With one of the most complete rosters in the entire NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars are in a rare spot to pick the best player available throughout the 2018 NFL Draft.
The 2017 season was a surprise for the Jacksonville Jaguars. They were a game away from playing in the Super Bowl. Their loss in the AFC Championship game to the New England Patriots felt like a stepping stone for this team. Jacksonville is set up to be a dominant force. A young, ferocious defense is the ying to the smash-mouth offense’s yang. The Jaguars can use the 2018 draft to build on that momentum.
This mock draft was done after the start of free agency using Fanspeak’s on the clock, a fun and informative tool for NFL draft fans.
Round 1 – Pick 29
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Jaguars nailed their first round pick a year ago with running back Leonard Fournette. The bruising running back was drafted to be the focal point of the offense. This year Jacksonville will not be as desperate to find certain pieces.
One of the few holes on this roster is a linebacker. Starting middle linebacker Paul Posleszny announced his retirment from football earlier in this offseason. Fellow linebackers Myles Jack and Telvin Smith are more than capable of picking up the slack. Grabbing a running mate for the athletic duo should be one of the focal points of this draft.
Leighton Vander Esch is the perfect piece at the end of round one. Like Smith and Jack, Vander Esch is an elite athlete at the linebacker position. He was a former two-sport athlete and it shows. His movement and ability to go sideline to sideline would make the Jaguars already fast defense even speedier. Adding the 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds linebacker knocks out Jacksonville’s biggest hole at the top of their draft.