Big question for Jags: Who will be available at 24?

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays the text "THE PICK IS IN" for the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium on April 26, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) (Tim Warner, 2018 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With less than two weeks to go until the start of the NFL Draft, there are still loads of questions about who the Jaguars will select with the 24th pick of the first round. One of the biggest questions is who will be there when the Jaguars are on the clock?

I ran three mock drafts this week using three different online mock draft machines. Let’s take a look at the questions that could face the Jags’ brass in these scenarios. First, the Pro Football Network mock draft machine produced a first round that left the following player still on the board at No. 24 (listed by the ranking of the site used):

  • Bijan Robinson RB Texas
  • Lukas Van Ness EDGE Iowa
  • Cam Smith CB South Carolina
  • Isaiah Foskey EDGE Notre Dame
  • Dalton Kincaid TE Utah
  • Michael Mayer TE Notre Dame
  • Nolan Smith EDGE Georgia
  • Darnell Wright OT Tennessee
  • Anton Harrison OT Oklahoma

In this scenario, would the Jaguars be tempted to take Robinson, rated by some as one of the top 10 talents in the draft? They already have Travie Etienne but if Robinson is the best running back prospect since Saquon Barkley, it would be hard to pass up this late in the first round. That being said, drafting running backs is a dicey proposition. Even if they perform, teams must make a tough decision about their fifth-year option and a second contract with no guarantee that the legs will last. Van Ness, Foskey and Nolan Smith would all help in an area the Jaguars need to improve upon, the pass rush. Edge rushers have been a common theme among the Jaguars’ in-house visits. Cam Smith is also an intriguing option. He’s projected as a top-15 pick by some. If he’s available, the Jaguars might find it hard to pass him up.

If this scenario plays out, I think the Jaguars would take Smith, selecting a Georgia defensive player for the third straight draft (Tyson Campbell and Travon Walker).

Next up, it’s the mock draft machine from Pro Football Focus. They left the Jaguars with these players (among others) to choose from:

  • Brian Branch S Alabama
  • Bryan Bresee DI Clemson
  • Anton Harrison T Oklahoma
  • Broderick Jones T Georgia
  • Bijan Robinson RB Texas
  • Michael Mayer TE Notre Dame
  • Zay Flowers WR Boston College

Again, Robinson is available, as are some of the intriguing offensive tackles who I’ve written about. Branch could potentially be a multi-use defensive back who has worked in the nickel for the Crimson Tide. Mayer is considered an inline tight end who can get down the field, but is not projected to be as dynamic as EvanEngram, so if the Jaguars are thinking to the future and concerned that Engram will not sign a long-term deal, Mayer may not be the best fit.

If this scenario plays out, I think the Jaguars’ pick would be Branch, with the expectation that he would be used in the nickel and eventually moved to safety once Rayshawn Jenkins’ time in Jacksonville ends.

Finally, a mock draft machine from NFL Mock Draft Database left an intriguing group of eight players to choose from.

  • Bijan Robinson RB Texas
  • Brian Branch S Alabama
  • Michael Mayer TE Notre Dame
  • Dalton Kincaid TE Utah
  • Bryan Bresee DL Clemson
  • O’Cyrus Torrence G Florida
  • Darnell Washington TE Georgia
  • Will McDonald IV EDGE Iowa St.

All three services rank Robinson highly, but all three have him sliding toward the end of the first round, because of the devaluation of running backs in the NFL these days. The tight ends, Kincaid, Mayer and Washington are all possibilities. I think Kincaid fits best in the Jaguars’ scheme, but it depends on how the Jaguars scouts grade him. Torrence is the other interesting name here. He could plug in at left guard and help to solidify the Jaguars’ offensive line allowing Tyler Shatley to serve as a backup at multiple positions.

If this scenario plays out, I think the Jaguars would have to think long and hard about Kincaid and decide if he, Brnach or Torrence could make the biggest immediate impact.