Draft Day 2017 is finally here and the paralysis by over-analysis is just about done. There isn't another event all year in sports that gets over-analyzed as much as the draft and that's not just by fans and media but teams too.
I think all the back and forth makes it more confusing to predict and that's kind of the fun of this night and weekend.
When you have so much information and so many rumors, I like to look at the logic of the possible picks when it comes to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
LEONARD FOURNETTE, RUNNING BACK, LSU
I think Fournette is the one player in this draft I'm afraid to pass up on. It's a boom or bust position at this spot in the draft, but the upside to Fournette is Canton, Ohio and the Jags could finally use a bust in Canton instead of another busted draft pick.
Fournette answers this simple question: Who makes the Jags better in September in this draft?
I don't think there's another player that accomplishes that and the Jags are in win now mode. Everyone is tired of losing and even the threat of Fournette in the backfield this fall makes the Jags immediately better and helps struggling qb Blake Bortles.
DESHAUN WATSON, QUARTERBACK, CLEMSON
Really? Wow, the rumor mill has exploded in the last few days on Deshaun Watson to the Jags. This would be a Tom Coughlin "we're starting over at qb" selection. Watson's number one trait is leadership and you know Coughlin loves that. If you love Watson, I'm ok with the pick because I think in the NFL you should draft potential franchise quarterbacks every few years if you're picking in the top five. It's different if you have Andrew Luck, but if you have question marks, I'm always alright with drafting a quarterback. It's that important of a position.
The problem I have with the Watson pick is I don't think he's going to be very good. I think this class is terrible in terms of franchise quarterbacks, although I like Watson better than the rest of them.
I also still think Blake Bortles isn't a complete lost cause. Bortles has issues, many of them, but he's also had 60 touchdown passes in the last two seasons.
JONATHAN ALLEN, DEFENSIVE TACKLE, ALABAMA
If you're a fan of the safe pick, I think Allen makes sense. Allen told me on Wednesday that teams are not worried about reports of shoulder concerns. Aside from that, this guy is going to be a good football player in the NFL for a long time. Coughlin, Caldwell and Marrone might add to a defense that looks pretty good on paper. I don't think Allen is a huge impact player immediately though and that's where my logic comes back into play. If you pick Allen, you better spend the rest of the draft on offense because nothing has been done this offseason on that side of the ball to get better and help Bortles. I also think the Jags are invested heavily into the 3 technique position with $90 million man Malik Jackson and last year's 4th round pick Sheldon Day.
SOLOMON THOMAS, DEFENSIVE END, STANFORD
I'll be honest. I didn't see Thomas play a lot in college and this would not be a sexy pick because a lot of local fans are probably in the same boat. I will tell you that the people here in Philly and experts around the NFL and college game rave about this guy's versatility and impact on the game. This makes more sense than Allen to me because Thomas can play the big end position with Calais Campbell and move inside when necessary. The logic against Thomas is the same as I have for Allen up above. My guess is the Jags have Thomas rated higher than Allen so if he's available at number four, it might be a tough choice for the Jags.
MALIK HOOKER, SAFETY, OHIO STATE
I have a sneaky suspicion that Malik Hooker is higher on the Jags board than a lot of people think. The Jags invested heavily into Tashaun Gipson and he was a disappointment last year and with a young defense some have questioned his leadership. The free safety position in Todd Wash's defense is vital and in the NFL it's hard to find that position. What if the Jags think Hooker is Jalen Ramsey like at the free safety spot? I'd sign up for that right now! On paper, it doesn't make a ton of sense to draft that position but this would be one of those picks that Coughlin and Caldwell took best player available on their board and I can live with that. One knock against Hooker is the injuries at Ohio State. He's coming off two different surgeries so that has to be a red flag at number four.
Overall, I think the Jaguars will draft Leonard Fournette unless Solomon Thomas slips to them at number four. I think it would be a battle in the war room if that scenario takes place. The Jags will also keep an eye on players like Jamal Adams (Safety, LSU) and if Myles Garrett (defensive end, Texas A&M) in my opinion. It really will be a mystery if the Jags find a trader partner and drop to the middle of the first round.
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