the podcast, with neither knowing the other's strategy or picks.
So, how did the mocks play out for the Jaguars? Listen and read below to see how we drafted.
General Manager John Shipley
- No. 1. QB Trevor Lawrence
- No. 25: OT Teven Jenkins
- No. 33: CB Caleb Farley
- No. 45: RB Travis Etienne
- No. 65: TE Hunter Long
- No. 106: Iowa WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette
- No. 130: Tulane EDGE Cam Sample
- No. 145: Virginia LB Charles Snowden
- No. 170: FSU DT Marvin Wilson
- No. 249: UCF TE/WR Jacob Harris
- My entire strategy entering this exercise was to make 10 picks -- Gus still made 10 picks (somehow), but I didn't want to make any trades. As a result, I opted to let the board come to me and took players using the best player available strategy. The Jaguars have enough needs to justify this, and this specific simulation showed just how much it can pay off. Teven Jenkins at No. 25 wasn't a hard pick for me, though I considered Jaelan Phillips. Jenkins is my OT3 in this year's class and can be a Pro Bowler at either guard or tackle moving forward.
- The second round of this draft was truly the definition of best player available because I took two positions that aren't exactly pressing needs. Caleb Farley is a gamble at No. 33 after an offseason back operation, but he could be this year's top-10 talent who falls out of the first round and turns out to make a team very, very happy in the second round, much like Myles Jack in 2016. He can cover in the slot and pairing him with Shaquill Griffin and CJ Henderson does ... a lot for the secondary. I reached on a running back at No. 45, but Travis Etienne is probably the only running back worth making that kind of reach for this year. I didn't consider him at No. 25, but the thought of reuniting him with Lawrence crept into my mind at No. 33.
- Hunter Long isn't an overly dynamic threat, but Urban Meyer knows his former head coach well, he can block, and he has proven to be a solid red-zone contributor as a receiver.
- Ihmir Smith-Marsette isn't the type of receiver I think the Jaguars should target (they need a shifty slot type), but his athleticism and value on special teams and as a deep threat is too good to pass up. Again, this is talent over need.
- Cam Sample is a similar player to Jihad Ward and could function as an edge defender on base downs to set the edge against the run, while also moving inside on passing downs. A bit of a reach, but he is the type of physical front seven player I think this new regime will value.
- Charles Snowden doesn't have a real place in the defense due to his thin frame, but he has massive length and moves fluidly in space. Put him at strong side linebacker or even develop him in the middle and you have a fun developmental player on your hands.
- The Jaguars need to add to their nose tackle rotation after Tyson Aluau ended up re-signing with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Marvin Wilson had dominant tape at times during his career, making him a steal.
- Hunter Long may not be a dynamic tight end, but the uber-athletic Jacob Harris helps offset that. He is a receiver/tight end tweener, but the important thing is he is one of the most athletic pass-catchers in the draft.
General Manager Gus Logue
- No. 1. QB Trevor Lawrence
- No. 33. TE Pat Freiermuth
- No. 45. C Landon Dickerson
- No. 53. DT Daviyon Nixon
- No. 65. S Andre Cisco
- No. 106. CB/S Shaun Wade
- No. 126. WR Anthony Schwartz
- No. 130. RB Chris Evans
- No. 170. EDGE Chauncey Golston
- No. 249. QB Ian Book
TRADE: Jaguars trade No. 25 to Titans, receive No. 53, No. 85, No. 126 and TENN 2022 2nd. Essentially, one 1st for two 2nds, one 3rd and one 4th.
TRADE: Jaguars trade No. 85 to Lions, receive DET 2022 3rd
TRADE: Jaguars trade No. 145 to Dolphins, receive MIA 2022 5th
- Before going into the draft, my only real strategy (other than drafting Lawrence first overall, obviously) was planning on trading down from 25 for the best possible offer. I’m unexcited by the majority of talent in that area- not that there aren’t great prospects available in the back of the first, but there aren’t many who I think are clear upgrades over players who would be available in Day 2, at least not at positions I wanted to target early.
- After fleecing the Titans by essentially getting two seconds, a third and a fourth for Jacksonville’s late first-round selection (the other two trades I made just to push current picks to the future so I could keep up with John’s picks during the podcast), I filled Jacksonville’s biggest remaining roster hole by drafting tight end Pat Freiermuth 33rd overall. It’s a bit of a reach in terms of value but I was willing to do so because it’s such a good fit and if he were taken before 45 there’s a sizeable tier drop between the remainder of tight ends prospects.
- I wanted to add to the defensive line and secondary next because I think those two positions will have terrific options in the second round, but interior offensive lineman Landon Dickerson is simply too elite of a prospect for me to pass up in the mid-second round, injury-prone or not.
- I then opted for more value in the trenches with athletic freak Daviyon Nixon before adding one of my favorite players in the draft in Andre Cisco.
- Shaun Wade was really good in 2019 and then really bad in 2020 (hashtag, analysis) but I’m buying low on him considering his proven upside, alma matter and fit on Cullen’s defense.
- I would’ve taken Ihmir Smith-Marsette if John didn’t, but for the sake of having different mocks I chose a different speedster receiver in Anthony Schwartz.
- Chris Evans is a perfect fit behind James Robinson as an explosive back with a nice route package.
- In my opinion, the Jaguars current edge group is more complete than most people seem to think, but that isn’t to say the talent there can’t be upgraded so I added a body to the room in the versatile Chauncey Golston, though he is more of an end than outside linebacker.
- I ended the draft with Ian Book, who can do exactly what Gardner Minshew does and will allow the Jaguars to trade Minshew to the highest dealer (somebody wake up Ryan Pace).