As the 2020 offseason progresses, JaguarReport will take Jacksonville Jaguars-related questions from social media and give our takes on the most pressing questions fans have about their team. From quarterbacks, to free agency, to the NFL Draft, we address it all.
This week we discuss which of the team's 12 draft picks surprised us the most, the offensive line, positive momentum, and more.
From @BCBCouch: Has Dave Caldwell being an actual good evaluator of wide receiver talent been overlooked, and over/under 6 TDs for Laviska Shenault?
It has. Under Caldwell, the Jaguars have found great talent at the position like Allen Robinson and DJ Chark, and then other solid contributors in Keelan Cole and Allen Hurns. Marqise Lee was a whiff, but Dede Westbrook has been about as expected for a fourth-round pick. In the second round alone, Caldwell is currently 2-for-3 in terms of success rate. Chark and Robinson are two of the best picks of his entire tenure, and that needs to be recognized.
As for Laviska Shenault, Caldwell's latest second-round investment at the position, I actually do think he will get to right around six touchdowns this season. I won't hedge though, so I go with the over here. He will likely not get a high volume of snaps due to the logjam of veteran receivers in front of him, but his physical play style, size, and versatility suggest he will have more scoring opportunities than most other players on the offense.
From @Rateus_Johanson : Given our difficulties creating lanes for Fournette, keeping our QBs protecting and creating red zone offense were you surprised that we didn't address the O-line sooner than the 4th round and more than just one draft pick & 3 UDFAs? Will we rue not taking Becton, Wirfs or Wills?
In a way, it is a bit surprising considering the unevenness of the unit's performance in 2019. What is the most surprising is the fact that the Jaguars didn't draft a single offensive tackle to compete with Cam Robinson at left tackle (Caldwell told Ben Bartch on his draft call that he'd play guard).
With that said, the Jaguars said over and over again this offseason that they were higher on their offensive line than others are. This wasn't a smokescreen either, as it is now evident that the Jaguars truly believe they have 5-6 players who can be quality starters.
I would have taken Tristan Wirfs at No. 9 overall, but I understand why the Jaguars thought cornerback was a bigger need. Whether that move pays off won't be known for years, but it will be a move worth examining down the road.
From @lemonswithak : Will Daniel Thomas push to start, or is he likely to be Harrison’s back up?
It would be rather shocking if Daniel Thomas started the season at safety for Jacksonville to start his rookie year. A fifth-round pick, he seems much more likely to serve as a core special teamer and No. 3 safety behind Ronnie Harrison and Jarrod Wilson. Caldwell said this past weekend they believe Thomas has starter traits, but it would be up to him to earn any role on the defense. The Jaguars are higher on Wilson than fans are, so expect for him to start the season but Thomas may be close on his tail if he struggles.
From @AMercer7 : Any FAs they may be interested in still?
Maybe the Jaguars could continue to look at veteran offensive line options, but it sure seems like the Jaguars roster is set for today. Maybe that could change if Andy Dalton is released by the Bengals since the Jaguars currently have no true veteran experience in their quarterback room. Free agent running back Chris Thompson makes sense as well since he is more of a space back than the current backs on Jacksonville's roster and he has a lot of experience with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden.
From @Justinlj49 : Who do you believe will be the most surprising vet to not make the final 53?
Abry Jones. Jacksonville has Al Woods and DaVon Hamilton as nose tackle options, and Jones is coming off a 2019 in which he failed to make much of a difference for the Jaguars' poor run defense. Aside from Woods and Hamilton, the Jaguars could also potentially play Rodney Gunter in the role. Jones is the longest-tenured Jaguar on the roster, but he also carries no dead cap and the Jaguars would save $4 million if they released him. Jones has been with the Jaguars for quite some time and is a respected member of the locker room, but he could fall victim to a numbers game.
From @codyr_h2o : How do you see Shenault being used considering his skill set? H-back role similar to Deebo Samuel?
As long as Shenault doesn't have any issues with a big workload, both physically and mentally, I see him being used all over the offense. Doug Marrone has already said they envision him as a receiver, possible wildcat quarterback, H-back, and potentially even as a runner out of the backfield. Like Samuel, expect for Shenault to be put into good positions to find space in the defense and take advance of his alignments.
From @duvalbill : Is it fair to say this draft raised the floor more than it raised the ceiling? And assuming that’s the case, would that not indicate that this is a multi-year plan?
I am not so sure that is the case. A lot of the players Jacksonville took are high-ceiling players who aren't close to being finished products. Players like K'Lavon Chaisson, Shenault, Ben Bartch, and even C.J. Henderson to a degree will all have an adjustment period. The Jaguars added a lot of safe players on day three that should improve the depth and special teams, thereby raising the floor, but this very much seemed like a class in which the Jaguars took to build upon their foundation past 2020.
From @IamRandyMagnum : Since we didn’t trade Yannick during the draft... what’s next for him?
Once the 2020 first-round ended, it became obvious the Jaguars wouldn't be trading Yannick Ngakoue anytime soon. Their asking price was a 2020 first-round pick, and since a 2021 pick doesn't help them at all in the short-term (it would arguably make the team worse instead), it is hard to see the Jaguars trading him unless it is a player-for-player type deal or a team sends a massive haul of picks for him. Ngakoue's only option for a team in 2020 may genuinely be Jacksonville.
With that in mind, it really wouldn't be that surprising if Ngakoue would rather choose not to play in 2020 instead of suiting up for the Jaguars. He is dug in deep and seems thoroughly finished with the organization.
From @sakenny99: Any position that will need to be addressed before the start of the season?
Not really. The Jaguars appear to have their starters at every position, or at least there are no real upgrades left on the open market, unless you consider Cam Newton. At this point, it would be a shock to see the Jaguars sign even him.
From @PeteHennz: With this being a very young and inexperienced team, and with only 2 returning captains. Who do you think will be the captains this season?
I will go with Brandon Linder, Myles Jack, Gardner Minshew II, and Josh Lambo. Jack had his issues last year but he is seen as a leader on the team, and it would be a big move by the Jaguars to show faith in Minshew by naming him a leader. He is already seen as a leader in the locker room, so it wouldn't be just for so, either.