2020 NFL Draft: Jacksonville Jaguars 7-round mock

Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL Mock Draft

The Jacksonville Jaguars have nine picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, including two in the first round. Here is their latest 2020 NFL mock draft.

The Jacksonville Jaguars had another chaotic season down in North Florida. While some people thought the team could have a bounce-back year in 2019 with former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles coming over in free agency, he didn’t win a single game for his new team. Fortunately, sixth-round pick Gardner Minshew was good enough to win the Jaguars six games.

Jacksonville once again finds itself picking in the top 10 of an NFL Draft. At least it’s not the top five like the Jaguars had been accustomed to for much of the last decade. Jacksonville also has two bites at the apple in the first round. While its second first-round pick is from the Jalen Ramsey trade with the Los Angeles Rams, maybe the Jaguars can use it as leverage to help them move up?

Overall, Jacksonville has nine picks in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. The Jaguars have one pick in each round, plus two in the first and two in the sixth. They are in great position to address all nine of the team needs heading into the draft.

Primary needs are cornerback, out on the edge and at tight end. Secondary needs are at quarterback, offensive tackle and wide receiver. Tertiary needs are at center, along the defensive line and at linebacker. With one-and-a-half times as many draft picks as they’ll have home games in Duval this year, here is the Jaguars’ vastest 2020 NFL mock draft. Who do they end up taking?

First Round

9

A.J. Epenesa

EDGE Iowa Hawkeyes

The Jaguars are in a curious spot with their first-round selection at No. 9. Though they should be able to address both of their top needs out on the edge and at cornerback in the first round, Jacksonville will be reaching for a player at either position with this pick. We could see the Jaguars trade back to get better value out of the selection, but let’s have them address edge here first.

One player who is a lock to be a first-round pick is Iowa Hawkeyes defensive end A.J. Epenesa. In three years playing for Kirk Ferentz’s Hawkeyes, Epenesa was a pass-rushing phenom and a sack monster. He had 36 tackles for a loss of yardage in three years at Iowa City, as well 26.5 sacks. In 2018 and ’19, Epenesa had back-to-back double-digit sack seasons to end his college career.

With Jacksonville’s proclivity in the pass rush, Epenesa will fit right in with their defense-first culture. Depending on what the Jaguars want to do with Yannick Ngakoue, Epenesa has the talent to come in and be an impactful pass-rusher day one in the NFL. With guys like Calais Campbell and Josh Allen already on the team, Epenesa will have his opportunities to get after the quarterback.

Ultimately, taking Epenesa here at No. 9 is less of a reach than it would be taking a cornerback in the top 10. Epenesa is probably slotted to go a few picks later in the early teens, but with the Jaguars’ recent success in drafts regarding pass-rushers, this feels like a pick where Jacksonville can get more value out of the position than most teams picking in this spot.

20

Kristian Fulton

CB LSU Tigers

Replacing Ramsey in the defensive backfield is difficult and necessary for the Jaguars. Their former top-five pick wanted out of Jacksonville and got his wishes by being traded to the Rams. He can star in his new home in Los Angeles, but Jacksonville is left picking up the pieces. One player who could be a fit for them at No. 20 with the Rams’ pick is LSU Tigers cornerback Kristian Fulton.

Fulton was part of the 2019 National Championship team, earning a spot on the All-SEC Second Team. Though players like safety Grant Delpit and freshman phenom Derek Stingley Jr. garnered more praise than him, Fulton looks to be a terrific defensive back prospect. If the latest star from DBU pans out like we think he can, Jacksonville may have solved its Ramsey issues in one year.

At 6-feet and 200 pounds, Fulton has the size to be a versatile player in the Jaguars’ defensive backfield. Though he only had two career interceptions in college, keep in mind he only played nine games for the Bayou Bengals before his junior season. Fulton had 14 pass breakups in 15 games during his breakout junior year with LSU. He projects as an excellent cover cornerback in the NFL.

Overall, Fulton will probably be off the board before the Jaguars pick at No. 20. Is Fulton worth moving up a few spots to get him? Probably not, but taking him here in the early 20s is a great value move for the Jaguars to make should they stand pat with both of their first-round selections. They will have addressed their top-two needs with these picks. Y

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