Fixing the Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars have experienced two rough seasons after seemingly coming out of nowhere and nearly making the Super Bowl in 2017. The front office came under fire this season mainly from their own players due to odd restrictions and fines. VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin caught the blunt of the blowback and was fired during this past season. Head Coach Doug Marrone was kept on despite this issue.

Star Cornerback Jalen Ramsey was traded at the trade deadline in 2019 after him and the team couldn’t make any ground on a contract extension. The quarterback situation is interesting to say the least, with Nick Foles owed a lot of money but rookie Gardner Minshew filled in phenomenally when Foles was injured. The Jaguars are certainly rebuilding and they’re strapped against the cap, meaning they might be in for a long rebuild. They desperately need to get cheaper, so this team may look a lot different next season.

Cap Space: $-1.5 million

Cut/Trade:

The Jaguars should be heavy in the cutting game this season. This roster is not ready to compete, they have really good players they need to resign, and they also need to bring in some free agents. The following cuts will free up roughly $63 million.

Marcell Dareus, DL, $22.5

Make no mistake, Dareus is still really good and the Jags are better with him, but he’s owed $22.5 million in 2020. Jacksonville just can’t afford this contract when they literally have negative cap space.

Calais Campbell, DL, $17.5

Campbell is in the same situation as Dareus. He’s still a great player, but he’s aging and he is owed too much money in 2020.

A.J. Bouye, CB, $15.4

Bouye was a hot commodity in free agency a few years ago, but he’s take a step back since joining the Jags. His price tag for 2020 is just too high.

Marqise Lee, WR, $8.7

It seems like every preseason we expect Lee to finally breakout, but it still hasn’t happened. The Jags should find a second receiver in the draft.

– Brandon Linder, OL, $8

Linder has held his own in the starting lineup, but the Jags can find someone better in free agency for less money or someone in the draft.

Jake Ryan, LB, $5.7

Ryan hasn’t done much for the Jags and the Jags are paying too much for his minimal production.

– Abry Jones, DL, $4

The Jags are losing a lot on the defensive line with the other cuts I made above, but they still have good talent and they can use the $4 million elsewhere.

Geoff Swaim, TE, $4

Swaim hasn’t really done anything and like Jones, the Jags can really use the $4 million in free agency.

Resign:

Yannick Ngakoue, EDGE

This is the most important thing that the Jags need to take care of this season. Ngakoue is one of the best edge rushers/defensive lineman in the entire NFL. Obviously the contract won’t come cheap, but after the cuts I listed above, the Jags can easily fit this deal in their new cap space.

– Tyler Shatley, OL

Shatley can play either guard or center and he won’t demand too much money in a new contract.

– Cedric Ogbuehi, OT

Ogbuehi is labeled a bust from the 2015 draft, but he makes for a nice swing tackle for the Jaguars as long as he doesn’t want very much money or a chance to start somewhere in 2020.

– Nick O’Leary, TE

O’Leary has a surprising season playing very well and producing at a much higher rate than anticipated. He’s another player that should be able to come back fairly cheap.

– Seth Devalve, TE

Devalve is another piece in the tight end room that provided surprising production in limited time on the field. Every quarterback needs a good safety valve.

Draft:

Round One (pick 9 and 20):

The Jaguars aren’t guaranteed their guy at 9 overall, but I’ve narrowed my focus down to two perfect prospects for them based on how mock drafts have been playing out.

Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama
-Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson

Both of these prospects are top 5 on my board and if either of these players last until 9, the Jaguars shouldn’t hesitate to pick them. Jeudy is the best receiver in this draft and he’ll add an excellent option next to breakout receiver D.J. Chark. Simmons is simply put a defensive weapon. He isn’t a true linebacker, as he displayed at Clemson he can also play safety, slot corner, and edge rusher.

With pick 20, the Jaguars should mainly look at cornerback. They have a huge hole at the position due to the Ramsey trade. There is one corner that I like the value at 20 overall, so if he is off the board, I’ll list two other prospects they can draft with good value.

