It’s comprehensible that response to a number of the Jaguars’ post-first spherical draft picks would possibly vary wherever from “Hmmm,” to “what are they doing?” and to “will we now have a good finish to catch passes?”
No draft for any type of NFL media or fan base could be full with out some wholesome second-guessing. The Jaguars actually made a variety or two, possibly three, that induced a little bit of confusion, nevertheless it doesn’t imply Jaguars’ GM Trent Baalke and head coach City Meyer did the fallacious factor. It simply means they did their factor.
Belief the board, bear in mind?
All that being stated, it’s unimaginable to keep away from the collective scratching of heads over the timing/well being/positions of a number of acquisitions — grabbing Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell on the prime of the second spherical (No. 33), taking a second rounder (Stanford deal with Walker Little) and third-rounder (Syracuse security Andre Cisco) coming off knee accidents, ready till the fifth spherical to select a good finish (Ohio State’s Luke Farrell) who additionally occurs to have tepid receiving numbers.
However all quibbling apart, let’s not neglect two impactful phrases that may resonate with the Jaguars’ 2021 draft down the highway greater than another: Trevor and Travis.
Actually, are final names even obligatory? Well being allowing, the Clemson 1-2 punch of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and all-purpose risk Travis Etienne ought to do a lot to alleviate no matter issues Jaguars’ followers have about present roster holes or perceived flaws.
As Baalke astutely reminded us after three rounds have been full Friday night time, and the Jaguars nonetheless hadn’t addressed the dreadful tight finish scenario: “You’ll be able to’t fill each place with one choose.”
Definitely, no one might rightfully count on the Jaguars to observe these two distinctive alternatives within the first spherical with residence run after residence run. In the event you take a look at this franchise’s draft historical past and gauge applicable worth for picks within the first, second and third rounds, it’s not a fairly sight the final decade past the 2016 Jalen Ramsey-Myles Jack-Yannick Ngakoue trifecta (and two of these guys are actually gone).
Altering draft status
Let’s face this actuality: the Jaguars have a earned status for whiffing like Dave Kingman on the plate and Elizabeth Taylor on the marriage ceremony altar.
No matter imperfections in the end emerge from this draft, you need to determine Trevor and Travis will do loads to scrub away the stains. The reinvigoration of the Jaguars’ deplorable offense begins there, with loads of contributions from the likes of DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, James Robinson and possibly a to-be-determined tight finish.
Little question, the haul Baalke and Meyer collected in free company and the draft ought to translate right into a naked minimal win whole soar of 5 video games from a disgusting 1-15. It might even be a rise of six, seven, or eight video games, however let’s not drink an excessive amount of teal Kool-Support till we see how these new gamers and first-year teaching employees start to navigate the 17-game grind.
Wanting on the draft class past the T-and-T issue, there’s at the least a modest quantity of eyebrow-raising. Taking Campbell No. 33 general just isn’t a lot a worth query as a result of most projected him as a second-rounder someplace. It’s simply that the Jaguars already invested a top-10 choose final yr on CJ Henderson and just lately handed free-agent cornerback Shaquill Griffin a three-year, $44.5 million contract ($29M assured).
Baalke insisted taking the 6-foot, 193-pound Campbell that top was extra about in search of “peak, size and pace” throughout the board with the Jaguars’ cowl defenders, which can be completely correct. However when you think about Henderson battled an ankle situation final season, then went on injured reserve in mid-November with a groin damage, and had offseason labrum surgical procedure, it’s truthful to marvel if Campbell’s choice was additionally about buying a CJ insurance coverage coverage.
“CJ’s a really proficient younger man, he simply has to get wholesome,” stated Baalke.
The identical factor could be stated of incoming rookies Little, a 6-foot-7, 314-pound offensive deal with, and Cisco. There’s undoubtedly a high-risk, high-reward facet to each these alternatives, which doesn’t imply they’re unfit of being taken at No. 45 and No. 65, respectively.
However the Jaguars are clearly relying on each gamers to be starters, or no later than 2022 for Little, so that you’d like these sort of investments to not be accompanied by medical points.
Little has performed only one recreation the previous two years at Stanford, so the event for a participant which will in the end substitute Cam Robinson at left deal with is considerably of a query. Cisco is coming off surgical procedure for a torn ACL in October, although the Syracuse security was fairly assured he’d be a full-go to begin coaching camp.
“Yeah, I’d assume that I’ll be prepared for coaching camp,” stated Cisco “Except I’ve a setback between every now and then, however we haven’t had any setbacks this far.”
Fixing tight finish
Baalke, who had a status for drafting gamers with damage histories as GM of the San Francisco 49ers (2010-16), is clearly unfazed about taking dangers. Apparently, that features ready eternally to tug the set off on a good finish.
The Jaguars’ beforehand most barren place stays the chief within the clubhouse, at the least from the angle of a confirmed pass-catcher. Meyer is lots conversant in Farrell from his Ohio State days as a reliable blocker, however his four-year receiving numbers (34 catches, 380 yards, 4 TDs) over 44 video games are not any higher than what the Jaguars’ James O’Shaughnessy (42 catches, 415 yards, 2 TDs) delivered in 20 video games the previous two seasons.
Miami’s Brevin Jordan, probably the most obtrusive pass-catching tight finish left on the board, went two picks after Farrell to the AFC South rival Houston Texans. The Jaguars higher hope Jordan doesn’t gentle them up for the following few years or Baalke/Meyer won’t ever hear the top of that one.
As Meyer indicated, the tight finish room wants a serious improve and anybody hoping Tim Tebow’s one exercise with the Jaguars will result in them in the end fixing it’s most likely kidding themselves.
“That’s a priority proper now,” Meyer stated. “You’re gazing that board, and that horizontal piece, and we simply didn’t hit it at this time.”
What the Jaguars did hit, and out of the park, was their pair of first-round selections. A franchise turnaround begins with getting a real franchise quarterback like Lawrence, however the items round him matter as properly. Etienne, one of the vital dynamic, explosive backs since Maurice Jones-Drew and an improve risk as a receiver, has the look of a particular piece.
“He’s far more than a operating again, he’s a slash,” Meyer stated of Etienne.
One free company interval and one draft class alone isn’t going to repair 1-15, however the Jaguars are a considerably higher soccer workforce on paper than they have been two months in the past.
Soccer isn’t solely about profitable. It’s additionally in regards to the leisure issue with followers, which often means a capability to get into the top zone. The Jaguars averaged 19.1 factors, 18.75 factors and 15.3 factors, respectively, the final three years. The protection was simply as hideous.
However because the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs aptly exhibit, having a franchise quarterback, together with electrical offensive threats, is what makes an NFL product fascinating and watchable.
This is probably not the right Jaguars’ draft, however it’ll in the end be judged lots ok. Trevor and Travis will see to that.
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