The 2020 NFL Draft was a whirlwind. In fact, it was the most unusual draft in recent memory, due to the coronavirus. The Jacksonville Jaguars had 12 picks in this year’s draft, which is quite a haul. Though many thought the team would trade some of the picks for either higher picks this year, or some 2021 picks, they kept all 12. The team welcomed seven new defensive players, and five new offensive weapons. Here, we’ll take a look at each pick and give out draft grades for each one of the Jaguars selections.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2020 NFL Draft Grades
Round One, Pick 9- C.J. Henderson
The Jags once again had possession of a top ten pick in the draft this year. With C.J. Henderson, the team replaced their number five overall pick from the 2016 NFL Draft. Yes, that’s right. Jalen Ramsey is one of the top defensive backs in this league, but his departure, among others, was a big loss for the team. With Henderson, the Jags hope to bring their secondary back to the high levels it was just a few years ago. He was in the top two cornerback prospects for this year and was perhaps the best cover corner in the draft.
Round One, Pick 20- K’Lavon Chaisson
A potential replacement for Yannick Ngakoue? Perhaps Chaisson will be the start of a pass-rushing tandem that is scary for opposing offenses. Chaisson and Allen are both young and talented players. At this point, Ngakoue hasn’t been traded to another team, although he may before the season starts. Chaisson was a leader on his college team. The number 18 jersey is a sign of leadership for the LSU Tigers, and that is the number Chaisson wore. Here, the Jaguars again picked a talented player and one at a position of need.
Round Two, Pick 42- Laviska Shenault Jr.
In round two the Jaguars finally went to the offensive side of the ball. Gardner Minshew is going into his sophomore campaign and needs all the weapons he can get. Cue Shenault. He is a multi-talented receiver out of Colorado. Shenault can line up out wide, at h-back, wildcat, or more. New offensive coordinator Jay Gruden will have a field day with game planning ways to involve Shenault in the Jags new-look offense. He wasn’t a premier wideout in this year’s class, but he was in the bottom half of the top tier. Duval got a good one.
Round Three, Pick 73- DaVon Hamilton
DaVon Hamilton is a defensive tackle out of Ohio State. Who had more sacks in their last year of college; Derrick Brown, or Hamilton? The answer might surprise you. The third-rounder and not the seventh overall pick had more sacks last year. At six sacks, Hamilton has the ability to be a disruptive force on defense. He may not be quite at Brown’s level, but this was a valuable pick in round three. Especially when you consider that the team traded away Pro Bowler Calais Campbell this offseason.
Round Four, Pick 116- Ben Bartch
Ben Bartch is an offensive tackle who played for St. Johns, a Division III school. Even though Bartch was initially small, starting college at 220 pounds. But he left for the pros at 306 pounds. The reason for this weight gain? Bartch concocted an unconventional protein shake that helped him pack on the pounds. You can check out a demonstration from the combine here. Bartch will be facing tougher competition in the NFL, but he’s competitive and his personality fits right in with Minshew’s. He’ll likely start out as a swing tackle.
Round Four, Pick 137- Josiah Scott
Josiah Scott played cornerback at Michigan State. In the Jaguars sixth pick of the draft, the took a second cornerback. Scott, however, is not as impressive as Henderson. The 5’9″ corner is athletic, but his size will be an issue at the next level. Do the Jags intend to play Scott in the slot? Perhaps. However, D.J. Hayden currently fills that role, so Scott is likely to be a backup as well as a special teamer.
Round Four, Pick 140- Shaquille Quarterman
Three picks later, another defender. Shaquille Quarterman is a Jacksonville native and played his college ball in southern Florida at Miami. As a Hurricane, he was a leader on the team even starting at middle linebacker in his freshman season. The Jags acquired Joe Schobert in free agency this year, so the team has their starter at the mike position. Quarterman is a scrappy player though, and shouled be able to contribute on special teams to start.
Round Five, Pick 157- Daniel Thomas
Thomas is a safety out of Auburn. He fits in as a free safety for Jacksonville. Ronnie Harrison is the current strong safety, heading into his third year in the league. Thomas has some developing to do, but he’s strong and good against the run. With some time, he might eventually push to be a starter.
Round Five, Pick 165- Collin Johnson
This pick is a potential steal for the fifth round. Johnson is a 6’6″, 220-pound wide receiver from the University of Texas. The wideout’s best year came in his junior season. Johnson collected 68 receptions for 985 yards and seven touchdowns that year. Johnson has great height for the position, but he doesn’t have the breakaway speed you would hope for in an NFL receiver.
Round Six, Pick 189- Jake Luton
It’s common knowledge that future GOATs are selected in the 6th round, right? Tom Brady, Gardner Minshew… Jake Luton. Make no mistake, Luton is not in Duval to usurp Minshew’s spot at the top of the food chain. No, he’s here as the third quarterback behind Minshew and Josh Dobbs. He has the upside to be a back up one day but the former Oregon State Gopher is unlikely to be a starter.
Round Six, Pick 206- Tyler Davis
Tyler Davis is a tight end that played at Georgia Tech. Unfortunately, he didn’t exactly light up the scoreboard. In the 2019 season, Davis had 17 receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown. With tight ends such as Tyler Eifert and the unproven Josh Oliver already on the squad, this is a depth pick.
Round Seven, Pick 223- Chris Claybrooks
Chris Claybrooks. Say that five times fast. Claybrooks was a defensive back for Memphis. He’s only 5’9″, but he’s got lightning speed with a 4.36 second 40 time. Claybrooks will be a special teams contributor and perhaps play back up role in the slot.
I would give the Jaguars an overall “A” in the draft this year. No, it wasn’t the most exciting draft for Jacksonville in recent memory. However, with 12 picks the team addressed several needs got at least a few quality starters along with some developmental prospects. This was a good weekend for the Jaguars.
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