C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida
– Javon Kinlaw, DL, South Carolina
– Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama

Henderson is my second ranked cornerback in this class and other teams’ needs may push him down to 20. Kinlaw is a dominant force in the middle of the defensive line and I don’t think he’s that far behind Derrick Brown in this class. Ruggs may also be pushed down due to other teams’ needs, but if he’s available his blazing speed would completely open things up for Jacksonville. (Obviously the Ruggs pick is dependent on Jeudy being the first pick).

Round Two (pick 42):

The Jaguars can kind of take a best player available approach with this pick in the second round. They should first look at the positions I listed in the first round if they didn’t address those, mainly receiver and cornerback. They should also look at offensive linemen with this pick.

Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Arizona State
– Jalen Reagor, WR, TCU
– Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
– Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
– Josh Jones, OT, Houston
– Trey Adams, OT, Washington
– Lloyd Cushenberry III, OL, LSU
– Matt Hennesy, OL, Temple
– Evan Weaver, LB, Cal
– Troy Dye, LB, Oregon
– Ross Blacklock, DL, TCU
– Neville Gallimore, DL, Oklahoma

Round Three (pick 73):

Continuing with the positions previously mentioned, the Jags should look at safety and tight end in the third round.

Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
– Gabriel Davis, WR, UCF
– Troy Pride Jr., CB, Notre Dame
– Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia
– Lucas Niang, OT, UConn
– Prince Tega-Wonogho, OT, Auburn
– Tommy Kraemer, OL, Notre Dame
– Damien Lewis, OL, LSU
– Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
– Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming
– Raekwon Davis, DL, Alabama
– Justin Madubuike, DL, Texas A&M
– Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
– Ashtyn Davis, S, Cal
– Adam Trautman, TE, Dayton
– Jared Pinckney, TE, Vanderbilt

Round Four (pick 106):

In the fourth round (besides the positions listed above), the Jags could look at edge rushers and running back.

Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR, Liberty
– Lynn Bowden Jr., WR, Buffalo
– Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State
– A.J. Green, CB, Oklahoma State
– Calvin Throckmorton, OT, Oregon
– Isaiah Wilson, OT, Georgia
– Hakeem Adiniji, OL, Kansas
– Damien Lewis, OL, LSU
– Joe Bachie, LB, Michigan State
– Willie Gay Jr., LB, Mississippi State
– Jordan Elliott, DL, Missouri
– Rashard Lawrence, DL, LSU
– Julian Blackmon, S, Utah
– K’Von Wallace, S, Clemson
– Albert Okwuegbunam, TE, Missouri
– Colby Parkinson, TE, Stanford
– Jonathan Greenard, EDGE, Florida
– Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
– Cam Akers, RB, Florida State
– Zack Moss, RB, Utah

Rounds 6 and 7 (169, 184, 200):

The Jags don’t have a fifth round pick due to the Josh Dobbs trade with the Steelers, so we pick back up with the sixth round here with two picks and one seventh round pick. Every position is on the table in the late rounds, besides QB because of Nick Foles and Gardner Minshew. One player will be listed from every other position around 169 and one around 200.

Darius Anderson, RB, TCU
– Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona State
– Antonio Gibson, WR, Memphis
– John Hightower, WR, Boise State
– Harrison Bryant, TE, FAU
– Devin Asiasi, TE, UCLA
– Terence Steele, OT, Texas Tech
– Jon Runyan, OT, Michigan
– John Molchon, OL, Boise State
– Sean Pollard, OL, Clemson
– Mustafa Johnson, DL, Colorado
– Robert Landers, DL, Ohio State
– D.J. Wonnum, EDGE, South Carolina
– Jonathan Garvin, EDGE, Miami
– Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue
– David Woodward, LB, Utah State
– Darnay Holmes, CB, UCLA
– Dane Jackson, CB, Pitt
– Alohi Gilman, S, Notre Dame
– Essang Bassey, S, Wake Forest

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