by Cole McCauley
January 15, 2020
After winning the AFC South in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars have had two straight mediocre seasons. Ending the 2019 season with a record of 6-10, Jacksonville once again finds itself with a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft.
The Jaguars have enough talent to surprise a lot of teams next year. At the same time, there are definite areas of concern that Jacksonville needs to address. Thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade, the Jaguars have two first-round picks.
Here are some options the team should consider with pick No. 9.
The Clemson linebacker/safety is one of the most versatile prospects in the 2020 draft class. After impressive showings in the College Football Playoff this year and in 2019 in general, Simmons has seen his stock rise of late.
At 6-foot-4 and 230 pounds, Simmons has the size and athleticism to play either linebacker or safety for Jacksonville. The junior flew all around the field for the Tigers this year and the Jaguars could use some of that.
With Telvin Smith’s sudden departure from football and Myles Jack’s step back this year, the Jaguars could use a do-it-all defender with all the physical skills to be a future Pro Bowler one day.
The defensive line isn’t the most pressing need for Jacksonville, but it is a need nonetheless. Auburn’s Derrick Brown is considered by many to be the top defensive lineman in the class and if he falls to the Jaguars at nine, they could be getting a massive steal.
Calais Campbell is still a great player, but he’ll be 34 years old next season. Brown has the explosiveness, size, and raw power to make an immediate impact in Jacksonville and would form a scary trio along with Josh Allen and Yannick Ngakoue on the edge.
The 6-foot-5, 318-pound defensive lineman could go as early as third in the draft, but there’s a chance he could fall into Jacksonville’s lap.
It was a tough year for the Jaguars’ offensive line. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson struggled in 2019 after tearing his ACL the year prior, so with the final prospect in the article, Jacksonville goes out and lands possibly the top tackle in the class.
Thomas was a freshman All-American for the University of Georgia in 2017 and led the way for D’Andre Swift in 2019. With how talented he is, the All-American tackle may not fall to pick No. 9, but it’s certainly a possibility. At 6-foot-5 and 320 pounds, Thomas has excellent power, long arms, and has excelled as a run blocker.
If Jacksonville wants to commit to Leonard Fournette and running the ball, there’s no better option than Thomas if he’s available.