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Jacksonville Jaguars Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up


Jake Arthur
Now that the 2016 NFL Draft is over, what areas of the roster do the Jacksonville Jaguars still need to focus on? | Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars Team Needs: Draft Wrap Up

By all accounts, the Jacksonville Jaguars absolutely smacked the 2016 NFL Draft out of the park. They got arguably the two best players in the draft in the first and second rounds respectively, and then they went and picked up a pair of talented pass rushers after that. Overall, they focused heavily on defense and addressed a handful of needs overall.

With the offseason additions of Malik Jackson, Yannick Ngakoue, Sheldon Day and Tyrone Holmes, it will be a while before the Jags have a need on the defensive line. They also seem to have gotten their dynamic OTTO and possible eventual replacement at middle linebacker for Paul Posluszny in Myles Jack.

However, we know that the draft does not always solve everything. What do the Jaguars still need to focus on in order to get a complete roster?

 

1. Figure Out the Offensive Line

Basically, the Jags have about seven players that they need to fit into five starting offensive line roles. Luke Joeckel, Kelvin Beachum, Jermey Parnell and Brandon Linder are their best offensive linemen and therefore the most likely to start, but then there is also A.J. Cann, Mackenzy Burnadeau and Luke Bowanko sitting there likely to plug the fifth starting spot and help fill out the line depth.

While it is easy to figure out who the main cogs in the Jaguars’ line should be, putting them in order is not. Joeckel’s fifth-year option will not be picked up since he has not played up to the standard of a top-five draft pick, so there really is not any loyalty to do anything for him. Beachum is a better left tackle but has more versatility than Joeckel and can play guard. While Beachum is a better left tackle, moving Joeckel could be a total wild card, meaning it may be safest to keep Joeckel at tackle and put Beachum at guard. After losing Stefen Wisniewski in free agency, center is also up in the air. Linder is a better player than Bowanko – Cann might even be as well – and there has been talk this offseason of Linder moving to center, but if Linder moves, there is an open spot at right guard.

The Jaguars’ decision-makers obviously know more than we do right now, but exactly how open is the competition on the offensive line? Will the best five players be starting, or will it come down to best fit?

 

2. Figure Out the Secondary

The additions of Tashaun Gipson, Prince Amukamara and Jalen Ramsey will help the Jacksonville defense immensely, but between the cornerbacks and safeties as a group, their order is a bit up in the air as well.

This issue is almost certainly to be played out in training camp, but right now it is primarily Ramsey, Davon House, Amukamara, Dwayne Gratz, Aaron Colvin, Demetrius McCray and Nick Marshall battling for position at corner – a position that has been far from an area of strength in recent years. Colvin's four-game suspension to start the season also fails to make things easier.

Gipson likely has one spot locked down at safety, but then there is veteran starter Johnathan Cyprien starting next to Gipson, fending off James Sample. Sample was actually brought in last year to start next to Cyprien, another underwhelming draft pick. Will Sample be given the opportunity to start over Cyprien if he outperforms him in camp? Though they brought him in to compete at free safety last year, Sample is more of a natural strong safety, meaning he could be better for the Jags defense than Cyprien if given the opportunity.

Between the entire secondary, the depth is a good problem to have, but they need to get the right players on the field. Also a plus is that the Jaguars will now have a never-ending supply of defensive linemen coming into the game. With how many quality linemen they have on the roster, who knows how many they will actually carry on the 53-man. However, they should always be fresh and constantly rotating, which will keep them able to rush the passe. It will alleviate the pressure on the secondary and allow them to make plays. This will be especially huge for a ball-hawking defensive back like Gipson.

 

3. Kicker

Jason Myers may have had some nice moments last year as a rookie, but he was also an absolute mess at times.

Overall, he missed 11 kicks – four field goals and seven extra points. Of his missed field goals, one was within 29 yards, so basically another extra point. How you miss more extra point attempts than field goal attempts, I do not know, but Myers has to get it figured out.

He has a good leg, but you cannot have unreliable players on the field. Imagine the Jaguars finally going back to the playoffs in 2016 for the first time in nine years. They are in the first round, playing a hated rival like the Indianapolis Colts, and the Jaguars – down by two points – are lining up to kick what would be the game-winning field goal with 0:02 on the clock and from only 35 yards out. Wide right. Game over. Season over. All because the kicker could not cash in when it mattered most. That would sting, wouldn't it?

