* = 2019 full-time starter

Need #1: Cornerback

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • AJ Bouye (has only completed one 16 game season across 7-year career, did not live up to contract in 2019, but it's still possible he can return to 2017 Pro Bowl form)
  • DJ Hayden (solid nickel corner, coming off what was his arguably his best career season)
  • Tre Herndon (2018 UDFA, showed a lot of promise across 14 starts in 2019, though he needs to work on his deep ball coverage, will definitely factor into the starting CB conversation in 2020)

Need Level: High

Need:

  • The Jaguars need to bring at least one more corner to compete with Herndon for the starting outside CB spot. They should also begin planning for life after Bouye (bloated contract) and Hayden (who will be 30 in June)

Updates:

  • Traded AJ Bouye (received a 4th round pick in return, not a bad deal for the Jags - they needed cap relief)
  • Signed Rashaan Melvin (was relatively ineffective over 12 starts for the Lions in 2019 - but may have an opportunity to start in Jax with Bouye now out of the picture)
  • Drafted in 1st Round: CJ Henderson (checks all the boxes - great size/length, excellent speed/athletic ability, and impressive tape, has a natural feel for coverage and is advanced for a young CB in terms of patience, anticipation, and technique, tackling can be hit or miss, 2 1/2 seasons of starting experience in the SEC, should be a Week 1 starter, All-Pro upside)
  • Drafted in 4th Round: Josiah Scott (undersized but highly effective corner, excellent PBU and INT numbers at MSU, effortless movement skills - great speed, fluidity, and footwork, size will likely limit him to the slot in NFL, injuries were an issue in college, tackles well for a player his size, if he can stay healthy - he will play for a very long time)
  • Drafted in 7th Round: Chris Claybrooks (undersized, WR turned CB - so still in the early stages of learning the position, possesses explosive speed, has had success as a kick returner and special teamer, probably on the practice squad in year one)
  • COVID-19 Opt-out: Rashaan Melvin (should lock Herndon into the starting job and create more opportunity for all the young CBs on the roster)

Need #2: Defensive Line

Notable Free Agents:

  • Marcell Dareus (missed 10 games in 2019 due to a core injury, his absence had a negative impact on the Jags horrible run defense, he remains a forceful run stopper but the organization has already declined the option on his contract)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Calais Campbell (legendary veteran player, very effective run defender and pass rusher, has tallied 31.5 sacks over the past 3 seasons - though his sack numbers did dip in 2019 - which could be a sign that a decline is on the horizon, with the Jags at least partially in rebuild mode - they may explore trading the 33-year-old)
  • Taven Bryan (2018 1st rounder, had a highly disappointing rookie year but took a slight step forward in 2019, while he only recorded 2 sacks across his 8 starts - he was somewhat disruptive in a non-statistical way, he will not be handed a starting job in 2020 - but if he can build off his 2019 momentum - he does have the talent to emerge as a key player)
  • Arby Jones (he's on the team to stop the run - and the Jags failed in that area in 2019 - which does not bode well for his long-term future)
  • Dontavius Russell (2019 7th rounder, did not play as a rookie, was a productive run-stuffer at Auburn)

Need Level: High

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars need to add defensive lineman who can drastically improve their run defense.

Updates:

  • Traded Calais Campbell (received a 5th round pick in return, compensation may be a bit light - but the Jags needed to clear cap space)
  • Signed Al Woods (veteran run-stuffer)
  • Signed Rodney Gunter (started 13 games in 2019, he's solid vs the run and has recorded decent pass rush production - 7.5 sacks - over the past two seasons)
  • Drafted in 3rd Round: Davon Hamilton (only one year as a full-time starter, has above average size and athletic ability for a DT, solid TFL and sack numbers, will likely start career as a rotational player - but has the talent to develop into a quality starter)
  • COVID-19 Opt-out: Al Woods (the Jags will have to count on the rookie Hamilton for a bigger role)
  • Signed Josh Mauro (veteran run-stuffer, provides some depth following the Woods opt-out)
  • Retirement: Rodney Gunter (JAX has a DT depth problem)
  • Signed Timmy Jernigan (former 2nd round pick, has spent the last few seasons as a rotional player - but at 28 years old some upside remains, nice depth signing)

