Posted April 18, 2014

Jacksonville Jaguars Mock Draft Tracker

Jacksonville Jaguars, NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014
Jacksonville Jaguars 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

What will the Jacksonville Jaguars do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.

April 17, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 7.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 3: Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

We said: Basically, the same spiel from Houston’s No. 1 pick can be copied over here. In his last mock draft, SI’s Don Banks wrote: “They are conducting pre-draft visits with every big-time quarterback, but mark it down, the Jaguars aren’t going QB. At least not at No. 3 in such a deep and talented draft …”

Good enough for me. And landing Mack, an impact player to slide in as a Leo-position type in Gus Bradley’s defense, justifies waiting on a QB.

April 10, 2014  2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 3: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

We said: They are conducting pre-draft visits with every big-time quarterback, but mark it down, the Jaguars aren’t going QB. At least not at No. 3 in such a deep and talented draft, with numerous good choices to be had at the position in the second and third rounds. That means Jacksonville must choose between taking a Day 1 playmaker on defense in Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack, and a Day 1 playmaker on offense in Watkins, easily the most gifted receiver in this year’s draft. It’s probably going to pain Gus Bradley to pass on Mack, because he knows building a quality defense is the fastest way to turn things around in the NFL, but the need for Watkins is even greater in Jacksonville. With Justin Blackmon a complete question mark due to a league suspension, and only ex-Ravens wideout Tandon Doss added in free agency, the Jaguars need a stud to throw to in the passing game.

April 1, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 3: Blake Bortles, QB, Central Florida

We said: With Manziel gone, and the Jags desperately in need of a quarterback, Bortles might be at front of mind. Jacksonville head coach Gus Bradley was certainly interested in Bortles’ future after the UCF star’s pro day.

“You watch the tape and he intrigues you, and then you see that he got better during the offseason and that intrigues you,” Bradley said. “You feel he is a guy that is moving up the scale. If he comes into our system or if he goes to Houston or Minnesota, each one of those teams will ask him to do different things, and what he’s put on tape and what he did on his pro day showed he can take coaching and can get better. That’s good. That’s a great trait to have.”

Bortles has the size (6-foot-5, 230 pounds), arm and mobility most teams desire at quarterback. Jacksonville is hyper-interested in rebuilding its franchise using unconventional methods, and this may be a bit of a reach, but as soon as he learns to read defenses and expand the field at an NFL level, Bortles could be just what the Jags need.

March 25, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 6.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 3: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

We said: For much the same reason Oakland would be in the trade-up mix, Jacksonville may consider such a move if it has a definitive desire to land one specific quarterback. Right now, I can envision only two real options for the Jaguars with their first pick: take a QB (and Bridgewater remains the most pro-ready) or nab Clowney/Mack as a focal point for Gus Bradley’s defense.

March 18, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 3: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: Even with all the attention Jacksonville has paid to its defensive line in free agency — signing Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Ziggy Hood and re-signing Jason Babin — there’s always room for a prospect who could grow into the game’s most feared pass rusher. The Chad Henne re-signing makes it clear the Jaguars won’t pass on a special player to draft a Day 1 starter at quarterback. Gus Bradley is building a defense in Jacksonville, and Clowney will play the cornerstone role.

March 5, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 3: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

We said: There isn’t a single transcendent quarterback prospect in this draft, but Bridgewater is the closest you’ll find to an Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin in 2014. With his mobility, field vision, accuracy to all areas and game intelligence, Bridgewater has everything it takes to succeed in the NFL. And enough about his slight frame — he measured in at 6-2  and 214 pounds at the combine, and an NFL strength program will add to his functional muscle. The Jags are rebuilding slowly but intelligently, and Bridgewater could well be the chip that takes them out of mediocrity for the first time in eons.

Feb. 26, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 3: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina.

We said: Here’s what Gus Bradley had to say at the combine in regard to his QB spot: “Everybody is tagged with, ‘Is he a franchise quarterback?’’That’s really difficult. I guess Chad Henne is ours and he’s our starter … if we get him re-signed.”

Hardly reassuring words for Jaguars fans. A QB would be easy to justify and to understand here. That said, Bradley is a defensive-minded coach who is badly in need of someone to pressure opposing quarterbacks off the edge. He may never get another chance to land someone like Clowney to fill that role.

Round 2, pick 39: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU.

We said: The Jaguars get their QB, the fifth off the board, after zeroing in on Clowney early — pairing Mettenberger with Chad Henne (should he re-sign) would buy them some time.

Feb. 19, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 3: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: Passing on a quarterback such as Teddy Bridgewater or Blake Bortles (or Manziel if he’s still on the board) may not help the Jaguars maximize their 2014 potential, but if Clowney fulfills his potential to become the league’s dominant pass rusher, the pick will look shrewd in hindsight and help address a glaring need that Jacksonville has been trying to fill for years now. Clowney could be the centerpiece for the defensive upgrade that Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley seeks, in much the same way that his former team, the Seahawks, built on that side of the ball before turning their focus to offense.

Feb. 6, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Doug Farrar)
Round 1, pick 3: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: Clowney doesn’t dip in this mock because of any nonsense about his motor, motivation or production — it’s simply a matter of team need, and how the draft rolls sometimes. In this case, going third will be an ideal situation for him, because head coach Gus Bradley learned a lot from Pete Carroll as Seattle’s defensive coordinator from 2009 through ’12, including how to use defensive linemen in variable situations and in rotational packages. In such a system, Clowney’s ability to play outside and move inside at times, taking on double teams and still getting production all the while, will be featured in the best possible ways

Jan. 9, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Chris Burke)
Round 1, pick 3: Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M

We said: An admission: I was all over the place with Manziel before settling on him here, bumping out Khalil Mack. I do not think it’s out of the question that the Jaguars aim for someone like Mack or Anthony Barr to give Gus Bradley a dynamic defender. But doing so would likely force them to settle on a second-tier QB later, dragging out the rebuilding project.

Manziel will make mistakes (possibly off the field as well as on). He’ll also make the Jaguars a far more dangerous team from Day 1.

Dec. 5, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.1 (Chris Burke)
Round 1, pick 2: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: How desperate are the Jaguars to score their franchise quarterback in Round 1? Mariota was the pick slotted here in Mock 3.0, but with him off the board, here’s the dilemma: Stay the course and go with Derek Carr (or whichever other QB is behind Bridgewater on Jacksonville’s board)? Or continue to build up Gus Bradley’s defense and grab a QB later (either by trading back into Round 1 or using the high Round 2 pick). For now, it’s door A.

Sept. 24, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Chris Burke) 

Round 1, pick 1: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

We said: If the Jaguars wind up in this slot — and there’s certainly no reason to think otherwise through three weeks — then they’ll have two choices. The first is the most obvious: Take Bridgewater, thus far the clear top quarterback in the class, and build around him. The second? Go with Jadeveon Clowney (yes, he’s still a viable No. 1 pick) and take advantage of a deep QB class in Round 2.

April 30, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 29: Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson

We said: As a guest analyst on the NFL Network’s draft coverage, LSU head coach Les Miles absolutely raved about Boyd. Miles’ Tigers fell to Boyd’s … well, Tigers in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl last year, and Boyd threw for 346 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. Miles said his team tried everything and just couldn’t stop the assault. Boyd has had back-to-back sensational years, and he is the type of dual-threat QB teams are clamoring for right now.