As the Jacksonville Jaguars enter their third season with David Caldwell and Gus Bradley shaping their football operation, they are working to develop second-year quarterback Blake Bortles while cognizant of the fact that their 7-25 record over the past two seasons does not guarantee them much in the way of long-term job security.
Bradley came to Jacksonville in 2013 after a four-year run in which he helped to turn Seattle into a powerhouse defensively, but the Jaguars have not cracked the top 25 in a standard yards-allowed-per-game in either of his two seasons. Strides have been made, but more help is needed, and Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country is ordering it up in the form of the third overall pick in our 2015 NFL mock draft.
3. Jaguars: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
Crow: With the moves the Jaguars made this offseason in free agency, one glaring need still remains, which is the LEO end pass rusher in their defensive scheme. That pass rusher needs to be a player who is long, athletic, and can hold up at the point of attack when necessary, but most of all he needs to be explosive off the ball, and someone who can bend the edge when getting after the quarterback. That fits Vic Beasley to a "T." A lot of people are mocking Dante Fowler here, which also fits, but Beasley is much more athletic overall and presents much bigger upside.
With Leonard Williams still on the board, it’s a tough choice, but the LEO end is a much bigger need for a team that is fairly deep already on the rest of the defensive line. The Jaguars were tied for sixth in the NFL in sacks last season, but dead last in the league in quarterback pressures, which is something Beasley can assist with.
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: Whichever pass rusher the Jaguars take here, they should find success. They can’t really go wrong with Beasley, Fowler or Nebraska’s Randy Gregory. Of those three, Beasley has the best first move, so it makes sense to take him here. His play against the run will have to improve, but he’s certainly NFL ready as a pass rusher.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 1. Leonard Williams, DT, USC
- 4. Randy Gregory, OLB, Nebraska
- 5. Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
- 6. Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
- 7. Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
- 1-3: Vic Beasley, DE, Clemson
- 2-36: (coming April 7)
That's a wrap for our mock draft picks unveiled Monday, but stay tuned for more Tuesday: we'll have picks from Oakland, Washington, and the New York Jets to mull over.
SB Nation presents: Jaguars go with defense in latest mock draft