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Jaguars Media Crew Gives Their Final Analysis on the Jaguars' 2024 NFL Draft

0506 2024 final analysis

JACKSONVILLE – Jaguars "experts" – Frank Frangie, Kainani Stevens, Brent Martineau, John Oehser and J.P. Shadrick – analyze the Jaguars and the 2024 NFL Draft:

Kainani Stevens, Team Reporter/Producer

  • Overall impression: Size and speed. Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke said at the end of last season that the team needed to get, "bigger, stronger and more physical." The Jaguars did just that in the 2024 NFL Draft by adding to the trenches on both sides of the ball. The speed comes in with the two cornerback prospects – Jarrian Jones of Florida State (Round 3) and De'Antre Smith of Mississippi (Round 5) that will likely battle it out in camp for playing time. I think the draft class gives good overall depth to the roster and a lot of upside on the mid-round picks.
  • Breaking down the first round: The Jaguars were able to trade back in the first round and still get their target in wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. at No. 17 overall. Baalke secured some extra draft capital while also giving the franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence another weapon. I was hoping the team would address wide receiver depth after the loss of Calvin Ridley in free agency. I'm excited to see how Thomas fits into the system.
  • What else I liked: Cam Little out of Arkansas became the youngest kicker to ever drafted into the NFL when the Jags selected him in the sixth round. His confidence gained from playing in the SEC will serve him well in a high-pressure NFL role. I look forward to the camp battle between Little and Riley Patterson.

Brent Martineau, Action Sports Jax Sports Director

  • Overall impression: The 2024 NFL Draft was fascinating from a Jaguars perspective going into it and might leave more intrigue now that it is over. I'm a big fan of the Thomas selection to add another piece around Lawrence and I think there's tremendous upside in the former Louisiana State wide receiver. The Jags obviously selected high upside players on Friday in defensive tackle Maason Smith (Round 2) and Jones, but it's hard to buy both prospects completely right now. I think both picks are logical, but it's hard to predict how much impact they will make in 2024. I think Saturday's draft picks showcase how much work the Jags have already done with this roster through player acquisition the last few years. I think Little kicking and Keilan Robinson (Round 5) in the return game have the best chance for early impact.
  • Breaking down the first round: Brian Thomas is a big win because it helps the team form an offensive identity around Lawrence. With wide receiver Gabe Davis signed in free agency, the Jaguars have a chance to be as explosive offensively as we've seen around here this century. I think Thomas will help the Jags force defenses into covering the entire football field and that should only benefit players such as wide receiver Christian Kirk, tight end Evan Engram – and obviously Lawrence.
  • What else I liked: It's easy to look at this draft as boom or bust for the Jaguars, but most drafts work out that way. I like that the Jaguars selected some high-ceiling players – and if one or two of those hit, this could turn out be a draft we like down the road more than we do right now.

John Oehser, Senior Writer

  • Overall impression: The Jaguars had a clear focus entering the draft – to get bigger, stronger and faster – and they followed that outline through what was very much a "workmanlike" draft process. The lack of depth overall in this draft made trading difficult in later rounds, so the Jaguars stuck to their formula of prototypical size, speed and strength from power schools and addressed wide receiver, cornerback and the offensive/defensive lines in a big, fast, strong way. This should be a stouter team against the run and a faster team on the perimeter offensively and defensively.
  • Breaking down the first round: The Jaguars accomplished two objectives in Round 1 – selecting the player they wanted, Thomas, and doing so while acquiring additional selections in the '24 draft (Nos. 23 and 167 overall) and the '25 draft (third- and fourth-rounders). Thomas has the size and speed to strain defenses as a rookie and the potential to develop into a front-line receiver after that. The Jaguars loved the value here, choosing Thomas over a cornerback position that many observers considered a pre-draft need.
  • What else I liked: Size, stoutness, etc. Many observers expected the Jaguars to select cornerback earlier than Round 3, this observer included. But if you watched the Jaguars late last season, this was a team that struggled to out-physical opponents. Rookies don't always change the personalities/styles of teams immediately, but this draft was clearly a move to continue getting bigger, strong and faster – and that's rarely a bad draft-day approach.
Jacksonville, Fla. — Images from the 2024 DUUUVAL Draft Party at EverBank Stadium on April 25, 2024.

J.P. Shadrick, Senior Reporter

  • Overall impression: The Jaguars got a balance of players that can contribute right away at key positions with depth players who will compete to make the roster. Thomas could be the future for the Jags in that room, and someone on whom Lawrence can lean for years to come. Smith should add to the interior rotation on the defensive line and has the size to make an immediate impact. Jones should contribute immediately on defense and special teams. In Round 4, the Jaguars added consistent big bodies for depth along the offensive and defensive lines, while adding depth later Saturday.
  • Breaking down the first round: Thomas is fast, tall and smart – that's a great start. He leaned on his speed at Louisiana State, and didn't have to do much else for the Tigers. He was a big play waiting to happen and knew how to find the end zone. His speed will take the top off defenses, and at the very least, open things up more underneath for Engram, Kirk and the running game of Travis Etienne Jr. The Jaguars will be able to develop more parts of his game in time, though his game now should be able to allow him to contribute sooner rather than later.
  • What else I liked: The doubling down on defensive tackles from Louisiana State. Smith in the second round and Jordan Jefferson in the fourth round are two big, strong possible rotational contributors for a defense that is moving toward a four-lineman feel in 2024 and beyond. This defense needs to stop the run more consistently, and it starts in the middle up front. It might not be sexy on paper, but it certainly could be come December and January when they help solidify the front.

Frank Frangie, Radio Voice of the Jaguars

  • Overall impression: I really liked the draft. The plan was really good — big, fast receiver; two fast corners; four big, physical linemen and two specialists. The narrative all offseason was they had to get more physical in the trenches and they did that with big, long, physical linemen. I loved that part the most.
  • Breaking down the first round: I truly believe, the way the board fell, if the Minnesota Vikings didn't try to come up, the Jags would have taken Thomas at No. 17 overall, as they said. As it turned out, they added three picks and still got him. That is a HUGE win. And I really like Thomas.
  • What else I liked: I think the Jags had to get bigger, stronger and faster. That is what stood out to me, that they did all three. I love the fact that six of the nine came from the Southeastern Conference, and two of the three who didn't began their careers there. It's the best football league — you can't go wrong getting guys who played against the best. I think with Davis (in free agency) and Thomas (in the draft), the Jags will be able to stretch the field more than they have in many years. I think their cornerback group is suddenly very fast. If there is one thing they might have missed, I would have liked to see an edge taken a bit earlier. But you can't necessarily hit everything in every draft. I thought the draft was very, very good.

From Arkansas, to Louisiana, to Tallahassee and everywhere in between there are new Jaguars in town. Check out action photos of the nine members of the 2024 Draft class.

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