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Mia’s Mock Draft Monday 1.0

todayApril 3, 2023


Mia O’Brien’s Mock Draft Mondays are powered each Monday in the month of April by The Yass Method for Pain-Free Movement. Say YES to YASS! 

In 2020, “Mia’s Mock Draft Monday’s” started on March 23. 

In 2021, we started on March 29. 

In 2023, we begin on April 3.

(For what it’s worth: I think that timeline being bumped up has a whole lot more to do with the Jaguars selecting at No. 24, not first overall, than it does my change in employer). 

Indeed, for the first time since 2018, Jacksonville will make its own, first-round selection outside the Top-10. Which, for the purposes of this weekly segment, makes for a whole lot more fun. Each week, we’ll run through different scenarios of which players could fall to the Jaguars, what positions they’ll target high vs. later, and what type of players Trent Baalke’s front office covets. 

Without further ado, here’s Mia’s Mock Draft Monday 1.0. 


Round 1, Pick 27

(TRADE, Bills: No. 24, No. 88 for No. 27 and No. 59)

Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma 


While the Jaguars certainly have both Cam Robinson and Walker Little in-place for the 2023 season as their bookend tackles, the loss of Jawaan Taylor still looms large. It’s no secret that the Jaguars both value a strong offensive line and that Robinson is coming off a second, season-ending knee injury in his six-year career. Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke have both hinted throughout the course of the off-season that they would be okay with trading back and acquiring more draft capital. As XL Primetime’s head coach (and former Dallas Cowboys head coach) Dave Campo has stressed: once you get to the midway point of the first-round, “there’s not a whole lot of difference between Pick No. 16 and Pick No. 32.”

So, just like he did with the linebacker room a year ago, Baalke takes a position group that is satisfactory and attempts to fortify it to the nth degree. 

Harrison played left tackle almost exclusively in his three seasons in Norman, appearing in 34 games. In 1,002 career pass blocking snaps, he allowed just 33 pressures. That included allowing just one sack in 173 pass-blocking snaps as a freshman in 2020. 

At 6’5’’, 315 lbs, he’s leaner than Jawaan Taylor (6’5’’, 328 lbs) was coming out of Florida, comparing much more to Robinson (6’6’’, 310 lbs) and Little (6’7’’, 313 lbs) when they arrived in Jacksonville. As we’ve learned through one year of offensive line coach Phil Rauscher’s system, athleticism is of high priority for Jaguars’ offensive linemen. At 34 ⅛’’ arm length, Harrison actually has longer measurables than Little (a Baalke Draft pick) and only an inch shorter than Robinson (a Baalke re-signee and favorite). Harrison also just turned 21 in February.

And yes: sources tell 1010XL that Harrison is considered a first-rounder by the Jaguars’ staff.

Is Harrison a finished product? No: but that’s exactly the luxury that’s afforded by having Robinson and Little already in the room. Just like Little before him, Harrison can serve as the Jaguars’ swing tackle for the 2023 season, before eventually moving to left tackle when Robinson’s contract comes to an end in 2025 or if he is a cap casualty in 2024. If anything: the bigger question will be if the Jaguars attempt to try him at guard, as they reportedly did with Little during practice this past season. 


Round 2, Pick 56

Keion White, EDGE, Georgia Tech


As opposed to taking a risk on another tweener, developing EDGE rusher in the first-round, the Jaguars opt to wait until the second-round, where the once-considered first-round projection falls into their lap. 

By many accounts: White is “the poster child for Baalke Built.” He earned a spot on The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman’s 2022 Freak List. At 6’5’’, 285 lbs, with 34 inch arms and 10-plus inch hands, White tops Georgia’s Nolan Smith in every one of those measurables; and he is nearly 50 lbs heavier than Iowa State’s Will McDonald (McDonald ran the 40-yard dash in 4.62, while White, at 285 lbs, ran it in 4.7). And of course, the most notable comparison: Travon Walker was 6’5’’, 272 lbs, with 35 ½ inch arms and 10 ¾ inch hands when Trent Baalke selected him No. 1 overall last season. You’re never going to have an issue of Keion White being undersized and too-light, like K’Lavon Chaisson has found himself at times the past three seasons. And, for what it’s worth: White is nearly 40 lbs heavier than Arden Key. 

.. but then there are the stats.

After beginning his college career as a tight end at Old Dominion, White eventually switched to the defensive side of the ball and transferred to Georgia Tech. His 7.5 sacks last year were a career high – and three of them came in one game, a dominant win over North Carolina. He did have 62 tackles, 19.0 TFL, and 3.5 sacks in his first full-season as a pass rusher at Old Dominion… against Conference USA talent. 

(For what it’s worth: Chaisson’s career-high coming out of LSU was 6.5 sacks in his final season, 4.5 of which came in his final four games). 

