2021 NFL Draft: Updated Four-Round Jacksonville Jaguars Mock to Reflect Change in Draft Order
For now, the Jacksonville Jaguars are owners of the No. 1 draft pick. As a result, we have opted to deliver a new four-round mock draft for the team’s 2021 draft to reflect the updated draft order.
The first pick is obvious but is still a new one. But who do we pair with the team’s newest top pick in the event they hold onto the No. 1 overall pick and fend off the Jets? We give our latest projections and reasonings here.
Round 1, No. 1 overall: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
If the Jaguars do end up picking No. 1 overall once the 2020 season is over, then you can lock this pick in. Do not even consider the alternative options; that is how obvious of a selection Trevor Lawrence would be at No. 1 overall.
Justin Fields, Zach Wilson, and Trey Lance all have really intriguing physical tools, but none has put their tools together to turn into the caliber of quarterback Lawrence currently is. He is the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck for a reason, and selecting him at No. 1 would ring in a new era for a Jaguars team that has never had a transcendent talent at quarterback.
Gardner Minshew II is on a cheap contract for the next two seasons, so he could easily slide into the backup QB role that the Jaguars envisioned for him when he was drafted. Lawrence, meanwhile, would be surrounded by a few quality weapons with DJ Chark, James Robinson, Laviska Shenault, and a strong interior offensive line.
Lawrence won’t make the Jaguars playoff contenders from day one, but he would accelerate their rebuild to a point that would have otherwise been virtually unreasonable. He may not be perfect, but he is the best player in the class and should be the pick at No. 1 regardless of which team is picking.
Round 1, No. 25 overall (via Los Angeles Rams): Alabama DT Christian Barmore
Jacksonville has a promising young defensive tackle in 2020 third-round pick DaVon Hamilton, but the interior defensive line group is rather bare otherwise. Undrafted free agent Doug Costin has been an excellent run defender but may be better as a rotational player due to his lack of pass-rush success, while Taven Bryan has officially entered bust category. Add in the fact that the team’s best interior rusher, Dawuane Smoot, is a free agent in March and the Jaguars badly need to rebuild the middle of their defensive line.
There aren’t a ton of defensive tackle prospects that will hear their name called early in the 2021 NFL Draft, but Alabama’s Christian Barmore has the potential to be an exception. His production has taken a leap this year as he has gone from depth player to starter, with the explosive and physical defensive tackle collecting six sacks, 6.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles, and three pass deflections. He could give the Jaguars an intriguing pair of defensive tackles between him and Hamilton to build the rest of their defensive front around.
Round 2, No. 34 overall: Clemson CB Derion Kendrick
We know the Jaguars took a cornerback at No. 9 last season — and even ultimately drafted three cornerbacks — but is there any real question that they need to make another big investment in the position? It could come in free agency, but for now we will project a cornerback to the Jaguars with yet another early pick. Sidney Jones had a stellar start to his Jaguars career but injuries have slowed him down, while D.J. Hayden is set to be a free agent, so the need for a cornerback across from CJ Henderson is clear.
Derion Kendrick is a former high school quarterback and even started his Clemon career as a wide receiver, so he is a bit raw as a cornerback. But if the Jaguars invest in a veteran cornerback this offseason, a high-ceiling but still developing No. 3 cornerback makes a lot of sense. Kendrick fits that category due to his blend of size, quickness, long speed, and ball skills. Hi instincts in coverage are still a work in progress, but he has every physical trait one could want in a cornerback, especially for a team like the Jaguars that need long-term answers at the position.
Round 2, No. 47 overall (via Minnesota Vikings): Miami TE Brevin Jordan
Brevin Jordan doesn’t have the production of Kyle Pitts but he is still an exciting tight end prospect thanks to his mismatch capabilities. Jacksonville currently needs a young tight end to add some athleticism and pass-catching ability to the position following Josh Oliver’s being lost due to injury. Tyler Eifert isn’t an answer and it is unlikely that James O’Shaughnessy is either, leading to a big need for a tight end to serve as the rookie quarterback’s safety blanket.
In 2020, Jordan has caught 30 passes for 480 yards (16.0 yards per catch) and five touchdowns. He has 11 touchdowns in his three seasons at Miami and averaged 13.0 yards per catch in his career, so it is clear he was a major piece of their passing game. With a quarterback like Lawrence, perhaps Jordan’s true potential could be utilized in a way that we didn’t always see in the inconsistent Miami offenses.
Round 3, No. 65 overall: Ohio State LT Thayer Munford
Jacksonville’s biggest current contract question isn’t Keelan Cole or Dawuane Smoot. Instead, it is left tackle Cam Robinson, the former second-round pick who has started 47 games for the Jaguars since being drafted. Robinson has plenty of experience and is a terrific run blocker but the Jaguars have yet to extend their blindside protector. If Robinson isn’t re-signed, the Jaguars will need someone who is able to quickly step in at left tackle.
With this in mind, we have opted to slot the Jaguars a left tackle in Ohio State’s Thayer Munford. A second-team All-Conference player in 2019, Munford took a step forward in 2020 to be named first-team All-Conference. Munford may not be talked about among the top tier of offensive tackle prospects in this class, but he has the size, tenacity, and experience to at least have some confidence in early on.
Round 4, No. 98 overall: UNC WR Dazz Newsome
If there is any kind of wide receiver the Jaguars don’t have on active game day rosters, it is the smaller, shiftier type of receiver that you see on other teams. DJ Chark, Laviska Shenault, Collin Johnson, Chris Conley, and Keelan Cole all have some size to them, which is far from a bad thing. But it is always good to have variety among your skill players, and North Carolina’s Dazz Newsome would give the Jaguars that.
The 5-foot-11 receiver saw his production dip some in 2020 but he is a ready-made slot receiver due to his explosiveness, ability to make tough catches, and a sheer knack for finding soft spots in the middle of the field. Newsome may not have the size of the rest of the Jaguars receivers, but he would give them an explosive option to throw into the mix for Lawrence. Maybe a linebacker or another defensive back could be the pick here if Cole, who is set to be a free agent in March, gets a new deal — but we do not yet know if that will be the case.
Round 4, No. 121 overall (via Los Angeles Rams): Oklahoma State S Kolby Harvell-Peel
If the 2020 season has taught us anything about Jacksonville’s defensive depth chart, it is that they need as many quality safeties as possible moving forward. Jarrod Wilson is a solid starter and rookie Daniel Thomas flashed a ton of potential, but the Jaguars have seen five safeties make significant snaps in 2020 and that pair are the only ones who have consistently made plays.
Oklahoma States’ Kolby Harvell-Peel was seventh in the NCAA in interceptions in 2019 with five, showing off his ball skills and playmaking ability. With that said, there have been some instances of him getting fooled by double moves or just being a tick slow to react. He has the size and physical tool to make an impact at safety, but some seasoning will still be needed.