The Jags Will Opt For a Pass-Catcher In The First Round
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The biggest surprise of the 2017 NFL season was the play of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The years of high picks in the draft finally seemed to pay off, as the team was hitting on all cylinders. It was defense and the running of Leonard Fournette that got them to the AFC title game last year. Fournette came out of the gates with a bang last season as one of the more consistent backs in Fantasy. Once the injuries started, causing him to miss time, he slowed during the most important time of the year. But with his potential, you will see Fournette come off the board in drafts towards the end of the first round this year.
Even without Allen Robinson for the 2017 season, Blake Bortles did just enough to keep the Jaguars going, even with the mind-boggling turnovers we’ve come accustomed to. In fact, Bortles finished as a QB1 in Fantasy last season, but primarily because of his additional value as a runner. It’ll be hard to expect similar returns from Bortles in 2018, and his draft value will show that. Bortles is strictly a QB2 this year.
With the departure of Allen Robinson in free agency, the receiving group will ride with a very young core of Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, and Keelan Cole. The group does have some potential, but finding the right player in a given week may be tough. The receivers here are not the most consistent crew of players, making them more of backup options in Fantasy drafts.
Going into the NFL draft, the Jaguars will be looking to find players to add value to the team, whether its on the offense or defense. I expect for them to focus on adding to the offensive line to help solidify this running game. Also, they will undoubtedly find more players to fill depth on the defensive side of the ball.
Team Needs: OT, LB, QB
Projected Top Three Picks
First Round: Courtland Sutton, WR SMU
Second Round: Brian O’Neill, OT Pittsburgh
Third Round: Shaquem Griffin, LB UCF
Courtland Sutton is the type of receiver that potentially fits well with the physical style the Jaguars play. Sutton will find a role as a possession receiver at the pro level with his limited route tree. Sutton plays tough and has a nose for blocking, something that will help find him playing time on the Jaguars offense. His lack of a next gear could limit his potential as a big-play threat, but he has some appeal as an option in PPR formats. Sutton will be worth the late-round flier in many Fantasy drafts in 2018.
Brian O’Neill is an intriguing prospect at tackle. O’Neill is a plus athlete with good length, but he has lapses in judgement from time to time that causes him to lose his technique. His zone-blocking potential could be what the Jaguars like about him. His addition could do nothing but help the Fantasy potential of Fournette and the running game.
Shaquem Griffin will be a big story during the NFL Draft. The fact alone that he has made it to the pro level is an inspiration. Griffin’s play speed and technique is hard to ignore even with his limitations. His upfield burst will give him some allure as a potential pass rusher in this scheme while he finds a home in a linebacker rotation. Griffin is likely destined for backup duty in the NFL, limiting his potential as an IDP Fantasy asset.
Courtland Sutton NFL Draft: (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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