JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars hold the seventh pick in the first round of this year’s NFL Draft. While much of the talk surrounding the Jaguars' needs have centered on the quarterback position, there is a better chance the Jaguars will draft a player at a different position.
Here are five non-quarterback prospects the Jaguars could consider with their first-round pick:
Williams is the top-rated cornerback in the draft. “But the Jaguars don’t need a cornerback, they have Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye,” you say. True, they don’t NEED a corner. But consider this option. Drafting Williams would potentially allow the Jaguars to move Ramsey to free safety, where he could impact more plays. At corner, teams can more easily avoid Ramsey. It would be a gamble. Why move a dominant player from a premium position? The upside would be for the Jaguars to free up salary cap room by saying goodbye to Tashaun Gipson and pairing Ramsey with Ronnie Harrison at safety. This move would also create a potentially contentious showdown if the Jaguars would franchise Ramsey down the road. The franchise tag costs more for a cornerback than it does for a safety. In 2018, a franchise tagged cornerback would make $14,975,000 and a franchise tagged safety would make $11,287,000. Jalen won’t like that.
Jawaan Taylor-offensive tackle-Florida
The Jaguars are unsettled on the right side of the offensive line. Jeremy Parnell has one more year remaining on his contract, but cutting him would not be a big salary cap hit. His age, 32, and recent injury concerns could make the decision for the team. Taylor has been rising up draft boards after his junior season at Florida. At 6 foot 5 inches, 328 pounds, Taylor flourished in Dan Mullen’s offense and is almost certain to be a mid-first round pick. A good performance in his workouts and at the combine could push him up higher on draft boards.
Marquise Brown-wide receiver-Oklahoma
It’s clear the Jaguars need to upgrade the wide receiver position. Brown would join fellow Sooner Dede Westbrook on the Jaguars receiver corps. Brown is a very fast deep-threat receiver who is a bit small, but can be a game-breaker. His size—he’s listed at 170 pounds- may be a negative for him, but his ability to take the top off a defense will find him being drafted somewhere in the top half of the first round. As a junior, Brown caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns, but was injured during the Big 12 championship game, limiting his play in the College Football Playoff semi-finals where he did not catch a pass against Alabama.
DK Metcalf-wide receiver-Ole Miss
The Jaguars have been lacking a big target wide receiver. They drafted DJ Chark last year, but he is still a question mark. Dede Westbrook took a step forward in 2018 and Marqise Lee is expected to return from his knee surgery. Metcalf is the kind of red zone and third down threat that a quarterback can lean on. At 6 foot 4 inches, 230 pounds, Metcalf would be a complement to the smaller, speedy receivers on the Jaguars roster. Scouts are split on Metcalf. Some have him as a top 20 pick, others think he's a third day prospect.
Jonah Williams-offensive tackle-Alabama
While Williams played both left tackle and right tackle at Alabama, where he was a three-year starter. Scouts are impressed with his technique and believe he can play multiple positions on the offensive line and could project to guard. He’s not a huge offensive lineman, listed at 6 foot 5 inches, 301 pounds, but most observers have him listed as the top offensive lineman in the draft. As discussed above with Taylor, the Jaguars seem poised to move on from Jeremy Parnell and get younger at the position. Williams would certainly fit the role.