Jacksonville Jaguars 2017 NFL Draft Picks Recap
The Jacksonville Jaguars acquired the remaining pieces of the puzzle to being a solid playoff team. Wait, haven’t we been preaching that the last couple of years now? So, what makes this year any different? The answer, they searched in the old toy box and found the missing piece in former Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin, now the Executive Vice President of Football Operations. Not only will Tom help Jacksonville head in the right direction, he’s going to bring attitude and respect. Tom came in with a plan and he’ll be damned if it doesn’t work. He made a commitment to Blake Bortles for the season and put pieces around him to succeed, and then if Blake still fails to produce wins and show improvement, then he’ll be looking for a new job. Until then, Blake is the guy and is poised to have a career season with the best surrounding cast he’s had thus far. So, whom did Tom encourage the organization to install around Blake? Let’s review.
-1st Round, Pick #4: Leonard Fournette – Running Back (LSU)
- Classic Tom here. Take a look at these names; Ahmad Bradshaw, Brandon Jacobs, and Fred Taylor, even had Peyton Hillis on the squad for a couple of years. He loves to feature big, psychical and bruising backs. Leonard will be the Jaguars new workhorse back that they’ll desperately rely on. Not only will Leonard help the run game, he’ll also take pressure off Blake and allow him to take the next step. With a consistent run game and Blake not having to throw more than he needs to, this team can only get better. Blake and Leonard will be the perfect complement to each other’s game. Ground and pound, then play-action for deep touchdown passes. Leonard is going to help this team tremendously and be the rookie leading rusher.
-2nd Round, Pick #34: Cam Robinson – Offensive Tackle (Alabama)
- Besides finding balance in the offensive scheme, protecting Blake was another priority Jacksonville needed to fill and grabbing the best tackle in the draft to some people was a great pick in round two. Cam will start his career at right tackle opposite Branden Albert, but when he’s ready there’s no doubt they’ll put him back on the blind side. Leading up to the draft he got hit with the laziness tag and that ultimately was why he slid to this point. The laziness does concern me, but then I think of his college coach and there is no way Nick Saban would have tolerated that from a three year starter. As long as Cam proves his critics that he’s not lazy, this was a steal in round two.
-3rd Round, Pick #68: Dawuane Smoot – Defensive End (Illinois)
- Depth is something this team doesn’t quite have along the defensive line. Dawuane will serve as the rotational player among the speed rushers and maybe one day develop into a starter. He has good coaching background with Lovie Smith as his college coach last year, so Dawauane got a good feel for how NFL coaches expect their players to condition and perform at a high level. Needs to work on his footwork and bulk up his muscle tone; he often got pushed around by bigger linemen. I like how he can learn and develop for this team. His junior track and field Olympics background should help him as well.
-4th Round, Pick #110: Dede Westbrook – Wide Receiver (Oklahoma)
- Many people look at the position and ask why, Jacksonville has Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee. Well, look at the tape from last year. Allen Hurns had a major drop off in production and Allen Robinson didn’t have quite the season he did prior to his 2015 break out year. Marqise Lee was their best receiver last season posting career highs in every category. Dede might not start right away, but he will get opportunities and if someone starts to slack he will replace them. Dede is a play-making receiver that was projected in the second round, but because of non-football related issues it made his stock drop. He is sure handed and is a threat to take it the distance every time he touches the ball, just look at his tape against Texas. The other receivers should be on high alert because someone might lose their job.
-5th Round, Pick #148: Blair Brown – Linebacker (Ohio)
- Considered to be undersized, his play doesn’t reflect it. Blair is a great run stopper and hits harder than his 5’11” body is supposed to. He’ll be on the field in obvious run situations and on special teams to start the year, but with the lack of depth on this defense and some of the starting linebackers injury history, Blair will see increased playing time throughout the year. Great at the point of attack and using his body to wrap up the ball handler. Might lack in coverage at the next level. Blair isn’t going to astound anyone just by looking at him, but the most impressive thing that sticks out is his ability to locate the ball and attack with his pray not being able to escape.
-7th Round, Pick #222: Jalen Myrick – Cornerback (Minnesota)
- At first glance this pick is nothing more than a return specialist, but when you start to dissect and evaluate the roster, Jalen could be the teams nickel corner. The Jaguars have two studs on the outside with AJ Bouye and Jalen Ramsey, but lack a true nickel slot guy. Myrick has great speed to take advantage of those quick slants, curl and out routes. Maybe I’m overselling this guy; however, I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually made an impact outside of special teams. More and more teams play outside of their base defense on majority of the defensive snaps and convert to their nickel package; it is a passing league after all. Jalen ran a 4.28-yard dash, so his quickness and great footwork will help him against other smaller guys opposite him. He won’t shy away from making a run stop either, which is always good to see from your corners. If I’m wrong, then he’ll contribute mainly on kick returns.
-7th Round, Pick #240: Marquez Williams – Fullback (Miami-FL)
- Go all the way back up to Leonard Fournette. This is a Tom move and he fully intends on bringing back power running football. He may not have the tape a team would like for a guy whose job is to plow a running lane, but in his one year as the starter he definitely showed enough strength and charisma to make a difference. The team already has a fullback in Tommy Bohanon, but that doesn’t mean Marquez doesn’t have a chance. If cooking up pancakes is what the battles consists of, chef Marquez will win this position battle.
Tom Coughlin is going to take this team to the next level and put his mark on it, just look at the draft he help put together despite not being the coach or general manager. Tom has helped construct this team the right way by coming in, telling his vision and then giving them the blueprint to be successful. The Jaguars just might have their roar back. Sadly that concludes the conversation for today. Come back next time as we discuss how the Titans are building a future powerhouse. Until then, have a great day ladies and gents
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