Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

Mia’s Mock Draft Monday 3.0

todayApril 16, 2023

Background

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! 

Sheesh! Didn’t realize so many of you would be outraged at my first-round selection in Mia’s Mock Draft 2.0, but here we are (as always: I do appreciate the spirited feedback). 

Perhaps this third-installment (and a once-projected Top-15 pick falling) will tickle your fancy a bit more…

 

Round 1, Pick 24

Myles Murphy, DE, Clemson

 

For what it’s worth: I originally had Murphy’s Clemson teammate Bryan Bresee here. But a) I knew that would truly spark a riot online among Jaguars fans and b) with a potential run on QBs/DBs/OTs, many mock drafts nationwide have shown the potential for Murphy to slip into the 20s. 

Much like the Sam LaPorta-scenario in last week’s Mock Draft (where a prospect is “good” at everything but not “outstanding” at one thing), Murphy is probably the most well-rounded defensive end in this year’s class. Are his stats eye-popping? No, but he had double-digit tackles-for-loss each of his three seasons at Clemson, and tallied 4.0, 8.0, and 6.5 sacks in those three seasons, respectively. He also had at least one forced fumble and one pass break-up in each of his three years in college. Are his measurables off-the-charts? In a normal world, yes. But the NFL Draft process focuses on the freak outliers. In 2023, 6’5’’, 268 lbs, and 33-plus-inch arms is good, but not other-worldly – even if it does still classify as “Trent Baalke Built.”

Like Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd from a year ago, Murphy is scheme versatile, which plays right into the plans of defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell and his multiple front defense. His motor never stops, and he can play all three downs. Murphy does need to develop his pass rush repertoire beyond a bull rush technique, as some quarterbacks were able to allude him in the pocket in college. Has Travon Walker developed beyond a basic, bull rush technique? Can the Jags afford to have two players developing at the same time in the pass rush? I think Murphy is a much more polished pass rusher than Walker was coming out of school, even if Walker was the freakier, twitchier athlete. At least one outlet sees them as similar players; if the Jaguars continue to bank-on and believe their staff can mold these athletic jewels, then Murphy would be worth the pick. 

 

Round 2, Pick 56

Joe Tippmann, OL, Wisconsin

 

After using the first pick of the third-round last year on Luke Fortner: why would the Jaguars draft a center? It’s a common refrain I’ve heard from Jaguars fans when I’ve brought up Jacksonville’s interest in the Wisconsin redshirt junior (because yes: there is significant interest). 

Athletically, Tippmann fits the mold of what both Trent Baalke and offensive line coach Phil Rauscher are looking for. Despite a sturdy, 6’6’’ 313 lb frame, Tippman is fluid and has no problems operating in space and at the second level. Like so many Badgers offensive linemen before him: he’s an absolute mauler in the run game. He has “that dog” in him that Rauscher and veteran Brandon Scherff have sought to bring out in the younger offensive linemen in Jacksonville. Like Fortner, Tippmann’s high IQ has drawn rave reviews. And yes: given his size, more than a handful of scouts believe he could move to guard. 

Tippmann did not work out at Wisconsin’s Pro Day, instead hosting his own workout that lived up to the hype. He did 30 reps on the bench and dazzled in on-field workouts. While the Jaguars believe they’re set with the combination of Fortner, Scherff, and Ben Bartch: adding Tippmann may be a luxury in 2023, but could prove critical if Bartch struggles in his return from injury and/or when Scherff eventually hangs it up down the line. Additionally, as the Walker Little-Jawaan Taylor position battle proved last summer, a little competition in a contract-year for Bartch wouldn’t be the worst thing either. 

 

Round 3, Pick 81

(TRADE, DET: No. 81 for No. 88, 2024 3rd Round)

Julius Brents, DB, K-State 

 

If, in this scenario, there’s to be a run on corners early, the Jaguars may want to pounce even earlier in order to snag one of the longest corners in this year’s crop.