Need #3: Linebacker

Notable Free Agents: 

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Myles Jack (defensive centerpiece, has been a productive sideline to sideline style LB since the Jags drafted him in 2016, did miss 5 games due to injury in 2019, received a well-deserved long-term contract extension last offseason)
  • Leon Jacobs (2018 7th rounder, has made 9 starts in his 2 seasons in Jacksonville, but will likely be fighting for a roster spot this offseason)
  • Quincy Williams (2019 3rd rounder, made 8 starts as a rookie, did not play well enough to cement himself as a future starter going forward)

Need Level: High

Need to Address: 

  • The Jaguars need to upgrade at least one of the LB spots next to Jack, their run defense was an absolute mess in 2019.

Updates:

  • Signed Joe Schobert (3-down LB, elite tackling production, functional in coverage, should be a massive upgrade for the Jags - and greatly improve their run defense, but still not sure he is worth the monstrous +$55 million contract)
  • Drafted in 4th Round: Shaquille Quarterman (traditional inside LB - he's a tough and physical enforcer in the middle of the field but has limited range and quickness, was a 4-year starter at Miami and recorded excellent tackling production, his prowess vs. the run is needed in Jax)

Need #4: Defensive End / Edge

Notable Free Agents:

  • Yannick Ngakoue (37.5 career sacks, had 8 sacks and 13 TFLs in 2019, turns 25 years old on March 31st, he wants to become one of the highest-paid defenders in football - and from a production standpoint he does deserve a big-time contact - but with Josh Allen already in the mix the Jags may pass on a long-term commitment)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Josh Allen (2019 1st rounder, made the Pro Bowl as a rookie, recorded 10.5 sacks, 11 TFLs, he's a superstar and defensive building block going forward)
  • Dawuane Smoot (2017 3rd rounder, record an impressive 6 sacks in a rotational role in 2019, has played in 40 games across his 3 seasons with the Jags - but has never made a start, though that could change if Ngakoue leaves the team)

Need Level: High

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars will need to either resign or replace Ngakoue, though Smoot could factor in the replacement conversation. Rotational pass rushers are also needed.

Updates:

  • Franchise-tagged Yannick Ngakoue 
  • Signed Aaron Lynch (very solid rotational edge player - strong vs. the run and can also provide a pass rush boost, could be in the mix for a starting job if Ngakoue is traded)
  • Signed Cassius Marsh (journeyman rotational pass rusher)
  • Drafted in 1st Round: K'Lavon Chaisson (was a key defensive player for LSU during their title run, recorded 13.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks in 2019, has prototypical length for a pass rusher and elite athletic ability - including a unique mix of fluidity and explosion, run defense can be problematic at times - but he has the potential to get better in that area, he did miss the entire 2018 season with a torn ACL - but apparently there are no major medical concerns, only has one season of starting experience, double-digit sack / Pro Bowl upside - but he is still a developing player, this selection is writing on the wall for Ngakoue)
  • Retired: Aaron Lynch
  • Traded Yannick Ngakoue (for a 2021 second-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick, this is a solid deal for the Jags - they get solid draft pick compensation and already have his replacement on hand - Chaisson)

Need #5: Wide Receiver

Notable Free Agents:

  • Marqise Lee (injuries have derailed what once looked like a promising career, both sides are probably ready to turn the page)
  • Keelan Cole (had an impressive rookie year in 2017 after making the team as UDFA, numbers have gone down in each season since then - but is still a capable WR3/WR4, he is an RFA so a return is likely)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • DJ Chark (2018 2nd rounder, broke out in 2019 with 73 catches, 1008 yards, and 8 TDs, those numbers will likely grow in 2020, he is the undisputed WR1 going forward)
  • Chris Conley (under the radar 2019 FA signing who played well in WR3 role - set career highs for catches and yards, his sterling 16.5 yards per catch was also a career-high, showed nice chemistry with Minshew, the team has already picked up the option on his contract)
  • Dede Westbrook (2017 4th rounder, was inconsistent in WR2 role, there are times where he looks like a star - but also times where he disappears from the game, he remains a talented player with theoretical upside - but time appears to be running out for him in JAX, 2020 will be a contract year)

Need Level: High

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars need to add at least one more WR to compete with Conley and Westbrook for the starting job opposite Chark. This offense needs an additional playmaker.

