After shocking the NFL in 2017, the Jaguars proved to be fool’s gold in 2018. Now it appears Jaguar fans will have to sit through yet another rebuild.
The Jaguars told everyone they were ready last season. Ready to finally de-throne the New England Patriots. Ready to become the class of the AFC with Blake Bortles in charge on the field.
They were wrong.
State Of The Team
This is a hard one to predict, but it would seem the Jacksonville Jaguars are rebuilding … again. After a 10-6 campaign in 2017 and shocking the NFL into thinking the Jacksonville Jaguars were poised to overtake New England as the best team in the league, the team had a disastrous 5-11 season.
Out with Blake Bortles and in with new free agent signal-caller Nick Foles, who said Jacksonville was his choice to play since the beginning. Can this team — given it has released high-priced veterans and still has glaring needs across the offense — rebuild into a contender in one season? It might be the best story of the 2019 season if Foles leads this bunch to the playoffs once again.
Total Draft Picks
The Jaguars have seven total draft picks in 2019, including one via trade with the Rams, and one via trade with the Ravens. The Jaguars fifth-round pick was traded to Cleveland for Carlos Hyde.
- Round 1 (No. 7 overall)
- Round 2 (No. 38 overall)
- Round 3 (No. 69 overall)
- Round 3 (No. 98 overall, via Rams)
- Round 4 (No. 109 overall)
- Round 6 (No. 178 overall)
- Round 6 (No. 236 overall, via Ravens)
Top 3 Draft Needs
Tight End: Jaguars GM David Caldwell said it himself when he met with the media following the announcement of Nick Foles signing with Jacksonville – tight end is a position the team is looking to improve. With Ben Koyack the only TE on the roster before the franchise signed Geoff Swaim from Dallas, it still remains a major focus of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Offensive Line: Four of the five Week 1 starters from last season remain on the roster, but injuries plagued this unit all season. There were still issues across the line even before the team was hindered with players going down to injuries. The 7th pick might be the place the Jaguars can find another right tackle. There are eight players currently on the roster in the rotation, but the Jaguars need solid depth at every line spot.
Wide Receiver/Running Back: I cannot say strongly enough how important team speed is with this offense. Dede Westbrook was the lone star last season. The Jaguars led the NFL in dropped passed and need more reliable pass catchers. The team also needs a compliment in the running game to Leonard Fournette. If the Jaguars, who Caldwell also said he was pleased with the group of wide receivers on the roster, find a pass catcher with speed, this offense could approach the one implemented in 2017 that scored over 24 points a contest.
Top 3 Draft Targets
The best thing about Taylor is his versatility. He can play right and left tackle and move over to guard as well. The one thing the Jaguars need is more players who can play multiple positions with possible new blocking schemes for the offense. Taylor was a beast at the NFL Combine and has moved into the position as the best offensive lineman in this draft.
The Jaguars could take a chance on picking a tight end early in the draft, and Hockenson is considered the best of a deep draft group at that position. He and fellow Hawkeye Noah Fant could be drafted in the top 20. The Jaguars have a desperate need for a playmaking tight end and one who can block in the run game. Hockenson is fluid in his movement without the ball but may need to work on his blocking skills.
Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)
Make no mistake, Tom Coughlin is calling the shots here in Jacksonville. The man who was brought in at this time last season to run the show as the executive vice president of football operations will be the deciding factor of who the team drafts this year.
Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot
Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking.
Best Pick: Tony Boselli– Safety – Round 1 (Pick No. 2) in 1995 NFL Draft
The best of all time around this draft slot was Tony Boselli. He is forever linked as the team’s first pick and building block of the franchise. If the Jaguars can get that kind of production out of the No. 7 pick, they will have a player headed to the Hall of Fame.
Worst Pick: Derrick Harvey – Defensive End – Round 1 (Pick No. 8) in 2008 NFL Draft
The worst pick of all time is Derrick Harvey and the entire 2008 Draft class. The Jags traded picks to move up for Harvey and Quentin Groves. Neither player impacted the team and the picks set them back in terms of progress.