A Senior Bowl stand-out, Brents checked-in at 6’2’’, 198 lbs at the NFL Combine, but played closer to 200 lbs at Kansas State. Originally beginning his college career at Iowa, Brents flourished in the Little Apple the past two seasons, especially in his final go-round. He tallied 45 tackles (3.5 TFL), four picks, and four PBUs this fall, as the Wildcats won the Big 12 Championship. 

Brents primarily excels as a zone-based corner, which immediately will have some Jaguars fans panicking about his potential to fill the gaping hole at nickel corner. He doesn’t have blazing speed, but Brents can play press-man on a vertical plane and has no issue sticking his nose in the mix in run support. Take a look at his tape against Quentin Johnston in that Big 12 title game. Brents excelled in defending the taller Johnston in the slot and short-yardage situations and struggled downfield. Brents would be a pick the Jaguars make to play nickel in 2023 and eventually succeed Rayshawn Jenkins at safety down the line – which would still mean potentially another hole at outside corner eventually, depending on what shakes out with Darious Williams. 

 

Round 4, Pick 121

Nick Hampton, EDGE, App State

 

Hey, you were worried about the Jaguars’ 35 total sacks in 2023. In this Draft Day scenario: Trent Baalke & co. answer your concerns with a second pass-rusher in four picks. 

Hampton is the Yannick Ngakoue of the 2023 class, albeit a bit older than Ngakoue was coming out of school. He’s an undersized, 3-4 outside linebacker who has struggled in run defense but has a high motor and a flurry of pass rush moves. He’d be your designated, “hired gun” pass rusher. In nine games in 2022, Hampton had 9.5 TFL, 7.0 sacks, and three forced fumbles. In 14 games in 2021, he had 17.5 TFL and 11.0 sacks. He had at least 6.5 TFL in each of his four seasons on the field at App State. The consistency is there. 

Like Murphy, Hampton has 33-plus inch arms and earned a spot on Bruce Feldman’s heralded “Freaks List.” Feldman’s opening line? “[Hampton] lives in opponents’ backfields.” That’s got to appease Jaguars fans. As Lance Zierlein of NFL.com notes: at worst, Hampton will be a back-up linebacker and core special teamer. That’s a high floor that the Jaguars couldn’t even get from Ngakoue. 

 

Round 4, Pick 127

Jordan McFadden, OT, Clemson

 

Two offensive linemen in the first five picks? That would certainly make Trevor Lawrence happy, yes?

While many scouts believe McFadden’s size (6’2’’, 303 lbs) will translate more to guard than tackle in the NFL, he has three years of starting experience at both left and right tackle for a perennial powerhouse in Clemson – not to mention a team captain, something that always earns brownie points with this Jaguars’ regime. McFadden isn’t part of that upper-echelon of offensive tackle prospects, but his physical make-up is solid: he’s athletic enough to excel at the second level, has sound footwork, and plays with a mean streak. 

A listener brought up an interesting point on the 1010XL Textline (brought to you by Lifetime Enclosures) this past week: if Cam Robinson was to go down for any stretch of the imagination in 2023, wouldn’t the Jaguars just shift Walker Little to left tackle anyways, where he played when Robinson went down in 2022? That would lessen the burning need for a pure, starting left tackle. If the Jaguars are to wait until the fourth-round to find their swing tackle, McFadden is a consistent, reliable player, even if a bit under-sized. Dare I say: a potential Tyler Shatley at offensive tackle?

 

Round 6, Pick 173

(TRADE, SF: No. 173 for no. 185, CAR 2024 6th Round)

Colby Wooden, DT, Auburn

 

Wooden, who visited with the Jaguars last week, has picked up some stream in the NFL Draft process after running a 4.79 40-yard dash at 6’4’’, 273 lbs. Thus: if things continue trending this way, it may be Wooden who is the Jaguars’ second, fourth-round pick, and an offensive tackle like McFadden in the sixth.

