The Jacksonville Jaguars have hope on the horizon in the form of two first-round picks for the 2020 NFL Draft after a disappointing 2019 campaign. The Jags will pick at ninth overall, and then again at 20th overall thanks to the trade that sent Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams. The 2020 draft class is deep and boasts plenty of viable first-round targets. Each of the Jaguars’ big needs this offseason could be addressed.
Some of Jacksonville’s needs will be addressed in free agency. Cuts will also play into the size of these needs. However, if the front office is able to resign defensive end Yannick Ngakoue they will have little left over to attract veterans. Nailing both first-round picks will be vital for the Jaguars’ future.
Jacksonville Jaguars Draft: First-Round Targets
Round 1, Pick 9
Andrew Thomas, Tackle, Georgia
The Jags are in prime position to grab the best offensive lineman of this class. With the ninth overall pick, Jacksonville can address a major need. Thomas would replace current tackle Cam Robinson, who struggled most of this past season after tearing his ACL in 2018.
Robinson would slide down to right guard and compete with incumbents A.J. Cann and Will Richardson. This would create much-needed depth along the line for the Jags.
Isaiah Simmons, Linebacker, Clemson
The Jacksonville defense struggled throughout the year at almost every position, but one of the biggest holes was at linebacker. Without Telvin Smith, the team’s lack of depth and skill in the middle was obvious. Myles Jack seemed to regress in nearly all aspects, missing tackles often and taking bad angles. When Jack was placed on IR, the lack of depth reared its ugly head. The Jags’ front seven struggled through the second half of the year as a result.
Simmons is an incredible linebacker talent, so he will likely not fall far past nine. Drafting Simmons would give the Jaguars a linebacker who is excellent in coverage, and will likely take some of the pressure off of Jack.
Round 1, Pick 20 (via LA Rams)
Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU
Safety is another position the Jaguars will look to address in free agency or early in the draft. Incumbent Jarrod Wilson was serviceable for the secondary this past season but lacks the big-play ability that is desired on the back end.
Grabbing Delpit would be an immediate boost to the secondary, as he is a proven playmaker who totaled eight interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 24 pass deflections over his three years at LSU. He will likely be on the board in the second half of the first round and is good enough that Jacksonville may consider trading up to ensure they land him.
C.J. Henderson, Corner, Florida
After trading away Jalen Ramsey early in the season, A.J. Bouye struggled to fill in as the number one corner. Come April, the Jags will look to address this need early in the draft with one of their first picks. Henderson may not be the most physical corner in this class but he makes up for it with his length and elite athleticism. Listed at 6-1, 191 pounds, Henderson is expected to run a sub 4.4 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, which would shoot him up the draft boards.
Henderson is one of the most natural-looking corners in man coverage, and he would immediately help address the Jaguars coverage issues. This year’s cornerback class is fairly deep, and Henderson could be a great option for the Jags at pick 20.
Last Word On The Jacksonville Jaguars Draft
Many factors can change between now and the NFL Draft, but for the time being these four players look to be at the top of the list of potential first-round targets for the Jaguars. When the Jacksonville Jaguars draft opens in April, general manager Dave Caldwell and the scouting department will have a much clearer vision of who they want to draft. The Jaguars need to hit on this draft in order to stay competitive in the AFC South. The team has a solid group of young players to build around, but drafting the right pieces will determine whether they compete for a playoff berth or another top-10 pick.
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