Literally replacing Jawaan Taylor and Key with the first two picks? Two developmental prospects with the first two picks? Some Jaguars fans may have flashbacks to the 2018 selections of Taven Bryan and DJ Chark, and then punch the air in the name of more “plug-and-play” talent. The reality is that the Jaguars’ Opening Day roster is largely set-in-stone already. The goal is to find talent that provides depth in 2023, eventually becoming starters down the line. 


Round 2, Pick 59 (from Bills)

Sydney Brown, S, Illinois


Here’s your plug-and-play guy – and here’s your “nickel in 2023, potential starting safety down the line.” 

There’s no denying Brown has put a ton on tape: he appeared in 48 games at Illinois over five seasons, splitting time at nickel and safety. That included time spent man-marking tight ends in the slot (hello, Travis Kelce). Brown had an eye-popping six interceptions and seven pass break-up’s in his final season in Champaign; if that’s to be labeled an outlier, consider then that, in fully-healthy seasons, he never tallied less than 55 tackles, including a career-high 88 his sophomore season. A Florida High School State Track finalist in multiple events, Brown ran a 4.7 40-yard dash, the third-fastest among safeties at the NFL Combine. His 10 ft, 10 in. broad jump was first. 

Illinois also dropped him into a subpackage linebacker role to fit the run, and that’s where much of the discourse surrounding Brown begins: the missed tackles. It’s strange to label a player “physical” while simultaneously noting the number of times ball-carriers slipped out of his grasp. 

Still, as Trent Baalke and Doug Pederson attempt to build a team of high-character, productive players, it’s hard to dismiss Brown’s fit. Team captain of the Big Ten’s top-scoring defense. Too many awards to list on the resume. Both parents were pro athletes. If the Jaguars hold off until the second-round to address the hole in their secondary, there are worse options than Brown. 


Round 4, Pick 121

Zacch Pickens, DT,  South Carolina


Could the former five-star prospect slip all the way to the fourth-round? 

While Pickens’ numbers in Columbia were never truly eye-popping – his career high in both sacks (4.0) and TFL (5.0) came his junior season – Pickens’ measurables, like many of the other selections in this week’s Mock Draft, can’t be taught. At 6’4’’, 289 lbs, he ran a 4.89 40-yard dash. His Raw Athletic Score (RAS) of 9.16 ranks in the top 11th percentile among DTs all time. And yes: Jaguars defensive line coach Brentson Buckner was among those in attendance for Pickens’ Pro Day – in addition to Pickens participating in this year’s Senior Bowl, always a feather-in-the-cap for potential, Trent Baalke selections. 

Pickens can play from the 0 to 3-tech. The questions for the Jaguars become: DaVon Hamilton is entering the final year of his rookie deal. Will he be re-signed? Will high-prized free agent Foley Fatukasi’s up-and-down 2022 campaign be attributed to injuries? What position will Roy Robertson-Harris (and for that matter, Travon Walker) truly play in 2023? The Jaguars’ defensive line will always operate by committee – and you can never have enough horses for the course that is the AFC. If the Jaguars are to select Pickens (or any DT) in the first four rounds, that will not only lend some idea to what they think of their current room: it may reveal where Mike Caldwell’s scheme is headed in Year Two. 


Round 4, Pick 127

Andrew Vorhees, OG, USC


Here’s your token, “Trent Baalke loves hurt guys” selection – but to be honest, I don’t think Vorhees will make it to the fourth round. 

Even after tearing his ACL during drills at the NFL Combine, he still put up a Combine-best 38 reps on the bench press. If there’s one prospect you can’t deny his experience, it’s Vorhees: he was USC’s starting right guard in 2017… when Sam Darnold was under-center. He’s played nearly everywhere along the offensive line, beginning his college career at right guard while also making eight career starts at left guard and four at right tackle. 

Vorhees is an athletic mauler in the run-game. Combine that with the Swiss Army Knife where-with-all, and he’d be the perfect fit for a Doug Pederson offense that continues to stress it will put its “best five offensive linemen out there on Sunday’s.” Given he tore his ACL in March, and given the Jaguars’ roster as it is currency constructed for 2023, Vorhees would have the time to effectively redshirt this upcoming season before pushing for a starting role or succeeding Brandon Scherff down-the-line. 


Round 6, Pick 185

Payne Durham, TE, Purdue


The Jaguars enter 2023 with a tight end room that currently features Evan Engram, Luke Farrell… and that’s it. Can they really afford to wait until the sixth-round to address such a gaping hole? If they do, they could get some great value in the former lacrosse standout-turned-All Big Ten performer Durham.

While Durham is 22-years old, he didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school. His stats and usage climbed each year in West Lafayette, culminating with an eight-touchdown, 56-catch senior season. Durham averaged more than 10 yards a catch in each of the past three seasons. For what it’s worth: he had just nine catches his freshman season and four went for scores. He’s also an above-average blocker (shoutout the lacrosse background).

