JACKSONVILLE – The options are starting to feel wide open.
That fits with the Jaguars’ annual offseason strategy – to do enough during free agency that they can draft without regard to need. So far, so good.
Having filled their No. 1 offseason need – quarterback – with the mid-March signing of unrestricted free agent Nick Foles, and continuing to address starters and depth around the roster, the Jaguars could enter the 2019 NFL Draft later this month in position to take the best available player.
What will that mean for the Jaguars at No. 7 overall?
That’s the question in this second jaguars.com 2019 mock draft, which because of Foles’ signing looks decidedly different than version 1.0. That was posted on January 11, and the selection for the Jaguars at No. 7 was Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins – logical considering the terrain at the time.
Fast forward nearly three months. Free agency has changed the landscape of the draft’s Top 10 – as has the meteoric rise of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, who many reports suggest could go No. 1 overall to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Jaguars’ most-pressing needs now appear to be tight end and offensive line. But those needs aren’t so extreme that the Jaguars must use their first-round selection on either position. That leaves many possibilities.
Many prominent analysts have linked the Jaguars to Florida offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor at No. 7, but the team has 2018 fourth-round selection Will Richardson and 2019 UFA-signing Cedric Ogbuehi at the position. Tight end also is a possibility, with Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson mocked to the Jaguars by many analysts. Both Taylor and Hockenson make sense at No. 7.
But for the purposes of this mock we’ll go away from those two positions, leaving Taylor and Hockenson on the board and selecting defensive tackle Quinnen Williams of Alabama.
The Jaguars selecting Williams would speak to a few issues. One: this draft’s depth, because Williams is considered by many a can’t-miss prospect worthy of the No. 1 overall selection. Two: the Jaguars’ pending salary-cap situation; with defensive tackle Marcell Dareus due to have a high cap figure in 2020, drafting an elite player at the position makes sense. Three: the tight-end depth in this draft; there are enough quality tight ends available that passing on one at No. 7 makes sense.
Finally, the Williams selection in this mock speaks to the draft’s top three edge rushers – Nick Bosa of Ohio State, Josh Allen of Kentucky and perhaps Montez Sweat of Mississippi State – being off the board. If one of those players slips to No. 7, they could be strong possibilities.
Williams in this spot wouldn’t fill a glaring immediate need, but he very well could be a value too good to pass if available at No. 7.
Here’s a look at senior writer John Oehser’s second 2019 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Arizona Cardinals: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
2. San Francisco 49ers: Nick Bosa, edge, Ohio State
3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, edge, Kentucky
4. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, edge, Mississippi State
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, Louisiana State
6. New York Giants: Rashan Gary, DE, Michigan
7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
8. Detroit Lions: Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, RT, Florida
10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
11. Cincinnati Bengals: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
12. Green Bay Packers: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa
13. Miami Dolphins: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
14. Atlanta Falcons: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
15. Washington Redskins: D.K. Metcalf, WR, Mississippi
16. Carolina Panthers: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland): Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
18. Minnesota Vikings: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
19. Tennessee Titans: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
21. Seattle Seahawks: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida St.
22. Baltimore Ravens: Garrett Bradbury, C, N.C. State
23. Houston Texans: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago): Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
25. Philadelphia Eagles: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama
26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DT, Clemson
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas): Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
28.Los Angeles Chargers: Cody Ford, G, Oklahoma
29.Kansas City Chiefs: Jaylon Ferguson, edge, Louisiana Tech
30.Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans): A.J. Brown, WR, Mississippi
31.Los Angeles Rams: Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College
32.New England Patriots: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa St.