Regardless: Wooden was a three-year starter on the Plains, and despite playing second-fiddle to Day 2 pick Derrick Hall (and enduring coaching chaos during his four years on-campus), he was still able to modestly stuff the stat sheet. Wooden grew each of his four seasons, peaking his senior season with 11.5 TFL and 6.0 sacks. His measurables define “Baalke Built.” Wooden has nearly 34-inch long arms and 10 ⅜-inch hands. Wooden is considered to have high football character and IQ, and his motor just won’t quit – which only furthers his tremendous hands. 

A tremendous quote courtesy of Lance Zierlein of NFL.com’s write-up and one AFC area scout: “he’s a coach’s dream. Nobody is going to outwork him and football means a lot to him.” 

 

Round 6, Pick 202

Josh Whyle, TE, Cincinnati

 

A Senior Bowl participant (another Jaguars-front office fan favorite), Whyle projects as an F-tight end or H-back with starting upside at the next level. He actually was a top-ten tight end prospect coming out of high school, but opted to stay home and play for Luke Fickell. Georgia, Auburn and Tennessee all offered. Thus: Whyle is not a late-bloomer of a mid-major prospect, and is, perhaps, just more under-the-radar. 

Like several of the other prospects in this week’s Mock Draft Monday, Whyle’s production steadily grew during his four years of college ball. He had six touchdowns in both his sophomore and junior seasons, before only catching three this fall (but had a career high 32 receptions). He’s added mass and strength each of those seasons in an effort to grow as a blocker. 

If you’re looking for one of the freak-sized tight ends in this class (i.e. Zack Kuntz of Old Dominion or Darnell Washington of Georgia): at 6’6’’, 248 lbs, Whyle is a nice consolation prize. And if you’re looking for the Jaguars’ next, true in-line blocking threat that can also be a decent route runner in the slot: he’s tremendous value in the sixth-round. 

 

Round 6, Pick 208

Mohamed Ibrahim, RB, Minnesota

 

Yes: for a second week in a row, I have the Jaguars spending a Draft pick on a running back. But for a second straight week, it’s not just a running back: it’s an absolute bowling ball. 

This man ran for 20 touchdowns and 1,665 yards  in 12 games this past season. 20 touchdowns! At Minnesota! While yes, that required an equally as eye-popping 320 carries (on top of two previous 1,000-yard seasons his true freshman and junior seasons), Ibrahim is battle-tested. He’s also overcome injuries to bounce back and have those 1,000-yard seasons. That included coming back from a torn Achilles suffered in 2021. 

Ibrahim is not going to be on the same level as Travis Etienne when it comes to quick burst and agility. But he’s a tough, hard-nosed runner in between the tackles. I firmly believe investing in such a runner will elongate Etienne’s career. 

If the injury history and tread on the tires scares you, I totally get that. But unless Snoop Conner has taken a massive step forward this off-season, I believe the Jaguars still have a massive need for a bully in short-yardage and red-zone situations. And by the way: Ibrahim never fumbled in five college seasons. 

 

Round 7, Pick 226

Tim DeMorat, QB, Fordham 

 

Full transparency: this one has nothing to do with my sister being a Fordham alumna (and her boyfriend an alum of the Rams’ football team). It has much more to do with DeMorat’s measurables, his All-American 2022 season, and his ties to Jaguars assistant quarterbacks coach Andrew Breiner – the former head coach at Fordham. 

The Merritt Island-native is 6’4’’, 220 lbs. As has been stressed in this column before: you want your back-up quarterbacks to play and look like your starting quarterback. A Senior Bowl invitee, DeMorat threw for 4,894 yards and 56 (!!) touchdowns to just 10 interceptions this fall, while maintaining a 65.3% completion percentage. He isn’t a massive threat in the run-game like Trevor Lawrence, but he did add five scores with his legs. DeMorat came into a Fordham program that won just two games his freshman year in 2018 and guided it to its first playoff appearance since 2015 this fall. He would be the first quarterback drafted from Fordham University since 2010. 

Doug Pederson always likes quarterback projects, and sources have told 1010XL the Jaguars, despite re-signing C.J. Beathard and adding CFL stand-out Nathan Rourke, are looking to draft a quarterback. DeMorat fits the bill. 

Written by: Mia O'Brien


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