Updates:

  • Resigned Keelan Cole
  • Drafted in 2nd Round: Laviska Shenault Jr (was one of CFB's best offensive players in 2018 - when he somehow caught 86 passes for 1,011 yards, and scored 11 total TDs... in only 9 games, production did drop in 2019 - in large part due to injury, he is a very explosive and powerful athlete - but his physical style does make him more susceptible to injury, his role in college was predicated on screens and short passes - so his route running skills are underdeveloped, he's got great talent and potential - but the team will have to be patient and thoughtful in determining the right role for him)
  • Drafted in 5th Round: Collin Johnson (defined by excellent length and ball skills but below-average speed, quite a bit of starting experience at Texas, moderate college production - never went over 1,000 yards or 70 receptions in a single season, advanced route runner, he has the size and polish to develop into a functional NFL WR - despite the speed limitations)

Need #6: Interior Offensive Line

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Andrew Norwell (while he has not lived up to his massive contract - he is an above-average starting left guard)
  • Brandon Linder (one of the best centers in the NFL and easily the best offensive lineman on the Jags, stayed healthy in 2019 - but historically injuries have been somewhat problematic, at 28 years old and on a long-term deal - he should be a fixture on the line through the 2022 season)
  • Will Richardson (2018 4th rounder, was part of the RG rotation in 2019, made 2 starts at LT when Robinson was hurt - and there is buzz he could move to LT full-time in 2020)
  • AJ Cann (started 15 games at RG in 2019 - but rotated in and out with Richardson, quality of play did improve from his disastrous 2018 season - but he still needs to take another step forward to solidify himself as a quality full-time starter)

Need Level: Moderate

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars could look to upgrade Cann at right guard and/or find a way out of Norwell's bloated contract.

Updates:

  • Will Richardson converted from OG to OT

Need #7: Running Back

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Leonard Fournette (totaled 1,746 all-purpose yards in 2019 - posted a respectable 4.3 ypc and caught 76 passes - all while playing with an uneven QB situation and a below-average offensive line, the strong critiques of Fournette are not justified, despite that - the Jags are expected to decline his fifth-year option - which means his tenure in Jax will likely end in a trade or directly after the 2020 season)
  • Ryquell Armstead (2019 5th rounder, there were some promising flashes - but he finished his rookie with an ugly 3.1 ypc, will likely need to compete to secure the RB2 job in 2020)

Need Level: Moderate

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars don't seem committed to Fournette - so replacement options should be considered. They should also bring in competition for the RB2 spot.

Updates:

  • Signed Chris Thompson (has a history with new OC Jay Gruden, can be explosive with the ball in his hands - and is an excellent pass catcher, however, he has missed a lot of time throughout his career with serious injuries)
  • Released Leonard Fournette (there was clearly dysfunction between him and organization - but the Jags no obvious replacement and just gave up a player they invested the fourth overall pick in three years ago - they are clearly gunning for Lawrence in 2021)

Need #8: Tight End

Notable Free Agents:

  • Nick O'Leary (backup - functional run blocker, non-threatening pass-catcher)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Josh Oliver (2019 3rd rounder, only played in 3 games as a rookie - due to a variety of injuries, was a talented receiver coming out of college and possess above-average athletic ability and length, it's certainly possible he establishes himself as a key offensive weapon in 2020)
  • Geoff Swaim (played in 6 games in 2019, underwhelmed as both a pass-catcher and run-blocker)
  • James O'Shaughnessy (solid/unspectacular backup TE, missed most of the 2019 season with an injury)

Need Level: Moderate

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars should bring in starting a competition for the talented, but unproven, Oliver.

