The Jacksonville Jaguars are a confounding franchise. Since 2008, the team has had a single winning season. That one season was 2017 when the Jaguars made a run all the way to the conference championship game on the back of a stacked defense.
But now most of those players are long gone and the Jaguars are again picking in the top 10. That doesn’t mean they’re in a full rebuild, though. The team seems steadfast in running with Gardner Minshew at quarterback following a promising rookie season. Jacksonville also has solid talent at wide receiver, and the defense is starting to come together with the free agent addition of linebacker Joe Schobert and taking pass rusher Josh Allen in the first round in 2019.
In the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Alfie Crow of Big Cat Country is here to try to continue piecing the Jaguars together.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia
Crow: If the 2020 NFL Draft played out how it has in this exercise, I would anticipate the Jacksonville Jaguars would try to move down. However, since we cannot trade and are pretending the Jaguars are stuck at pick nine, Thomas would seem to fit exactly what they’re looking for.
While left tackle is not an immediate need, the Jaguars need to add talent and depth to their offensive line. Thomas would seem to fit the bill over Louisville’s Mehki Becton because out of the gate Thomas is less of a project and a much better pass blocker. The Jaguars need someone who is more plug-and-play with the No. 9 overall pick, rather than a high-upside, more project-type offensive lineman like Becton. Thomas can come in right away and start at left tackle, which would allow the Jaguars to shuffle Cam Robinson to the inside to compete with the disappointing Andrew Norwell or A.J. Cann.
Analysis: Like the Giants taking Tristan Wirfs earlier in this mock draft, the offensive tackle group will come down to personal preference. In such a quality year for the position, the order in which they come off the board is sort of irrelevant.
It is probably correct to assume Thomas is more of a pro-ready player for a team like Jacksonville than Becton. And if you’re Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone and general manager Dave Caldwell, you might feel the pressure to win now and go that route. There’s nothing wrong with that, either. In most other years, Thomas would be the first offensive tackle drafted. He’s that good of a player.
Top five remaining players:
- 7. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
- 9. Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
- 10. Jedrick Wills, OT, Alabama
- 12. Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina
- 13. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama
That does it for our three picks for today. Our next pick in the 14th annual SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft will be up tomorrow at 9 a.m. with Chris Pokorny of Dawgs by Nature making the pick for the Cleveland Browns.
What grade do you give the pick of Thomas by the Jaguars?
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