The Jacksonville Jaguars spent the 2014 offseason continuing to inject a new culture into their program be adding strength to key positions and taking some chances on releasing players that may or may not continue to contribute to wins. Zane Beadles, Chris Clemons, Jason Babin and Toby Gerhart headline a free agent class that ranks near the top in the AFC. Now the Jaguars will use the third pick in the upcoming draft on May 8th to continue the effort of placing a winning product on the field every Sunday. This is our seven round mock draft for the Jaguars 11 picks in this year’s draft.
Round 1 (3rd overall): Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo: The Jaguars biggest need is a consistent and top end pass rush. With Jadeveon Clowney off the board, Mack is the next best pass rusher in the draft and will immediately get pressure to the opposing quarterback. He has good size and speed. He is strong laterally in space against the pass as well as being a top end pass rusher. (Note: If Clowney is available, the Jaguars will grab the DE.)
Round 2 (39th overall): Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: Garoppolo has a quick release and can deliver the ball into tight openings. He has been moving up draft boards for a lot of teams but the Jaguars are very high on him. He is a bit undersized, has a low three-quarter release, and does not have the big arm a lot of teams are looking for. All things considered, he will be the best QB available at this pick and there is not another player on the board that would be worth the jump over Garoppolo.
Round 3 (70th overall): Carlos Hyde, RB, Ohio State: Hyde is the best running back in the draft this year and will the decreased emphasis on the position in the NFL, he falls to the top of the third round and Jacksonville. The signing of Toby Gerhart was a good move and will allow the Jaguars flexibility in the draft excecution, but he is not a premier ball carrier, which forces the Jaguars to grab an RB at some point. This pick has great value at a needed position.
Round 4 (105th overall): Kevin Norwood, WR, Alabama: Norwood is the last receiver with decent size and game proven skills in the draft. He has huge hands and a frame that is athletic now and has room for more weight. Playing in the SEC helped him hone his ball skills and he attacks the ball in the air.
Round 4 (114th overall): Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor: Richardson has the ideal size for the offensive guard position and plays mean. Richardson fills a need at guard for the Jaguars and will be the best fit for a need.
Round 5 (144th overall): Shaq Evans, WR, UCLA: Evans becomes the second WR in three rounds for the Jaguars. With uncertainty around Blackmon’s playing time due to suspension, the Jaguars need to grab a few offensive options with their multitude of picks. Evans is another big receiver with good speed and hands. He is not the best fighting for the ball, but he has the physical ability to get separation.
Round 5 (150th overall): Billy Turner, OT, NDSU: Turner is a solid pass defender with above average size and speed for his position. He run blocks well due to his above average game power. His hand placement is good in the trenches. This is another need that Jacksonville finally gets the right opportunity to address.
Round 5 (159th overall): Dontae Johnson, CB, NC State: Johnson has good size to defend against the receivers in the AFC South. He has good reactions to receivers and is fluid enough to keep up if he loses the first step.
Round 6 (179th overall): Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson: Another guard with good size, Thomas gives the Jaguars some competition for the position going into mini-camps.
Round 6 (205th overall): Marqueston Huff, S, Wyoming: Huff is a former cornerback who transitioned to safety this last season. He has great quickness and feet for his size and position. Still learning the position and is a bit undersized
Round 7 (222nd overall): George Atkinson III, RB, Notre Dame: Atkinson has some serious straight line speed and as a big back that can break tackles. He also has big play ability in the kick return game. Not the most agile runner.
Written by: Nic Amanno
Follow Nic on Twitter: @ChicoAlum
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