Updates:

  • Released Geoff Swaim
  • Signed Tyler Eifert (finally completed a full 16 game season in 2019 - but only made 4 starts, more of a role player than a starter at this point, injury concerns linger but should be a solid option in the passing game )
  • Drafted in 6th Round: Tyler Davis (underdeveloped pass-catcher and blocker, has good size and decent athletic ability, developmental pick)
  • Season-ending Injury: Josh Oliver (tough break - had some breakout upside in 2020, Eifert now locked-in as TE1)

Need #9: Quarterback

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Gardner Minshew (2019 6th rounder, had an impressive rookie year considering the circumstances - was thrown into the fire unexpectedly, played behind a below-average OL, and had very limited skill-player talent to work with, the 21 to 7 TD:INT ratio is superb for a rookie and he displayed an impressive level of mobility - in addition to his trademark confidence, Minshew may very well be the real deal - but he should have to a win QB competition in the offseason to earn the starting job)
  • Nick Foles (first year in Jax was a trainwreck - the Week 1 injury was a momentum crusher - but even when he returned the quality of play was - for lack of a better term - practice squad level, the Jags will likely look to trade or even release him)
  • Josh Dobbs (came over in a trade after the Foles injury - but never played due to the emergence of Minshew, he's an unproven player with some theoretical upside - but the fact that he wasn't able to beat out Rudolph in Pitt is not exactly a good sign for his future)

Need Level: Moderate

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars would be wise to bring in someone to compete with Minshew for the starting job.

Updates:

  • Traded Nick Foles (received a 4th round pick in return - this is an excellent deal for the Jags - who needed to get rid of the monster contract)
  • Signed Mike Glennon (low-level backup, but does bring needed experience to the QB room)
  • Drafted in 6th Round: Jake Luton (had a nice senior year - highlighted by a 28 to 3 TD:INT ratio, has NFL size and arm strength, lacks mobility - really struggles when he is forced to leave the pocket, accuracy is only average, there are some nice developmental traits)

Need #10: Offensive Tackle

Notable Free Agents:

  • Cedric Ogbuehi (served as swing tackle last season, did not make any starts, despite the 'bust' label he does have more starting experience and theoretical upside than your average swing tackle - so a return could make sense)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Cam Robinson (2017 2nd rounder, looked like he could develop into a franchise LT after a promising rookie year, but missed most of his second season with a torn ACL, his return from injury in 2019 was characterized by penalties and pass protection struggles, the organization will likely give him another chance at LT in 2020 - perhaps another year removed from the ACL injury will result in better play)
  • Jawaan Taylor (2019 2nd rounder, started all 16 games at RT, flashed Pro Bowl upside as a rookie, but did struggle with penalties, locked-in as the starting RT)

Need Level: Mild

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars could look for a more reliable option at LT. At the very least they will need to address swing tackle.

Updates:

  • Drafted in 4th Round: Ben Bartch (small school prospect, TE to LT convert, excelled vs. lower-level competition, has NFL caliber athletic ability, size, and length, impressed scouts at the Senior Bowl, he's still learning the position and will likely take some time to adapt to the pro game - but has high developmental upside)
  • Will Richardson converted from OG to OT (will compete with Robinson at LT)

Need #11: Safety

Notable Free Agents:

  • Cody Davis (special teams ace)

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Ronnie Harrison (2018 3rd rounder, has played well over his two seasons with the team - and has the athletic talent to take another step forward in 2020 - perhaps one that will result in a Pro Bowl nod, he's an old-school back-line enforcer)
  • Jarrod Wilson (2016 UDFA, fought his way into the starting lineup in 2019 - and played well, led the team in tackles and was solid in coverage)

Need Level: Low

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars have two young and talented safeties, depth is the only need here.

Updates:

  • Drafted in 5th Round: Daniel Thomas (experienced and productive SEC safety, physical and explosive, he plays the run and the pass pretty well - but there is room for refinement in both areas, lacks the fluidity to excel in a centerfield role - better suited in the box, will begin career playing special teams)
  • Traded Ronnie Harrison (received a 2021 fifth round pick in return, that's somewhat light compensation for a solid young player - but even more evidence that the Jags are OK with losing as many games as possible in 2020)

Need #12: Special Teams

Notable Free Agents:

  • None

Notable Players Under Contract:

  • Josh Lambo (was fantastic in 2019 - 33 of 34 on FGs and 19 of 20 on XPs, the Jags were smart to lock him up last offseason) 
  • Logan Cooke (2018 7th rounder, has been a solid punter)

Need Level: Very Low

Need to Address:

  • The Jaguars are in a strong position at both kicker and punter.