The area of gray has cleared for the Jaguars, with Tyree Wilson not being able to perform at Texas Tech’s pro day due to what is being called a “foot procedure”. This all but solidifies Christian Gonzalez (at least in theory and assuming the Jaguars front office has been reading my articles) as pick 24 for Jacksonville come April 27.
The Jaguars Will Pick Christian Gonzalez at 24
The Jaguars need upgrades at several positions on defense, especially at edge and cornerback. Jacksonville will want to take a first-round-caliber/projected player. That player is Gonzalez. It would not be wise for Jacksonville to select a second-round projected edge rusher because again that is a gamble. This whole situation may actually have worked out in Jacksonville’s favor.
How Wilson’s Non-Performance May Benefit Jacksonville
With Wilson unable to participate in Texas Tech’s pro day, he likely falls out of the first round. The Jaguars second-round pick is number 56, and it is unlikely that Wilson falls out of round two. Again, the Jaguars have nine picks in the upcoming draft. If the Jaguars front office like Wilson and feel the procedure is not something that is permanently going to hamper his playing ability, then they should try to move up in the second round by offering their second-round pick (Pick 56) and their third-round pick (Pick 88), to select Wilson.
Although, it may not take the second-round and third-round pick package. A team desperate enough for draft quantity may take the Jaguars second-round pick and one of two picks the Jaguars have in round four (Pick 121 [from Tampa Bay], or pick 127). If they can pull off the pick 56 and one of the 120 picks package, this would still leave them with at least one pick in each round of the draft and could net them both Gonzalez and Wilson, while still leaving them six picks and at least one pick in each of the remaining rounds.
Who the Jaguars Should Target as Trade Partners
The Jets stand out above the other three teams the Jaguars should target because they have two relatively early, successive, picks in round two (Picks 42, and 43). The Jaguars would be offering the Jets an extra pick, which may be beneficial to a team that is going to be stacked with veterans and may need to add young players if they want to have continued success after the veterans begin to retire (talking to you Aaron Rodgers), over the next few years. Giving the Jaguars one of those two picks would still leave the Jets a pick in round two and would give them an extra pick to add some “young blood” for future seasons.
The Panthers are in a quasi-rebuild as they have added some very talented free agents this offseason (Hayden Hurst, Miles Sanders, Adam Thielen) but are still in need of improvement and may be willing to trade pick 39 for an extra pick, giving them a total of seven for the draft. This may take more than just two picks and the most the Jaguars should offer any team (Assuming they are willing to take a chance on Wilson), would be pick 56, pick 88, and one of the 120s picks. It may take that to get into the 30s, if they want to take Wilson. If that were the case, then the Jaguars would still be left with five picks and at least one pick in each round, except round three.
The Titans ended the year in a free fall and will need to remedy a lot of issues to get back to being a playoff team. With only six picks in the draft, they may be willing to part with pick 41 to gain an extra pick in the draft. Then again, one has to consider if the Titans would be willing to potentially make their only competition in the AFC South (Sorry, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts), for the foreseeable future, stronger.
This last scenario is the least likely of any of the four scenarios. Technically, the Steelers pick (Pick 32), is a second-round pick, but in actuality it is a first-round pick. With the Miami Dolphins having to surrender a pick due to the (Dare I say), Brady-gate scandal. That pick was taken out of the first round meaning the first-round will have 31 picks and pick 32 becomes a second-round pick.
Again, Jacksonville should not offer more than pick 56, pick 88, and one of the 120’s picks, for any second-round pick, but this may be something the Steelers would be willing to do, to make improvements to a team that finished 9-8 last season and missed the playoffs. If the Steelers were to comply, they would get two extra picks, giving them a total of nine for the draft. It is also important to consider, that there is still some “bad blood” between these two teams, dating back to their days as members of the AFC Central.
Christian Gonzalez has to be the pick at 24. The Jaguars should not even entertain the idea of selecting Wilson at pick 24. His non-performance knocks him out of being a first-round pick. If the Jaguars are willing to gamble and lose, at most, two picks, they may be able to get both Gonzalez and Wilson. At the least, expect to see a smiling Gonzalez on stage in Kansas City, in just under a month, holding his teal, number one, Jaguars jersey, for all the (what should be) elated Jaguars fans to see!
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