JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Various reports have Nick Foles signing with the Jaguars when free agency opens next week. If those reports are true more than likely Jacksonville won’t be selecting a quarterback with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Let’s take a look at which direction the Jaguars could go with their first round pick.
Tom Coughlin has stated on many occasions that he prefers to build a team from the trenches first. If Coughlin sticks to that mindset Jacksonville could choose to add an offensive or defensive lineman at No. 7.
The case for a offensive lineman:
The Jaguars figure to be set with three out of their five spots on the offensive line. Cam Robinson is expected to return to left tackle after missing most of last season with an ACL injury. Andrew Norwell and Brandon Linder should return to left guard and center respectively. The right side of the line is a different story. Right guard A.J. Cann is a free agent and although right tackle Jermey Parnell is under contract the Jaguars could cut him.
Right tackles aren’t usually valued as high as left tackles. But in this this case taking a tackle at No. 7 would give the Jaguars book end tackles to protect their investment in Foles.
The case for a defensive lineman:
Last year the Jaguars selected Taven Bryan with their first round pick. Defensive tackle wasn’t a need at the time. That move was made knowing the Jaguars planned to move on from one of their expensive defensive lineman. With Calais Campbell and Marcell Dareus slotted to return the odd man out is Malik Jackson. The Jaguars are attempting to trade the former Pro Bowler.
Defensive line may be the best overall position group in the 2019 NFL Draft. When you factor in that Campbell and Dareus are getting older. Plus Yannick Ngakoue will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Jaguars target a defensive lineman at No. 7.
The case for a wide receiver or tight end:
In Philadelphia, Foles had Nelson Agholor, Alshon Jeffrey, Golden Tate, Mike Wallace, Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert as his pass catchers. Jacksonville’s current group of play makers isn’t nearly as deep.
At the moment the Jaguars don’t have a single tight end on the roster that caught more than 10 balls a year ago. Tight ends aren’t usually taken in the top 10 but that is certainly a position of need.
If the Jaguars are going to spend $18+ million a year on Foles it would make sense to give him some weapons so they can get a return on their investment.