By: Eric Serna (@MrEricAlmighty)
After much thought and research I have a very strong opinion on what prospects we should draft (if available) in all seven rounds with the 2014 NFL Draft. As we approach Thursday, things are looking as clear as they can through all the smokescreens and scenarios that have been discussed in the last few months. Luckily this team has fewer holes to fill then last year, but there are still some holes in this roster that this regime needs to address in Year Two. So let’s take a look into my full Jaguars Mock Draft for every round!
Round 1 (Pick No. 3)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select Johnny Manziel, QB from Texas A&M. Now I understand this is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. And you are entitled to your opinion if you are a Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater or Derek Carr supporter at this pick. I also understand there are PLENTY of later round options in guys that I like such as A.J. McCarron, Aaron Murray and Jimmy Garoppolo. But when I compare all these players, one is clearly the better prospect in my mind: Johnny Football. I don’t think ANY of the quarterbacks this year avoid making errors and bad decisions in their rookie season in the NFL. But what I do see is that Manziel will easily be the quarterback who will be able to make the NFL throws he needs to while also making plays with his legs. I think this is the best prospect aside from Sammy Watkins and Jadeveon Clowney. Those are the only other two players I would be okay (if available) to take over Manziel. Otherwise I don’t think it is in this team’s best interest to pass on the quarterback who is the best option to compete and have a legitimate chance at beating Chad Henne for the starting QB job this season.
Round 2 (Pick No. 39)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select Kyle Van Noy, DE/OLB from BYU. Despite all the signings made on the defensive line, the Jaguars needs to shore up more playmakers who can rush the quarterback. Although Van Noy would be better suited as a linebacker, he can put his hand in the dirt and rush off the edge. He can also play across from Geno Hayes with the sudden release of Russell Allen. Not only is he a leader and scheme versatile, but he is VERY good in pass coverage and can provide defense against mismatching tight ends who seem to always give the Jaguars problems. The only knock on Van Noy is that he could be stronger, but that will build every season and with his work ethic he can become a Pro Bowl player within his first three seasons.
Round 3 (Pick No. 70)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select Davante Adams, WR from Fresno State. After a good friend of mine showed me some highlights from this guy, I watched some tape and was amazed with the amount of talent there is in this player. I would say this is a guy who will be picked lower then he should be (like Keenan Allen last year) and will have a standout rookie season. With David Caldwell not expecting Justin Blackmon in 2014 I think a wide receiver that can step in and become, at the very least, a number two receiver behind Cecil Shorts III. This is going to be pivotal in the success of the Jags offense this year.
Round 4 (Picks No. 105 & No. 114)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select Travis Swanson, Center from Arkansas and Walt Aikens, CB from Liberty. These would be two solid selections in the fourth round of the NFL Draft. A center that started all four years in college who could immediately take over for Brad Meester, and a corner who the Jaguars got a close look at in the Senior Bowl that can compete while bringing some value on the field as depth (and possibly in the form of a starter in his first two or three seasons). The only prospects I would replace Swanson or Aikens with here are Gabe Jackson or Lamarcus Joyner if one (or both) were to fall into the fourth round. Jackson who could solidify a weak guard position and Joyner is a Tyrann Mathieu kind of player who would be a steal here.
Round 5 (Picks No. 144, No. 150 & No. 159)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select Tre Boston, CB/S from North Carolina, Jon Halapio, Guard from Florida and Connor Shaw, QB from South Carolina. I do not think we will have all three of these picks because the Jaguars have enough ammo to move up sometime in Day 2 of the draft as of today, which I have a feeling will happen if a guy they want is available later then they expected. But if we do, we would grab depth in the secondary with a player who can play corner and safety. In addition to Boston, we would grab Halapio to compete and add depth to the weak guard position. And why not draft a guy like Shaw to develop? Drafting Matt Scott last year should not stop us from using a late round pick this year on a project player at the quarterback position.
Round 6 (Picks No. 179 & No. 205)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select De’Anthony Thomas, RB from Oregon and Joe Don Duncan, TE from Dixie State. Not to be repetitive, but I doubt we will have both of these picks. If we do, grabbing some depth at the running back spot while also adding more value to the return game is never a bad choice. A sleeper pick in Duncan will give someone else a shot other then Clay Harbor to knock Mercedes Lewis off the field as a starter. And I think we all know that needs to happen.
Round 7 (Pick No. 222)
The Jacksonville Jaguars select Ben Gardner, DE from Stanford. Honestly, if you are still reading this I am giving you a round of applause. I’m not sure anyone is going to care who we pick in the seventh round. But on the off chance we hit on someone, let’s get a guy who can play behind a line of veterans who can show him the ropes and maybe we will get a solid role player who can contribute on special teams.
(Takes a breath) Alright everyone, this is my Jaguars 2014 NFL Mock Draft. And if it plays out like this, not only will my wish-list almost have been made but this team would have HIGH praise around the league for having a spectacular draft. We can hope that the Jags can hit every need position at least once with a player who can push the current starter on the roster, if not overtake that player to improve this team. The suspense of the NFL Draft is almost here. I know I can’t wait to see how it plays out!
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