With 10 picks in the 2021 NFL Draft and seven in the first four rounds, the Jacksonville Jaguars have as much ammunition as any other team in the league. That’s good news. The better news? They were quite responsible in free agency, adding potential spot starters at big positions of need like defensive tackle (Roy Robertson-Harris, Malcom Brown), wide receiver (Marvin Jones, Phillip Dorsett), tight end (Chris Manhertz), and cornerback (Shaquill Griffin) to give them flexibility after their first-overall pick.
So, the Jaguars can take big swings, go after quality athletes, or take BPAs as they look to add more star talent—that which this roster so desperately needs. I went top talent over needs early, accordingly, and then topped it all of a with a few prototypical Urban Meyer picks.
ROUND 1 (NO. 1 OVERALL): TREVOR LAWRENCE, QB, CLEMSON
ROUND 1 (NO. 25 OVERALL): CHRISTIAN BARMORE, IDL, ALABAMA
This may feel early for DT, where the Jaguars have an exciting riser in Chicago Bears free agent Robertson-Harrison, a steady nose in Brown, and an intriguing second-year pro in DaVon Hamilton. But there really isn’t a clear high-impact player there yet, and such a player is available with a big swing in Christian Barmore: the young, athletic, exciting pass-rushing 3-technique from Alabama. Barmore needs to grow (much like Taven Bryan once did!), so leave him in that 3-tech role and let him develop on a long arc. He’s a potential 8-plus sack per year player on the interior if Jacksonville does this right.
ROUND 2 (NO. 33 OVERALL): ERIC STOKES, CB, GEORGIA
I like where the Jaguars are with starting outside corners, as Griffin is a quality pro and C.J. Henderson had nice flashes as a rookie. I don’t love the idea of Tre Herndon in the slot, however. Eric Stokes played outside for Georgia, but his athletic testing reflects a quality click-and-close profile in off-man and zone coverage that should allow him an early transition to the slot. The outside ability also protects Jacksonville from injury to either of the starters, giving the Jaguars versatility in their groupings with other interchangeable players, like Herndon and Sidney Jones.
ROUND 2 (NO. 45 OVERALL): LIAM EICHENBERG, OT, NOTRE DAME
The Jaguars’ offensive line falls squarely into the “just fine” category; and with good young depth in Ben Bartch and Will Richardson Jr., I don’t want to go chasing a pick here unless there is starter potential. Even for the shorter arms, I love Liam Eichenberg as an NFL tackle. So, he can challenge for Cam Robinson’s LT job, or replace either A.J. Cann or Andrew Norwell at one of the guard spots as the Jaguars look to get younger over the next couple of years. With both Robinson and Jawaan Taylor’s health concerns considered, a backup tackle is an important investment.
ROUND 3 (NO. 65 OVERALL): JAMAR JOHNSON, S, INDIANA
The Jaguars need a new safety (or two) on their roster, which is currently looking to divide up snaps with Rayshawn Jenkins, Jarrod Wilson, Josh Jones, and Andrew Wingard—not the sort of situation they’d like to be in. I don’t love any of the deep middle options right now, so I’ll add a rangy and level player in Jamar Johnson. Johnson needs growth as a tackler to stick on the backend long-term, but he’ll make more plays on the football as a rookie than any other option on the Jaguars’ depth chart.
ROUND 4 (NO. 106 OVERALL): HAMSAH NASIRILDEEN, S, FLORIDA STATE
I’m double-dipping at safety because, well, the safety room is just that bad. While Johnson will challenge for deep safety reps, Hamsah Nasirildeen will challenge for a box/nickel role that allows him to play near the line of scrimmage, blitz, and fill short zones while taking on tight ends in man coverage responsibilities. Nasirildeen has endured a slight fall during the 2020 season, but he’s a higher ceiling player than you typically see outside of the top 100.
ROUND 4 (NO. 130 OVERALL): ADETOKUNBO OGUNDEJI, EDGE, NOTRE DAME
The Jaguars’ EDGE room has two exciting young starters in Josh Allen and second-year pro K’Lavon Chaisson, who had a strong finish to the 2020 season. However, both are wider, stand-up rushers who don’t have hand-in-the-dirt toughness on base downs, while big subpackage rushers like Robertson-Harrison and Adam Gotsis aren’t really traditional end builds. There, the Jaguars are relying on Jihad Ward and Dawuane Smoot. So, let’s add Adetokunbo Ogundeji and his 35-inch arms into the building. He has a decent pass-rushing ceiling along with the toughness to slipperiness to disrupt near the line of scrimmage against the run.
ROUND 5 (NO. 145 OVERALL): DAZZ NEWSOME, WR, NORTH CAROLINA
There isn’t really a traditional slot receiver on the Jaguars’ depth chart unless they’re banking on Dorsett for that role—I wouldn’t. DJ Chark, Collin Johnson, and Marvin Jones are all skyscraper receivers. While I think Laviska Shenault is a quality route-runner and separator altogether, Dazz Newsome represents a pro-ready slot option that can keep Shenault in his gadgety roles. Newsome can also offer returner ability, which helps his roster chances.
ROUND 5 (NO. 170 OVERALL): JAVIAN HAWKINS, RB, LOUISVILLE
The Jaguars stumbled on gold with James Robinson, a bruising between-the-tackles back with great hands on late downs. The biggest concern with Robinson is the lack of a home run gear, so adding Javian Hawkins as a Day 3 option gives them some relief there. Hawkins ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at 183 pounds and will bring additional juice to the Jaguars’ RB depth chart while challenging for returning roles with Newsome.
ROUND 7 (NO. 249 OVERALL): LUKE FARRELL, TE, OHIO STATE
The Jaguars still have Tyler Eifert and signed Manhertz this past year, but Meyer will spend a late pick on a career Buckeye in Luke Farrel, who did a ton of dirty work as a blocker, has consistent hands, and actually tested a lot better than expected at the Ohio State Pro Day. Farrell will stick in the league.