JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The NFL combine concludes Monday. With the Jaguars holding the 9th and 20th picks in the first round, the week in Indianapolis is even more crucial to the Jaguars’ offseason.
Following the combine, here are the seven players the Jaguars are most likely to select at 9 and five to watch for at 20.
Derrick Brown-defensive tackle, Auburn
Brown was a game-wrecker at Auburn. At 6-foot-5, 326 pounds, he is an interior tackle who could replace Marcell Dareus on the Jaguars defensive line. At the combine he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.16 seconds and put up 28 reps on the bench press. He was tied for the team lead in tackles at Auburn, a remarkable stat for a defensive tackle and while he isn’t as polished as a pass rusher, he looks NFL ready as a run-stopper.
Isaiah Simmons-linebacker, Clemson
Simmons was the star of the combine workouts. At 6-foot-4, 238 pounds, the versatile defender ran the 40-yard dash in an astounding 4.39 seconds and posted a 39-inch vertical. If the Jaguars are looking for an ultra-athletic and productive linebacker to pair with Myles Jack, Simmons would be a steal at the ninth pick. At Clemson, he won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and was the ACC defensive player of the year. He also played safety for the Tigers.
Mekhi Becton-offensive line, Louisville
The huge (6-foot-7, 364 pounds) tackle was the biggest player at the combine, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have athletic ability. Becton ran his 40-yard dash in 5.10 seconds and bench pressed 225 pounds 23 times. He can also dunk a basketball. If the Jaguars want to improve their offensive line, Becton could be the pick at No. 9. The question with Becton may be where to play him. He was the left tackle at Louisville, but could also be used at right tackle, although the Jaguars were pleased with Jawaan Taylor’s rookie season at that position. NFL teams tend to be cautious with players of Becton’s weight, so taking him with the ninth pick maybe a little early.
Jedrick Wills-offensive tackle, Alabama
Another offensive line option for the Jaguars, Wills is not the prototypical size for a tackle at 6-foot-4, but he is very athletic. At the combine, he ran the 40-yard dash in 5.05 and showed off a vertical leap of 34.5 inches, impressive for a 312 pounder. He’s probably more of a right tackle in the NFL, but could also project to guard.
Jerry Jeudy-wide receiver, Alabama
Would the Jaguars take a wide receiver in the top-10? If so, Jeudy would be the guy. While his college teammate Henry Ruggs is the faster of the two receivers (running a 4.37 in the 40 at the combine), Jeudy is no slouch, running 4.45. He’s also one of the more polished receivers to come out of the college in the past several years, following in the footsteps of other Crimson Tide wide outs like Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper and Julio Jones. Jeudy won the Biletnikoff Award as a sophomore and finished his college career with 159 catches for 2,742 yards and 26 touchdowns. Oklahoma wide receiver Ceedee Lamb could also slot in at this pick, although most mock drafts have Lamb going in the teens (maybe lasting to the Jaguars pick at 20?).
Andrew Thomas-offensive tackle, Georgia
There seems to be as much of a varied opinion on where Andrew Thomas should be taken as any player in the first round. The 6-foot-5, 315 pounder wasn’t quite as powerful as some expected at the combine, posting 21 reps on the bench press. His 5.22 40-yard dash is nothing to worry about (he plays left tackle afterall). Thomas has been a top player at every level. He was one of the top-50 recruits coming out of high school. He was a Freshman All-American at Georgia, then moved from right tackle to left tackle where he earned all conference honors. As a junior he was a first-team All-American
Javon Kinlaw-defensive tackle, South Carolina
Anytime a defensive lineman is wearing a single-digit number, you had better take a close look at him. At 6-foot 5, 324 pounds, Kinlaw certainly looks the part. Some scouts haven’t been as impressed with his play on the field as his physique. That being said, he has overcome a lot. Often homeless while growing up, he attended junior college, saying he went, “because I had somewhere to sleep and free food to eat.” After arriving in Columbia from junior college he was the co-defensive player of the year for South Carolina as a junior in 2018 and was a first-team All-American as a senior after picking up six sacks in 12 starts for the Gamecocks. Kinlaw did not workout at the combine, but his measurables, including a wingspan of 83 ¾ inches will impress those who like the measurables. He could be a top 10 pick. But he could also slide to the Jaguars selection at 20, potentially.