In 56 days, the NFL will once again gather for the second biggest night in the league's annual calendar: the NFL Draft.
Leading the teams who will be making franchise-altering decisions at the top of the draft is the Jacksonville Jaguars, who hold the draft's top overall pick for the first time in franchise history.
The Jaguars are one of the biggest storylines of this year's offseason due to their ownership of the No. 1 pick and the hiring of new head coach Urban Meyer in January, making it easy for some to forget that they still have two picks in the first round, just like in 2020.
Jacksonville holds the draft's No. 25 overall pick, which they acquired from the Los Angeles Rams in a deal for All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey in October 2019. How the Jaguars will use that second pick is truly anyone's guess considering the massive needs throughout the entire roster, but the Jaguars will have their options.
In an effort to find out who may be the most logical selections to the Jaguars in the first round based on current trajectories, we are going to look at a terrific resource called 'Grinding The Mocks' throughout the rest of the draft season.
The site, which was founded and is operated by Benjamin Robinson, collects data from mock drafts from all throughout the draft and scouting industries to determine, for a lack of a better word, the stock movement of players in the draft process.
The site has a tool that shows which players are mocked the most frequently to specific teams in specific rounds, so we decided to take a look at which players the data shows are mocked to the Jaguars at the highest rate.
So, which players are currently being mocked to the Jaguars the most in the first round? We take a look at Grinding The Mocks' data to find out.
No. 1: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
Well ... this one was always going to be obvious. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been projected as an eventual top overall pick since his true freshman year, a year in which he led Clemson to a National Championship win over Alabama. This hasn't changed since the Jaguars locked up the No. 1 overall pick in Week 16, either, as the Jaguars and Lawrence have been locked at the hip in mock drafts ever since.
In his career, Lawrence completed 66% of his pass for 10,098 yards (8.9 yards per attempt, 9.8 adjusted yards per attempt) for 90 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. He also rushed for 943 yards and 18 touchdowns. He ended his college career with a bonkers 34-2 (.944) record as a starter, which included a national title and a perfect record through his first 25 games as a starter.
Jacksonville is in dire need of more than just a quarterback as well; they need a face of the franchise who can generate positive momentum for the Jaguars throughout the entire NFL and sports world. Lawrence may not be a perfect prospect, but he is the best quarterback in this year's class and has all of the needed tools to succeed at the NFL's most important position. Plus, Urban Meyer's strong presence at his Pro Day last month can't hurt his chances to go No. 1. As a result, he is the top player mocked to the Jaguars today.
No. 2: Alabama DT Christian Barmore
Another non-surprise, Christian Barmore has been the second-most mocked player to the Jaguars in the first round according to Grinding The Mocks. Considering Lawrence is the obvious mock projection at No. 1, this means Barmore is the data's current favorite to be Jacksonville's pick at No. 25 ... if he even gets there.
As of right now, it seems increasingly unlikely that Barmore will slide to No. 25 as a result of the poor depth at defensive tackle in this year's class. Barmore is widely viewed in mock drafts as 2021's top prospect at the position, and the first defensive tackle in a class going off the board at No. 25 seems unlikely.
For example, there were two defensive tackles picked in the top-14 last season. 2019 had five defensive tackles picked before No. 25, while 2018 had two. The last class to have the first defensive tackle picked at No. 25 or later was 2017, when Malik McDowell was the first defensive tackle off the board at No. 35 overall.
In 2020, Barmore recorded 9.5 tackles for loss, 8.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles, earning first-team All-SEC honors. He was named Defensive MVP of the National Championship after recording a sack and two tackles for loss.
Jacksonville's six primary defensive tackles last season — Doug Costin, Taven Bryan, Abry Jones, DaVon Hamilton, Daniel Ekuale, and Caraun Reid — combined for just 2.5 sacks, nine tackles for loss, and 13 quarterback hits. No defensive tackle had more than one sack, and only three of the six defensive tackles recorded at least half a sack. If Barmore makes it No. 25, he makes perfect sense for a defense like the Jaguars that badly needs to improve its talent upfront.
No. 3: Texas OT Samuel Cosmi
No. 4: Michigan OL Jalen Mayfield
Interestingly enough, defensive tackle isn't the position most commonly mocked to the Jaguars after a quarterback. Instead, it is offensive tackle, though two names at the top of the list help give Barmore the individual edge in terms of frequency of projection.
The first of those tackles is Texas left tackle Samuel Cosmi. Cosmi has plenty of experience and decided to give Texas another season of his talent in 2020 as opposed to opting out. As a redshirt sophomore, he started all 13 games and was named second-team All-Big 12 Conference, so he has played at a high level throughout his career.
Cosmi is a high-floor left tackle prospect who may not have the ceiling of some of the defensive players on the board at No. 25, but he would be a logical selection for a team that very well could still be looking for a starting left tackle in April.
Michigan's Jalen Mayfield is a bit surprising to see here, but only because he doesn't have as much experience as many other offensive tackles in this year's class. He only really had one full season of college play under his belt, which came in 2019. He has experience at both left and right tackle and has his fans in the scouting community thanks to his blend of size and athleticism, but he would be a surprise pick at No. 25 since most of his limited experience is on the right side.
No. 5: TCU S Trevon Moehrig
College football's top defensive back in 2020, as evidenced by his winning of the Jim Thorpe Award, TCU safety Trevon Moehrig has seen his name all over the place in mock drafts. Some mocks have him being selected before the Jaguars pick at No. 25, while others have him falling out of the first round completely.
Moehrig's final season at TCU featured him becoming a team for each game in 2020. He finished the season with two interceptions, nine pass deflections, and two sacks in his second season as a starter.
The Jaguars need to add a playmaking presence at the safety position, and Moehrig is exactly that. He helped force 10 turnovers since entering TCU's program and was frequently around the ball and in the right positions. Combine this with his high football IQ and top-tier athleticism, and he is an interesting and popular pick for the Jaguars at No. 25.
For more data from Grinding The Mocks, click here!