In my last article, I discussed how the Jaguars could get both Christian Gonzalez and Tyree Wilson. In this article, we will assume Jacksonville takes Gonzalez at 24 but does not decide to move up to take Wilson and stay pat at pick 56 in the second round and keep all of their other remaining seven picks (Round three, pick 88; Round four, picks 121 [From TB], 127; Round five, pick 185 [from HOU via NYJ]; Round 6, picks 202, 208 [from PHI], Round seven, pick 226 [from CAR]).
Jaguars Second Through Seventh Round Picks in the 2023 NFL Draft
Round two, Pick 56
There has been much speculation that the Jaguars are looking to draft a tight end in the draft. This is largely due to an uncertain future with franchise-tagged, Evan Engram, beyond this season and may help Trevor Lawrence build a rapport with a rookie tight end so that by the beginning of the 2024 season, the Jaguars can hit the ground running with Lawrence being comfortable with a tight end who is beginning their second season. While the logic seems pretty cut and dry this logic, can also backfire. Look no further than the 2021 draft, when the Miami Dolphins used a third-round pick to select Boston College’s, Hunter Long. Granted, Miami really did not need a tight end, but they took Long largely based on his potential. The results were one reception, for eight yards and zero touchdowns for Long, in two seasons, before he was shipped off to the Los Angeles Rams, in exchange for former Jaguar Jalen Ramsey, last month. The situation with Long got so bad in Miami, coaches were questioning whether or not Long really wanted to play football and if he even liked it. Jacksonville should focus their early picks on improvements they need for this coming season, and not worry about the 2024 season, yet. They need defensive upgrades and would be wise to draft an edge rusher, here, even if it is not Tyree Wilson.
Potential Edge Rushers available: Andre Carter II, Byron Young, Isaiah Foskey, Jalen Redmond
Round three, Pick 88
Here is where the Jaguars are likely to draft a tight end (Again, I don’t think they should), and even though being drafted in the third round did not work out too well for Hunter Long or the Miami Dolphins, that is not to say it will not work out for the Jaguars and the tight end prospect they draft with pick 88. Two of the names coming from non-power Five programs that should strongly be considered are Josh Whyle from Cincinnati and Tucker Craft from South Dakota State.
Potential Tight Ends available: Brenton Strange, Josh Whyle, Will Mallory, Tucker Kraft
Round four, Pick 121
Here is where Jacksonville gets back to addressing needs. Here is where they should draft a nose tackle/interior defensive lineman who may be an upgrade to first-string nose tackle Davon Hamilton. Keeanu Benton is someone who should be a strong consideration at pick 121.
Potential Nose Tackle/Interior Defensive Lineman available: Keeanu Benton, Dante Stills, Isaiah McGuire, Keondre Coburn
Round four, Pick 127
Jacksonville should continue to focus on defense here and that means taking a free safety to upgrade the first-string position, currently occupied by the underperforming Andre Cisco. Benny Sapp III is a prospect to watch out for, as he has NFL pedigree, the son of former NFL cornerback, Benny Sapp II. Pick 127 should remedy the lackluster performance at the free safety position.
Potential Free Safeties available: Benny Sapp III, Ronnie Hickman, Tyreque Jones, Jordan Howden
Round five, Pick 185
With Roy Robertson-Harris listed as a defensive end on the depth chart, who can move inside, but still needs to step his game play, up, the Jaguars may be wise to draft another edge/defensive end with pick 185, to push Robertson-Harris to up his game or lose his starting position. Look for a couple of smaller school standouts to be available here including Central Michigan’s Thomas Incoom, or Stephen F Austin’s B.J. Thompson.
Potential Edge/Defensive Ends available: Thomas Incoom, B.J. Thompson, Ochaun Mathis, Tyler Lacy
Round six, Pick 202
Having made upgrades at the necessary defensive positions, and drafting a tight end as an eventual replacement, potentially, for Evan Engram, the Jaguars still need an offensive tackle (which will come later). For now, the Jaguars should look to add another tight end prospect, which a double tight end formation could be a very effective weapon for Trevor Lawrence to use for years to come. Noah Gindorff may be a diamond in the rough at pick 202, out of North Dakota State.
Potential Tight Ends available: Noah Gindorff, Travis Vokolek, Blake Whiteheart, Brayden Willis
Round six, Pick 208
Here the Jaguars may want to consider a bruising running back to complement Travis Etienne. Additionally, with Etienne missing his entire rookie season due to a Lisfranc injury, it would not be a bad idea to supplement the running back position in case Etienne were to be injured again. One name above all others stands out at pick 208 and that is Tavion Thomas out of Utah, who is slightly bigger than(6’0, 237 pounds) and more of a bruising running back, than Etienne. Thomas can get the short yards in those situations but also has breakaway speed should if he gets outside.
Potential Running Backs available: Tavion Thomas, Tiyon Evans, Lew Nichols III, Deneric Prince
Round seven, Pick 226:
This is not a particularly deep draft class for offensive linemen, especially offensive tackles. With Brock Purdy proving Mr. Irrelevant (and any other prospects drafted in the seventh round) can become extremely relevant, the Jaguars can still draft a quality offensive tackle with pick 226. Assuming Jacksonville does not want to move their first-string offensive line, line-up around, they will need a right tackle to push or usurp, Walker Little at the position. Of note, Earl Bostick Jr. is primarily a left tackle but can play right tackle, effectively, as well. Right tackle should be the Jaguars final pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Potential Offensive Tackles available: Earl Bostick Jr., Kilian Zierer, Caleb Chandler, Dalton Wagner
The Jaguars have a chance to improve a defense that is in desperate need of improvement. Their focus should be on improving the defense for the 2023 season. They will also add players who may become second-season starters potentially, at the tight end position as well as an insurance player at running back. Lastly, they will address the void on the offensive line that was left with Jawaan Taylor leaving to go to the Kansas City Chiefs. All in all, Jaguars fans should be excited about what the Jaguars can do between April 27-29.
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