Grading the Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Class
Now, it’s my turn.
After reading all the pundits, it’s my turn to grade the Jaguars and their 2015 NFL Draft.
Not only did the team draft for need, it also drafted for value. And you cannot be upset with general manager Dave Caldwell taking three players from the SEC with his first three selections.
I give this Draft a solid “B+” with room to improve if AJ Cann and James Sample turn into starters this season. Here is a look at how I evaluated the Jaguars…
DANTE FOWLER, JR – DEFENSIVE END, FLORIDA
The pick this not only wanted, but needed. With the first pick that was not a quarterback, Dave Caldwell and Gus Bradley had their pick of the litter. Fowler gives them so much versatility and ability to do many things on defense. Great start to the Draft.
GRADE – A+
TJ YELDON – RUNNING BACK, ALABAMA
A lot of pundits think this is a reach. I was on the fence for a day or so. But if the Jaguars had Yeldon ranked as their third best running back on the board after Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon, then it is only reasonable to think they grabbed their best available player.
GRADE – A-
AJ CANN – GUARD, SOUTH CAROLINA
He came into the Draft with a “B” grade and some thought he could slip into the bottom of the first round. I was included in that camp. Cann can play both guard spots and gives this team depth and could challenge Zane Beadles for a starting spot. Another SEC player goes to Jacksonville.
GRADE – B+
JAMES SAMPLE – SAFETY, LOUISVILLE
There were other safeties on the board, but Sample fits the defensive scheme for the Jaguars. His ability is there and his potential on special teams is invaluable. Look for Sample to start out as a reserve who could push to start by midseason.
GRADE - B
RASHAD GREENE – WIDE RECEIVER, FSU
What is not to LOVE about this pick? Greene is one of the best possession receivers to play in college last season and catches everything. There is a definite need for him in the slot for this franchise. It also means the team has moved on from Justin Blackmon and does not need a veteran in free agency.
GRADE – A +
MICHAEL BENNETT – DEFENSIVE TACKLE, OHIO STATE
It was said he slipped to the sixth round because there were questions about his inconsistent play. All you have to do is see his performance in the CFP championship game to know what kind of player he can be. He provides solid depth and another steal for the Jaguars.
GRADE - B
NEAL STERLING – WIDE RECEIVER, MONMOUTH
Sterling has great size and could see time at tight end in some packages. A player certainly worth the gamble this late in the Draft. Probably will not make the final roster, but could wind up on the practice squad.
GRADE – B-
BEN KOYACK – TIGHT END, NOTRE DAME
I had Koyack graded higher and thought he would be a fifth rounder at the least. He won’t make the active roster as the team now has six tight ends. A practice player who could develop in time. Still, nice value for where he was selected
GRADE – C+