With the 2017 NFL Draft being this Thursday, in this installment of “Talking Teal” John Shirey, William Frost, Sam Vancini, James Plumb, and I all give our seven round mock drafts for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Each of us on the staff have our favorite prospects in this class, so understandably our mock drafts reflect those differing opinions. Tweet at our team sites Twitter @LWOS_Jaguars with whose mock draft you enjoyed the most and also share your mock drafts with us as well!
Talking Teal: Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 NFL Mock Draft
Round 1 (Pick 4)
John: Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU — Fournette absolutely helps this team more than any other player in the draft. He’s a generational talent at running back, a lot of people are simply overthinking this one, in my opinion.
William: Forrest Lamp, Guard/Tackle, Western Kentucky — Whilst Forrest Lamp might not be the sexiest pick that Dave Caldwell could make with the fourth overall pick, it is one of the safest he could make. Assuming either the San Francisco 49ers or the Chicago Bears have picked up Solomon Thomas (Stanford) before the Jaguars are on the clock, then the Jaguars should avoid drafting best player available here. As a solid interior lineman – who has the potential to become a pro-bowl tackle, Lamp can come into the porous Jacksonville offensive line and play at an elite level for a decade.
Ben: Deshaun Watson QB, Clemson — Blake Bortles has been putrid two out of the three years he has been in the NFL. The 2015 seems to be more of an anomaly than a sign of what he can become. Jacksonville has more than enough talent to finish around 8-8 with average quarterback play. Bortles hasn’t proven he can even be consistently average. Watson is a dynamic leader and knows how to win and keep his team in games unlike Bortles who has won as many games the past 3 seasons as pick-sixes he’s thrown over the same time period (11).
Sam: Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford — The Jaguars need to continue to build their defensive line especially with Doug Marrone’s recent comments about Dante Fowler Jr. Thomas is an athletic freak and would surely provide the Jags both great depth and consistency at the defensive line.
James: Dalvin Cook, RB, FSU — For me, Cook is just a better fit in Jacksonville than Leonard Fournette. His ability to play with power and speed are exactly what the Jaguars need coming out of the backfield.
Round 2 (Pick 35)
John: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana — Feeney paved the way for Tevin Coleman and Jordan Howard at Indiana and he gets to block for an even more talented back at the next level. Feeney will help solidify the left guard position (or right guard if the team elects to flip A.J. Cann to his more natural position) and will give the Jaguars a nice, young interior offensive line.
William: Dion Dawkins, OG, Temple — Jacksonville has dire needs across the offensive line, which is something that general manager Dave Caldwell decided to neglect in free agency. While fans might prefer to get big names in skill positions, using their first two picks on offensive linemen is a smart move for the Jaguars. With both Lamp and Dawkins slotting in either side of center Brandon Linder, the only question mark left up front on offense is at right tackle. Four out of five positions accounted for is a vast improvement on the offensive lines of previous years.
Ben: Derek Rivers EDGE, Youngstown State — Rivers enjoyed a dominant career against lower level competition but proved at the NFL Combine that he is an upper level athlete. At 6’4” and 248 pounds, Rivers ran a 4.61, hit 30 reps on the bench, had a vertical jump of 35 inches, and his 3-cone time was 6.94. Combine those numbers with 37.5 career sacks, and you have a great EDGE prospect at the top of the 2nd round.
Sam: Dan Feeney, OG, Indiana — The Jaguars failed to address the lack of an interior line during free agency and if it weren’t for this being one of the worst offensive line draft classes in the last 15 years, I’d probably have the Jaguars going O-Line at pick four. Feeney can be a day one starter for the Jags and would be a tremendous upgrade.
James: Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss — Since the Jaguars traded away Julius Thomas there has been an obvious need for a TE. Engram is an excellent route runner and a huge receiving threat, although not the best blocker, Engram’s upside is hard to ignore.
Round 3 (Pick 68)
John: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan — Butt had an excellent career with the Wolverines. He’s a dependable target with hands like glue. He showed promise as a blocker in college, as well. He’s currently rehabbing an ACL tear that he sustained in the Orange Bowl. We would be a late first to early second round talent if healthy.
