JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars hold the 29th pick in the NFL Draft, which beings Thursday.
The team has a number of needs, although Dave Caldwell and Tom Coughlin both said that the team will take the best player available. If the Jaguars have a "reasonable" wish list, here are the three players that I think they would like to have fall to them at No. 29.
Hayden Hurst, tight end, South Carolina
Hurst could very well be available at the 29th pick. There are three top tight ends, and there could conceivably be a run on the position. While Hurst fits somewhere in the 20s or early 30s, the Jaguars selection of him would bring added storylines, since Hurst is a Jacksonville native and Bolles alum. He is also 25 years old, since he played professional baseball before turning to college football. He is more mature than most of the other first-round picks. Some scouts may hold his age against him, but he's the type of rookie who could help right away on a team that is looking to win now.
D.J. Moore, wide receiver, Maryland
As the fleetest of the top wide receiver prospects, Moore is likely to go before the Jaguars pick arrives. The Cowboys at 19, the Bills at 22, the Panthers at 24 and the Titans at 25 could all use another wide receiver. If Moore does last, however, the Jaguars could add more young speed to a receiving corps that includes Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole. Rookie receivers, however, rarely making a major impact in their first seasons in the NFL.
Calvin Ridley, wide receiver, Alabama
Even with the caveat about rookie receivers, players from Alabama seem to handle the transition to the NFL better than most. The Jaguars saw that firsthand last year with Cam Robinson. It's possible that Ridley could be the first receiver off the board. After a 1,000-yard season as a freshman, he was sometimes lost in the Alabama offense the last two seasons. But when the Crimson Tide needed a big play, Ridley was the guy they turned to.