While Myers might have legitimate competition from undrafted free agent signee Jaden Oberkrom in camp, Myers is the favorite to win the job still.

 

Jake Arthur is the AFC South Newsdesk Manager, Assistant Director of NFL Content and a Featured Analyst for Pro Football Spot. He is also a member of the Professional Football Writers of America. Follow @JakeArthurPFS on Twitter, as well as on FacebookGoogle+ and FanCred.


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Got to imagine that if Myers gets off to a bad start, there is not going to be a lot of patience left from the coaches or the fanbase. I would not be shocked if Oberkrom challenges him or if not, they sign a veteran kicker. Really seven missed extra points is kind of abysmal.

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7 hours ago, James Reagan said:

Got to imagine that if Myers gets off to a bad start, there is not going to be a lot of patience left from the coaches or the fanbase. I would not be shocked if Oberkrom challenges him or if not, they sign a veteran kicker. Really seven missed extra points is kind of abysmal.

It really is crazy how inconsistent he is.

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Myers has the leg strength, but his accuracy falters occasionally. E.G. he hit the 53-yarder as time expired against Baltimore and a 58-yarder against Miami, but missed two shorter ones that were game-winners against Indy. I think he could be the guy, but he'll have to improve his consistency.

Sent from my iPhone using the Pro Football Spot App

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In terms of SS, I think that Sample has a very legitimate chance of winning the starting spot over Cyp. Cyp is too inconsistent in his tackling. Sure, he can stuff the RB on occasion, but whenever he would be asked to cover (not even deep zone, but just man against tight ends), coverage was frequently blown and he sometimes seemed out of position. I think if Sample plays just moderately well, he has a very real chance of stepping above Cyp on the depth chart.

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Next off-season they'll have to be much more careful about what they do in free agency since they've brought in so many big and medium name guys that way the last couple years. They'll have to start resigning their own talent, so if they're going to find a replacement for Joeckel, the draft should be the place to look, rather than overpaying for him just generally playing a lot for someone else.

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19 hours ago, Carter Wilson said:

In terms of SS, I think that Sample has a very legitimate chance of winning the starting spot over Cyp. Cyp is too inconsistent in his tackling. Sure, he can stuff the RB on occasion, but whenever he would be asked to cover (not even deep zone, but just man against tight ends), coverage was frequently blown and he sometimes seemed out of position. I think if Sample plays just moderately well, he has a very real chance of stepping above Cyp on the depth chart.

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Yeah I think it's a coin flip at this point. We know what Cyprien is capable of already so I hope Sample gets a ton of snaps early in the preseason to see what he can do

Carter Wilson likes this

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Going back to Myers, it really is mind blowing that a kicker can miss that many extra points in a season. I get that it was moved back, but that was a little insane how frequently he'd miss them. Need reliability at a position that directly influences the score like that.

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On 5/5/2016 at 4:14 PM, Carter Wilson said:

Myers has the leg strength, but his accuracy falters occasionally. E.G. he hit the 53-yarder as time expired against Baltimore and a 58-yarder against Miami, but missed two shorter ones that were game-winners against Indy. I think he could be the guy, but he'll have to improve his consistency.

Sent from my iPhone using the Pro Football Spot App

Thanks so much for reminding me about that one clutch kick he did make, haha. That loss was unlike anything I've ever experienced as a Ravens fan. Even with the refs afterwards saying they screwed up. Just so agonizing.

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Certainly a kicker of some pedegree could've been picked in Round 7, rather than another lineman.

Well they've already released Oberkrom, the UDFA kicker, so I don't think they're too worried about Myers, which could be a mistake.

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Frank Scaduto likes this

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Jacksonville will give every team they play this year a run for their money and massive headaches to go along with it.  Mark my words.

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On 5/17/2016 at 4:48 PM, Carter Wilson said:

Well they've already released Oberkrom, the UDFA kicker, so I don't think they're too worried about Myers, which could be a mistake.

Sent from my iPhone using the Pro Football Spot App

Yep.

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