2015 Draft in Review: Jacksonville Jaguars
The NFL draft is over and it suddenly seems like a long time to wait for the next meaningful event on the NFL calendar. But frankly we’re still excited trying to break down what it all means for each team and so we’re going to share some of that excitement.
That’s right, every team is going to have each pick broken down as well as a look at their undrafted free agents with the Jacksonville Jaguars up next. With needs all over the roster, how did they do?
Round 1: Dante Fowler, ED, Florida
Hard to go wrong here with the third pick and the Jaguars went with arguably the most complete edge defender in the draft. Fowler ranked in the Top 10 edge defenders in both pass rushing and run defense. He proven even better as a pass rusher on third-and-long situations with a draft class-best 21.4 Pass Rushing Productivity.
Depth Chart Fit: Should start at LEO for Gus Bradley’s defense, and could move around a bit in sub-packages.
Round 2: T.J. Yeldon, RB, Alabama
We like Yeldon as a player and he fits the Jaquars’ scheme well. He is a strong runner who forces a lot of missed tackles, even if he does lack that final gear you would like to see. His 73.6 Elusive Rating versus Power 5 opponents ranked third in the draft class. The only issue here is that we feel it was a round too early for his value, especially with the fourth pick of the round.
Depth Chart Fit: At the least should see significant playing time in a running back by committee, but could quickly become their every-down starter.
Round 3: A.J. Cann, G, South Carolina
Cann had the second-best run blocking grade against Power 5 opponents among left guards. He is a powerful blocker who is difficult to shed as a defender. He has a way to go in pass protection where he ranked 54th out of 80 draft-eligible guards in Pass Blocking Efficiency.
Depth Chart Fit: Should be the first backup at guard behind Zane Beadles and Brandon Linder.
Round 4: James Sample, S, Louisville
Sample was a full-time starter for Louisville for just one year, but it was an excellent one that put him higher than the fourth round in our eyes. He was our top-graded safety in coverage and allowed a 33.1 QB Rating when targeted. He fits best as a drop-down safety, but can do a bit of everything. He is willing in run support and a strong tackler.
Depth Chart Fit: Will be a solid special teams contributor who will also see some playing time as a backup. John Cyprien has not quite lived up to his second-round selection and Sample could eventually push for his job if Cyprien doesn’t build off his last couple games of 2014.
Round 5: Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State
Our eighth-best graded wide receiver of the draft class, Greene had plenty of production with Jameis Winston in 2014. His 17 missed tackles forced were tied for fifth-most among the WR draft class.
Depth Chart Fit: With the Jaguars set with their top three wide receivers and a handful of young receivers on the depth chart, Greene will likely fit in as the number five receiver pushing for Ace Sanders’ at number four.
Round 6: Michael Bennett, DI, Ohio State
Bennett dropping to the sixth round was a bit baffling to us. He has a great first step and has consistently produced despite maybe being a little undersized. He tallied 43 total pressures, which ranked seventh among interior defensive linemen in the draft class. Against Power 5 competition, Bennett graded as the third-best pass rusher and seventh-best in run defense.
Depth Chart Fit: Bennett should initially see some snaps as a rotational player and possibly in sub packages.
Round 7: Neal Sterling, WR, Monmouth
Did not play against FBS competition.
Depth Chart Fit: Like Greene, Sterling will have a lot of competition for a roster spot. But it is certainly possible as fellow Jaguar Allen Hurns made an impact last year as an undrafted free agent.
Round 7: Ben Koyack, TE, Notre Dame
A weak class for tight ends but Koyack is among some late-round sleepers that could make an impact. He’s an average receiver, but his real impact is made as a blocker. He had the third-best combined pass and run block grade out of TE class against Power 5 teams.
Depth Chart Fit: Comes in as the fifth tight end for the Jaquars. Might end up on the practice squad in year one.
Jake Waters, QB, Kansas State: Athletic, undersized player out of Kansas State with good college production. Waters was third in the class with a 63.5 Accuracy Percentage Under Pressure against Power 5 schools.
Corey Grant, RB, Auburn: Didn’t see much playing time behind Cameron Artis-Payne, but did earn positive grades as a runner and receiver.
Connor Hamlett, TE, Oregon State: At 6-foot-7, Hamlett is a big target who dropped just two of 34 catchable passes thrown his direction.
Chris Reed, OL, Minnesota State-Mankato: Out of Minnesota State-Mankato, no snaps against FBS opposition.
Eric Crume, DI, Syracuse: Played well against the run and as a pass rusher, Crume ranked 14th in Run Stop Percentage and 21st in Pass Rushing Productivity out of 92 qualifying interior defensive linemen in the draft class.
Thurston Armbrister, ED, Miami (FL): Better as a pass rusher than in coverage, had 12 pressures on 75 pass rush snaps from the left side.
Matt Robinson, ED, Maryland: Played well against the run and in coverage on his 457 snaps over seven games. Allowed 14 receptions and just 6.4 yards per completion on 172 snaps in coverage.
Todd Thomas, LB, Pittsburgh: Earned positive season grades against the run and in coverage, but missed eight of 54 tackle attempts in run defense.
Nick Marshall, CB, Auburn: Our third-highest graded QB moves to CB, where we have only seen him in the Senior Bowl. He was targeted twice on 25 snaps in coverage and allowed two catches for 33 yards.
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