2018 NFL Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars team needs, draft picks, prospects to watch
With their 2017 season over, it's time for Jaguars fans to turn their attention to the draft
Everything finally came together for the Jaguars in 2017 after six straight seasons of losing at least 11 games. Taking advantage of injuries to Andrew Luck and Deshaun Watson as well as the stumbling of the Titans, Jacksonville earned a playoff berth for the first time since 2007 and a division title for the first time since 1999. It certainly looks like bringing Tom Coughlin back into the fold was a success, but what will he do to take this team to the next level? Let's dive in.
2018 draft picks
- Round 1: Jacksonville
- Round 2: Jacksonville
- Round 3: Jacksonville
- Round 4: Jacksonville
- Round 5: None
- Round 6: Jacksonville
- Round 7: Jacksonville, Cincinnati*
The Jaguars traded a conditional draft pick to the Bills for Marcell Dareus before the trade deadline, and that ended up being a fifth-round pick after Jacksonville made the playoffs and Dareus stuck on the roster. The team could also be landing an additional seventh-round pick after sending Chris Smith to the Bengals in April.
Biggest offseason needs
- Wide receiver
- Offensive linemen
This was supposed to be the offseason that the Jaguars jettisoned Blake Bortles and found a quarterback that could serve as the final piece of a Super Bowl run, but Bortles' improved play over the second half of the season and in the playoffs could cause the team to press pause on finding a successor and ride out the final year of his contract.
Jacksonville has found some hidden gems at the receiver position, but with both Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee heading for free agency, more talent at the position is needed. The Jaguars could also clear $7 million of cap space by releasing Allen Hurns. On the offensive line, Cam Robinson has struggled at left tackle and could be in line for a position move. If he moves inside and Jermey Parnell is retained at right tackle, that leaves the Jaguars looking for a left tackle and guard this offseason.
The Jaguars have talent all over the defense, but middle linebacker Paul Posluszny is a free agent, leaving them with one hole to plug on that side of the ball. If Myles Jack moves inside, that leaves the team looking for a strongside linebacker to play on run downs. They'll also be on the lookout for a slot corner with Aaron Colvin heading to free agency.
Prospects to watch
If the Jaguars believe they should add a quarterback in the draft, chances are Tom Coughlin will be interested in a traditional pocket passer. That's Nick Stevens. He'll enter the NFL from a relatively classic "pro-style" offense that featured plenty of snaps from under center. Stevens, who threw 69 touchdowns with 27 picks during his final three years with the Rams, is around 6-foot-3 with a good arm and typically solid accuracy.
Kirk may not be incredibly flashy in any way, yet there aren't a ton of flaws in his game. He can be an underneath receiver to open up the downfield pass-catching options like Dede Westbrook and Marqise Lee.
Clearly, the Jaguars want to run the football into the ground. McGlinchey makes up for pass-blocking deficiencies with outstanding power, leverage, and lower-body power. Coughlin will love him.
At 6-foot-4 and around 250 pounds with elite-level movement ability, Edmunds represents the wave of the future at the off-ball linebacker position. Due to his size, he'll be a candidate for the strongside linebacker spot, and he thrives in space.
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