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We don’t want to dwell on what happened to the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019, other than to say that if we wrote an article about what went wrong and what went right, the article on what went wrong would rival ‘War and Peace’ in terms of length. The article on what went right would be small enough to fit on the back of a postcard. Regardless of that, it’s over now, and all the team and its fans can do is pick themselves up and start dreaming of better days in 2020.
It’s very clear that there’s going to have to be a huge clearout at the Jaguars if 2020 is going to be better than 2019, and no player is too precious to give away. We expect the team that takes to the field for the first game of 2020 to look very different from the team that limped off at the end of 2019 having failed to qualify for the playoffs yet again, and so that means the Jaguars are going to have to be very active – and very clever – during the draft.
The draft, which is coming up in April and will arrive before any of us know it, is always an exciting time. Anything can happen. It’s like the football-themed online slots game Piggy Payout on websites such as UKOnlineSlots.com – nobody knows what the next lineup is going to be until it happens, and any one of them could be money. What happens on an online slots game depends on luck, though. The Jaguars have the opportunity to exercise their judgment and bring in some truly game-altering players, and if they’re able to do so, they’ll make the jackpot of that online slots game look like a pittance. Here are five fresh new players that we believed should be very close to the top of the Jaguars’ most-wanted list when draft day comes around.
Neville Gallimore, Oklahoma
Neville Gallimore stands six feet and two inches tall and weighs three hundred pounds. He’s almost as thick as he is tall, and he looks like he could tackle a giant redwood. This is a young man who could make the nose tackle position his own, and potentially stay there for a long time. He’s not been the most consistent player during his time at Oklahoma, but his errors have been the kind you make through lack of experience rather than lack of ability. Crucially, those errors may ultimately mean other teams overlook him, making it easier for the Jaguars to step in and pick him up. Oklahoma picked up a Big 12 Championship in 2019, and it’s highly unlikely they’d have done that without Gallimore’s tackles.
Andrew Thomas, Georgia
For some reason, Dave Caldwell believes that the Jaguars’ offensive line is one of the team’s key strengths. We have no idea what Caldwell is looking at, but to the rest of the world, it’s readily apparent that fresh blood is needed in the forward line, and Andrew Thomas might be the most outstanding candidate available to provide it. That’s why the Cleveland Browns and the New York Giants have both been tracking him. That doesn’t mean they’re going to get him, though. He’s not necessarily draft pick number one for either of them, whereas for the Jaguars, he could and should be. He can play on the right and the left, and he’s a multiple-time All-American and All-SEC. He’s the real deal, and he’s going to have a big career in the NFL. If the Jaguars can get him and hold on to him for even a few years, he could make a big difference.
Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
Many critics say that Alabama’s Jerry Jeudy is the best wide receiver prospect in the whole draft. That probably isn’t great news in terms of the Jaguars’ prospects of getting hold of him, but the draft is a crazy time, and you never know what might be coming. He’s another player who could be a one-man revolution on the Jaguars’ forward line. In three seasons at Alabama, he’s racked up 26 touchdowns and caught 159 balls for a little over 2700 yards. As if that weren’t enough to convince you of his credentials, he was a sophomore when he won the Biletnikoff Award in 2018. Another player with a big future.
Shane Lemieux, Oregon
You won’t see this name on many other lists. That’s because people are sleeping on Shane Lemieux. Anyone who thinks there aren’t any great guard prospects in this year’s draft clearly haven’t seen Lemieux play. Right guard is an obvious weakness for the Jaguars, and right guard is exactly where Lemieux likes to fit in. He’s transitioned there from the left guard position he played in during his sophomore year, and he’s an All-American. It’s even possible that he’ll still be waiting to be picked at the start of Day Two, in which case he becomes a no-brainer.
Van Jefferson, Florida
We all know that the Jaguars are going to take someone from Florida, and if they’re going to take someone from Florida, they may as well make it a good pick. Van Jefferson is the best pick on offer for our money. He might not have spent his whole college career in Florida – he transferred from Ole Miss in 2016 – but in the two years he’s been there he’s caught plenty of eyes, and picked up 175 catches for 2159 yards. That rate increased sharply last year when he picked up 49 for only 657. He could use a little work when it comes to his end product, but all the tools are there, and he’s an NFL-quality slot receiver.
Clearly, the Jaguars won’t get all of the above players. It would be a real coup if they were able to beat off bigger teams and land Andrew Thomas, but the chances of doing so are probably remote. Neville Gallimore is probably the one player who could make the biggest impact straight out of the gate, so Gallimore on Day One and Lemieux on Day Two would represent some good early business for the team. Will 2020 be better than 2019 for the Jaguars? Let’s face it – it can’t get much worse, so all they can do is try – and that starts off with getting things right in the draft!