William: Fabian Moreau, CB, UCLA — With only two outside corners on the roster, Fabian Moreau would be the perfect addition to a Jaguars secondary that has surprisingly little depth. Moreau will quickly find himself in the rotation for snaps and could has the physical traits and technique to push his way into the starting nickel position. It would be a shame to see the Jaguars miss the opportunity to take a prospect from the deepest cornerback draft in recent memory.
Ben: Taylor Moton, OG, Western Michigan — Jacksonville dips back into the third round well for a guard for the third time in the past four drafts. Moton is a mountain of a man and can dominate in the run game for the Jaguars. He played right tackle in 2016 and was a solid pass protector, a move inside to guard will only make it easier for him to block on passing downs.
Sam: Nathan Peterman, QB, Pittsburgh — For better or worse, I don’t think the Jaguars apparent interest in quarterbacks is just a smokescreen. The combination of Peterman being a hometown kid and him being a highly-rated pro-style quarterback leads me to believe this pick would make a lot of sense for Jacksonville to make.
James: DeMarcus Walker, DE, FSU — The Jaguars continue to load the defensive line with the versatility of Walker. With the size to play on the interior and the speed of an edge rusher, Walker is a great round three target.
Round 4 (Pick 110)
John: Shaquill Griffin, CB, UCF — Griffin has a lot of desirable qualities for the cornerback position. He is a big, strong corner with good ball skills that ran a sub 4.4 at the combine. He may need a little time to reach his potential, but the team is in a good position to let him sit behind Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. The young tandem are currently the only two true outside corners on the roster.
William: Marlon Mack, RB, USF — Marlon Mack could go anywhere between the late second and early fourth rounds, which makes this somewhat of an unpredictable pick. But should he be available, the Sarasota born back could play a Jay Ajayi type role in a Jacksonville offense rejuvenated by consistent offensive line play. Laying the foundations for a solid, well rounded team.
Ben: Jake Butt, TE, Michigan — Butt would be a steal at this point in the draft, and the Jaguars would have little choice but to draft him. He’s a complete tight end and would be afforded the proper time to recover from his knee injury since Mychal Rivera is good enough to hold down the position for the 2017 season.
Sam: Jordan Leggett, TE, Clemson — Without Julius Thomas, the Jaguars are still in need of another tight end. Leggett fills the mold of a consistent, hardworking player that the Jaguars are looking for as he started all 30 games for Clemson in the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
James: Brad Kaaya, QB, Miami — If Blake Bortles fails to improve this season why wait till next year to grab a quarterback. Kaaya can push Bortles to compete for the starting role and would be an able starter in a worst case scenario.
Round 5 (Pick 148)
John: Devonte’ Fields, EDGE, Louisville — Fields is a bit of a project, but he has a ton of potential. Fields was dismissed from TCU in 2014 amid allegations of domestic violence. He was ultra-productive for both the Cardinals and the Horned Frogs. He’s a little undersized, but he’s a quick twitch athlete with a nose for the ball.
William: Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama — Many people think that the Jaguars still need help at the Safety position, and it is a claim that isn’t unwarranted. Eddie Jackson is coming off a serious leg break that had him miss much of the 2016 season. However, he comes from a team with undeniable championship pedigree and could develop into a tidy player for Jacksonville. He will be able to contribute as a kick returner immediately and given more time under NFL coaching he should get snaps in the secondary.
Ben: Howard Wilson, CB, Houston — Wilson is a long corner who can be groomed to be a viable option as an outside cornerback in a couple of years. Jacksonville has no depth at outside corner outside of Ramsey and Bouye, so picking up a tall corner with ball skills like Wilson would be a great addition. Wilson brought down an interception on average every 15 times he was targeted.
Sam: Zach Banner, OT, USC — I think the Jaguars look to continue to build the offensive line in the fifth round by selecting Banner. Banner is a perfect fit for a Jaguars team that has not been capable of opening up many holes in the run game as he is able to utilize his 6’8 frame and raw strength to abuse defenders.
James: Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell — The offensive line was a major issue in Jacksonville last season, and Davenport could develop into a solid tackle for the Jaguars.
