Moeller: In the End, Jaguars Accomplished Their Draft Goals

By Jeff Moeller, Florida Sports Wire

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars took a different route to get where they wanted. In fact, there were some second looks among their seven picks.

Before the NFL draft, all signs pointed to the Jags drafting a cornerback, as it appeared to be their most pressing need. Despite acquiring Gabe Davis, the team felt a need for a playmaker type receiver with the loss of Calvin Pryor in free agency.

With the signing of Arik Armstead to the defensive front, did the Jags need another potential stud up front? You can never get enough defensive lineman.

Running Back? The Jags have been looking for some depth for Travis Etienne. They have indicated that Tank Brigsby, last year’s third-round pick, will be getting more work this fall.

Jacksonville did manage to address all of those needs. And they tapped LSU for some top prize hopefuls.
They surprised some of their faithful by taking LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas as their top pick, dropping down from No. 17 to No. 23 in the process.

Thomas is seen as a major game changer in the same light as Pryor, who didn’t have enough time to fully develop his game with Trevor Lawrence.

The 6-2, 209-pounder early-entry junior is viewed as a “skilled receiver with speed,” according to head coach Doug Pederson.

Pederson is anxious to get Pederson into camp, and he has indicated that Thomas could have several options in the offense.

The Jaga stayed the LSU route by adding defensive lineman Maason Smith and later Justin Jefferson up front. Smith missed the 2002 with a knee injury and was suspended for the 2023 opener due to a NIL violation involving an autograph signing.

There once was a high ceiling on Smith, but he is viewed as more of a project. If everything falls into place, he could be the true diamond in the rough.

The Jags also LSU defensive lineman Justin Jefferson, and Texas Tech’s Myles Cole, who is seen more as an edge rusher.

As far as their cornerback issue, they did add Florida State’s Jarrian Jones in the third round, and Mississippi’s Deantre Prince in the fifth. Jones is a physical player, and Prince is seen as a cover corner.

he Jags also added Missouri’s 6-5, 315-pound tackle Javon Foster as another big body up front.

It proved to be a couple of days with some surprises, but in the end, the Jags did accomplish their goals.

And now mini camps are around the corner before the real fun begins.

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