Throughout the offseason the Jacksonville Jaguars have made move after move. From the hiring of new head coach Urban Meyer to the free agent acquisitions under new General Manager Trent Baalke and then drafting franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence and the rest of the 2021 draft class the Jaguars have been incredibly active in bringing in new faces. And they should not be done.
With Organized Team Activities (OTAs), rookie minicamp and mandatory minicamp now passed most NFL teams the Jaguars front office can shift their focus back to the overall roster and look at what holes are still on this team they don’t have somebody already here to fill it.
So, who or at least what position should the Jaguars target? If you’re immediate thought was tight end for crying out loud you would be absolutely right. Although the Jaguars have six current tight ends on their roster they still do not have a go-to pass-catching option at the level they need to make a difference.
Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell likes the room right now and has even said it’s one of the most improved units on the team. However, in terms of what they have in the receiving part of that room they are still in need of a big upgrade.
The number one ‘F’ tight end A.K.A. the receiving tight end on the team is James O’Shaughnessy. And while he has shown promise and looked good this offseason he is not up to the level to be a difference maker a rookie quarterback needs at that position.
Luckily there are some viable trade options out there. Zach Ertz in Philadelphia has been linked to a trade to Jacksonville for months now. There was some thought to a potential trade happening for Ertz during the NFL Draft. Obviously that didn’t happen, but the option is still there if the Jaguars want to make a deal.
Ertz brings a savvy veteran presence and invaluable experience moving the chains for his team. He may not be what he was a few years ago, but he still has something left in the tank and would immediately be the best pass-catcher the Jaguars have on the team and maybe ever.
If Ertz is considered to be to old and Baalke and Meyer want a more long-term option a guy like Hayden Hurst from Atlanta fits the mold. He’s not as well thought of as Ertz, but he is coming off a career year in 2020, catching 56 passes for 571 yards and six touchdowns.
The Falcons just made Kyle Pitts the highest drafted tight end in NFL history with the fourth overall pick so he will be taking over the TE1 position for Atlanta. A local guy like Hurst would at least on paper seem like a perfect fit. And at only 27-years old-he would seemingly be an option for time to come.
Outside of tight end there isn’t really another position the Jaguars have a glaring hole that can’t be filled by somebody they already have on the roster. They have added pieces at every spot. Now the question becomes will those pieces be up to snuff or will they not? There are however a couple of positions you never seem to have too much of.
Defensive line is really the only position that comes to mind as a spot the Jaguars could still make a trade for. Along the line they currently have Taven Bryan, DaVon Hamilton, Roy Robertson-Harris, Malcom Brown, Adam Gotsis, Jay Tufele and Doug Costin.
That’s a lot of fresh faces, but adding one more would help make this unit a real strength of this team like Meyer wants it to be. So, whom could they realistically bring in to do so?
Chicago’s Akiem Hicks is a big name that was reportedly on the trading block early this offseason before those fizzled out a bit, but never say never. Hicks is on the final year of his contract and set to make $10.5 million. He wouldn’t be cheap, but adding Hicks would solidify this defensive line as a top unit on this team.
We will find out more as the offseason moves along and any potential deal may not end up being a summer trade, but more of a beginning of the season type move, just because there are so many new faces on this team.
They have to find out what works and what may not work and where to adjust roster-wise. Nonetheless areas like tight end and defensive line seem to be the two positions in need of a boost the most at this time.
Whether you agree or disagree, either way, adding guys like Ertz, Hurst and Hicks would be some great additions and only help this team.