Round 6 (Pick 187)
John: Dan Skipper, OT, Arkansas — Skipper is a massive prospect, standing at 6’10”. He played left tackle in college but will transition to the right side in the NFL. He’s a superior run blocker who could eventually take over for Jermey Parnell at right tackle.
William: Marquez White, CB, FSU — A former teammate of outstanding corner Jalen Ramsey, Marquez White is another natural born winner who can add fire to this young team. With names like Prince Amukamara and Davon House leaving the EverBank this season, White is able to come in and add further depth in across the secondary.
Ben: Zach Banner, OG, USC — Once a highly-recruited prospect coming out of high school, Banner enjoyed a solid career but was never as dominant as his size indicated he could be. His 6’8” height would normally designate a future at offensive tackle, but Banner has had his issues with weight in the past, ballooning up to 385 pounds at one point. A move to guard could allow him to utilize his raw power more without having to worry about being beat on speed rushes.
Sam: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh — In what is a deep class for running backs, James Conner is the type of guy that could fall to the 6th round and be a late round gem for the Jaguars. Seeing as Peterman could be the Jaguars QB going forward, depending on the performance of Bortles, I think bringing Conner alongside Peterman only makes sense.
James: K.D. Cannon, WR, Baylor — Cannon is a tremendous athlete and his agility on the field is a serious threat. However, his slim frame is cause for concern. He could be a solid backup receiver.
Round 7 (Pick 222)
John: Treston DeCoud, CB/FS, Oregon State — DeCoud, cousin of former Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud, is another defensive back prospect with great size. He’s a physical player and a solid athlete who could offer some versatility in the defensive backfield.
William: Freddie Stevenson, FB, FSU — A second straight Seminole on day three. With a rookie running back and three new offensive linemen (including newly acquired Branden Albert), the Jaguars add one final piece to the run game. Whilst he might not have many touches of his own in college, Freddie Stevenson can pave the way for Jacksonville’s bell cow, whoever they decide that is.
Ben: Caleb Brantley, DT, Florida — Brantley was once viewed as a late first round to mid second round talent, but his recent run in with the law will knock him down most teams’ draft boards, especially since his altercation was physical in some sort of manner to a woman. More facts continue to surface from the incident, so teams will need to do their homework in the next couple of days.
Sam: Marquez White, CB, FSU — The Jaguars are still lacking in depth at CB, and what better player to take than a player who has already worked with Jalen Ramsey. White also shines on special teams, which Jacksonville hasn’t been great at over the past few years.
James: Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt — The Jaguars continue to bulk up the trenches with the addition of Holden who would fill in nicely. Although not an immediate starter, Holden could develop into a strong tackle for the Jaguars.
Round 7 (Pick 240)
John: Kyle Kalis, OG, Michigan — Kalis was a four-year starter at Michigan. He’s a strong, sturdy lineman who plays with a great deal of power and explosion. Has some technical issues to clean up, but he could develop into a solid pro guard.
William: Javancy Jones, EDGE, Jackson State — Adding further depth to their edge rushing is a must for Jacksonville. Whilst it can be argued that this should be done before the 240th pick of the draft, but Javancy Jones makes great reading for someone projected at the bottom of the draft. A four-year captain whilst at Jackson State and an incredible football IQ, Jones is another hard competitor and great locker room presence, which screams “Tom Coughlin caliber”.
Ben: Freddie Stevenson, FB, FSU — The Jaguars recently signed a fullback in the former New York Jets Tommy Bohanon, but bringing in Stevenson will allow great competition at the position during camp. Bohanon is Chris Ivory’s former fullback and will have a slight leg up on the rookie.
Sam: Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE, Northwestern — There are a number of directions the Jaguars could go with this pick, but I think this draft will be primarily spent building the trenches and this includes the Jaguars drafting Odenigbo. He is an effective speed rusher and has potential to be a useful pass rusher for this team.
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John: LWOS page: http://lastwordonprofootball.com/author/john-shirey/
William: LWOS page: http://lastwordonprofootball.com/author/willfrost/
Ben: LWOS page: http://lastwordonprofootball.com/author/benjaminthompson/
Sam: LWOS page: http://lastwordonprofootball.com/author/samuelvancini/
James: LWOS page: http://lastwordonprofootball.com/author/jamesplumb/