Pre-Combine Jacksonville Jaguars Seven Round Mock Draft

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have been looking forward to the 2017 NFL Draft for quite some time now. Another year of irrelevance sees the Jaguars picking within the top five for the sixth time in as many years, although another solid draft and free agency period may see this year be the final stint of the seemingly ever-lasting rebuild that the Jacksonville Jaguars’ fan base has been subjected too.

This draft could elevate the roster to perennial contender status and therefore it’s vital that General Manager Dave Caldwell and newly appointed Vice President of Footballing Operations Tom Coughlin get this one right. So whilst they begin their preparations for the Scouting Combine and piecing together their big board, I’m going to do my best to predict the Jacksonville Jaguars Rookie Class of 2017.

Pre-Combine Jacksonville Jaguars Seven Round Mock Draft

Round 1, Pick 4

Leonard Fournette: Running Back, LSU

Last season, the Jaguars defense kept their opposition under 20 points 11 times (without counting defensive and special teams scores) and yet only one of those games was put into the win column for Jacksonville. Either LSU Tiger are options here, but this offense desperately needs improvement; which is why I think Caldwell will take the ‘sexiest’ option with his first pick and wait to add defensive talent in the mid to late rounds.

Fournette is certainly worth a top-five selection, the 6″1, 235 lbs back has the tools to take the pressure off of Blake Bortles by spear-heading this lacklustre Jacksonville offense – even behind a below average offensive line. The big back will be able to make the Jaguars attack a lot less one-dimensional, allowing Blake to take time in fixing his mechanics.

Fournette is certainly worthy of a top-five selection, the 6″1, 235 lbs back has the tools to spearhead what has so far been an incredibly pass-heavy Jacksonville offense. A heavier reliance on the run game should give Blake Bortles time to work on his mechanics – whilst also taking the pressure of some of Jaguars talented yet under-performing wide receivers, as a result the Jaguars should see better quarterback play and a much more well rounded offense with young, top tier running back on their roster.

Other Potential Picks:

Jamal Adams, Safety, LSU

Solomon Thomas, EDGE, Stanford

Round 2, Pick 35

Budda Baker: Safety, Washington 

Strong safety is one of the deepest positions in this years’ free agency; with names like Eric Berry and Tony Jefferson poised to sign large contracts – the Jaguars would do well to pick up either man as an upgrade on long time defensive back Johnathan Cyprien. With the jury still being out on Tashaun Gipson, enter, Washington safety Budda Baker.

Whilst he may be slightly undersized, Baker plays with enough heart to make scouts forget about his 5″10 sub 200 lbs frame. As both an above average pass defender and someone more than capable of elevating the Jaguars run defense to the next level, Baker has the athleticism, hit power and determination to become a mainstay in what is already a very talented defensive unit.

He may not win you every one on one catch against big bodied receivers (although he did have a pair of interceptions in 2016), but if anyone tries to run his way – whether in the open field or the backfield, they’ll remember to avoid his numbers for the rest of the game. This punishing aspect of his game makes him a perfect Tom Coughlin type defender.

Other Potential Picks:

Charles Harris, EDGE, Missouri

David Njoku, Tight End, Miami 

Round 3, Pick 68

DeMarcus Walker, EDGE, Florida State

This has nothing to do with the fact that he’s a Jacksonville native playing his football at FSU, this kid is no joke. With such a deep pass-rushing class Walker may well see himself slide into the third, if that is the case then this pick will be as easy to make as the first two Jacksonville selections in the 2016 Draft.

A monstrous 6″3, 270 plus pound wrecking ball that has registered 25 sacks in his last two years, it is clear that Walker is capable of bullying offensive linemen week in, week out. A natural leader who jumps right off the screen whenever you see his tape, it makes perfect sense for the Jaguars to pick up consecutive rookie of the year pass rusher at the top of the third round.

Other Potential Picks:

Pat Elflein, Centre/Guard, Ohio State

Eddie Jackson, Safety, Alabama

Round 4

Ethan Poicic, Centre/Guard, LSU

A former high school offensive tackle with the tools and athleticism to feature anywhere across the line, Poicic is the perfect signing for a Jacksonville Jaguars side with holes all across their offensive front.

Most likely to find his place in the team alongside AJ Cann at guard, the LSU Tiger has established himself as a top interior prospect for 2017. Whilst he may not project to an NFL starter on opening weekend, he can provide some much needed competition for former first-rounder Luke Joeckel.

Other Potential Picks:

Marlon Mack, Running Back, USF

Jake Butt, Tight End, Michigan

Round 5

Julie’n Davenport, Offensive Tackle, Bucknell

Long, powerful and reasonably athletic. Despite the fact that Davenport is a projected late round pick he is an ideal pick up for the Jaguars as he is very raw in technique, but has the intangibles to project as a future impact player with the right coaching. He has managed to dominate lower opposition in college, and will hope to impress and play a part in plugging this porous offensive line.

Other Potential Picks:

Fred Ross, Wide Receiver, Mississippi State

Jaleel Johnson, Defensive Line, Iowa

Round 6

Freddie Stevenson, Full Back, Florida State

With a new running back, and hopefully some reinforcements on the offensive line; it is time that the Jaguars really start to implement a running game. The perfect way to establish this other dimension on offense is with a productive full back. This is Freddie Stevenson through and through.

Helping open up holes or running through them himself, Stevenson has been able to elevate Dalvin Cook‘s production throughout their Florida State careers. Stevenson has shown himself to be a good blitz protector and an effective pass catching option, stacking the offense in order to help Bortles must be the Jaguars number one priority. This pick is precisely how to do that.

Other Potential Picks:

Damonte Kazee, Cornerback, San Diego State

Johnny Caspers, Guard, Stanford

Round 7

Ricky Seals-Jones, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M

Seals-Jones isn’t the quickest in the open field, but he is a big body who is able to consistently get himself open. Whilst he may not be one of the higher ranked wideouts on teams’ boards, his huge frame makes him an immediate red zone threat is enough to make him an asset to Nathaniel Hackett‘s offense – and he will certainly provide a get out of jail card to Bortles.

Other Potential Picks:

Josh Dobbs, Quarterback, Tennessee

Chad Kelly, Quarterback, Ole Miss