When Doug Pederson first arrived in Jacksonville, many assumed he’d recreate a tight-end heavy offense just like he did in Philadelphia. However, outside of Evan Engram’s 73 catches, the three remaining Jaguars’ tight ends caught a grand total of 19 passes in 2023. Considering Trent Baalke (and Urban Meyer) drafted Luke Farrell when he had caught a mere 34 passes in college: Durham would be a more than serviceable pick-up and replacement for Dan Arnold. 


Round 6, Pick 202

Terrell Smith, CB, Minnesota


Smith burst onto the scene his freshman campaign in Minneapolis with 43 tackles and eight (!!) pass break-up’s, but then largely disappeared for the next three seasons in which he appeared in just 13 games. He returned to top-tier form his final season, stuffing the stats sheet with 38 tackles (4.5 TFL), five pass break-up’s, two picks and two sacks. 

So, what to make of Smith? Scouts and Draft pundits believe he’s just scratching the surface and has the potential to one day start outside in the NFL. He reportedly met with the Jaguars at the Shrine Bowl. And he’s seized the opportunity in the Draft Process, clocking in a 4.41 40-yard dash at the Combine and a 10-foot broad jump. At 6’0’’, 204 lbs, Smith would immediately be the largest cornerback in the Jaguars’ defensive back room. 

“Another corner?” Yes, I hear you, Jaguars fans. It frustrated many when the Jaguars’ spent their sixth and seventh round picks one year ago on two corners (Gregory Junior and Montaric Brown) who both barely played with the big league club in Year One. Two counterpoints: one, since Doug Pederson arrived in Jacksonville, he has stressed that if the NFL is headed towards a spread-offense across the board, defenses must counter with how they are constructed. We saw that first-hand when the Jaguars cut Malcolm Brown and released Jay Tufele last August. Second: Trent Baalke has long said that the last two rounds of the NFL Draft are about finding depth and special teamers. Smith would provide that – and then some. 


Round 6, Pick 208

DeWayne McBride, RB, UAB


Quietly, there may not be a more polarizing prospect at the running back position than the Starke-native McBride. Some fans (and pundits) will read this Mock Draft and be stunned to see him in the sixth-round and dismiss this writer as crazy. Others will acknowledge the reality that the value of running backs – especially non-pass catching running backs – continues to diminish as the years go by. 

McBride led the nation in rushing (1,713), rushing yards per game (155.7), and yards per carry (7.35), albeit against Conference USA competition. He can run behind basically any blocking scheme, while showcasing incredible balance and vision – although not a big-play threat. McBride only caught five passes in three seasons at UAB, and that’s the big reason some teams have knocked him down to a Day Three prospect. It should be noted that the Jaguars have in fact hosted McBride on a Top-30 visit. McBride has also shown flashes in pass-blocking; enjoy this rep against first-rounder Nolan Smith. 

NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein compares him to Marlon Mack, but as I write this: I can’t help but compare him to a lighter but larger James Robinson. Robinson, of course, was shipped out of town at the trade deadline one year ago following his comeback from a torn Achilles. Robinson’s exit stage-left allowed for Travis Etienne to become a 1,000-yard rusher, but, at the same time, took away a different dimension to the Jaguars’ run-game. While Doug Pederson’s club will always be a pass-first offense, if the Jaguars aren’t as confident as they hoped to be in Snoop Conner’s development, selecting a running back – McBride or someone else – even earlier than the sixth-round should not be ruled out of the realm of possibility. 

And as friend-of-the-program John Shipley of Sports Illustrated notes: fantasy football enthusiasts need to remember that the Jaguars’ offense is not as “running back pass-catching happy” as many believe it to be. 


Round 7, Pick 226

Tyson Bagent, QB, Shepherd


Sources tell 1010XL that, despite re-signing back-up quarterback C.J. Beathard and former CFL standout Nathan Rourke, the Jaguars are interested in selecting a fourth quarterback late in this year’s Draft. It’s unsurprising considering Doug Pederson’s history of consistently adding depth to his QB Room over the years. It’s surprising to hear Shepherd University is a, a school and b, on the Jaguars’ radar. 

But Bagent broke major D-II records and was invited to (and stood-out at) this year’s Senior Bowl, where he showcased his accuracy and ball security. In four years as a starter, Bagent had a nearly 70-percent completion percentage, tossing 159 touchdowns (41 TDs to just 8 interceptions his senior season) and throwing for almost 17,000 yards. In stature, Bagent compares to the other quarterbacks in the Jags’ QB Room (6’3’’, 213 lbs). 

His footwork and throwing motion need work, but, like many a Doug Pederson-project before him, Bagent will be given time to develop. 

I will also leave you on this fine Monday with this. 



Written by: Mia O'Brien

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