2023 Touchdown Jaguars 4-Round Mock Draft
Updated: Mar 25
After an impressive showing in the 2023 season where they surprised many by making it to the postseason, the Jacksonville Jaguars have found themselves in the back of the draft order for the 2023 season. That's something fans haven't witnessed in quite a while and has made this offseason one of the more interesting ones in a while.
In the previous two drafts, the Jags had the first overall picks, but after registering a nine-win season, they will pick 24th overall. Despite being in unfamiliar territory, though, they still could come out of April's draft with a much-improved roster if they play their cards right. In fact, the 2023 NFL Draft has great depth at two positions of need for the Jags, which could be a huge help for them.
With free agency now approaching the two-week mark, it feels like now is the right time to start projecting the direction the team could go come April. That's why we cranked up the mock draft simulator at Mock Draft Database for our first-ever written Touchdown Jags mock draft.
Here is how it shaped up for the Cardiac Cats, who will be looking to pick up where they left off in 2022:
Round 1 (24th overall): Deonte Banks, CB, Maryland
This draft class may not be as deep as the past two, but one thing it has going for it is its cornerback group. Deonte Banks is one prospect from the group who stood out at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine due to his athleticism and size (6-foot-0, 197 pounds). The redshirt junior ran a 4.35, while also registering a 42-inch vertical jump and an 11' 4" figure in the broad jump.
As for Banks' play on the field, he's strong in man coverage and plays with solid awareness, which shows through his communication with his teammates on the field. Many mocks have him gone by the time the Jags take the podium, while others have him coming off the board around picks No. 24-25. That said, if he's available the Jags should run to the podium to get a highly-rated player to help them at a position that is one of their top needs.
Round 2 (56th overall): Matthew Bergeron, OT, Syracuse
The probability for the Jags to come out of this draft with some offensive line help is high. The team lost starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor in free agency to the Kansas City Chiefs, which should result in Walker Little replacing him. Little can fill the role quite well and is long overdue to become a starter, but even if he does, there is room to add a versatile tackle high in the draft.
Matthew Bergeron, who is 6-foot-5, 318 pounds, is the definition of that. He'll enter his NFL career with 196 collegiate snaps at right tackle and 1,924 at left tackle to his name. Drafting him would give the team a swing tackle who could help them if an injury occurs, and the idea of playing him at left guard Year 1 shouldn't be off the table.
Round 3 (88th overall pick): Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa
Like the cornerback position, tight end is also a strength of this draft class. That's great for the Jags, who came into this offseason with question marks at the position because the top-3 options on their depth chart were set to be free agents. They were able to keep their TE1 in Evan Engram thanks to the franchise tag, but Chris Manhertz signed with the Denver Broncos, while Dan Arnold remains a free agent.
Iowa tight end Sam LaPorta is a player who could help the Jags with their offseason subtractions at the tight end position. LaPorta is a prospect with deceptive movement skills, and his ability as a receiver makes him an interesting fit to be paired with Engram. He could also learn some things from the veteran during his rookie season because the team could need an eventual successor if they can't come to a long-term deal with Engram.
Round 4 (121st overall pick): Moro Ojomo, DT, Texas
The Jags need to come out of this draft with some defensive line help, in fact, it may need to be their top priority. The team lost arguably its best pass-rusher in Arden Key to the Tennessee Titans, and the status of one of their other top-3 pass rushers, Dawuane Smoot, is up in the air right now, as he's currently a free agent.
The team was able to sign some help on the defensive line this week in Michael Dogbe and Henry Mondeaux, but it appears that neither received long-term deals. That said, we selected Texas defensive lineman Moro Ojomo with pick No. 121 to give the Jags some long-term depth.
Ojomo is a prospect who would help the Jags tremendously against the run as Pro Football Focus ranked him as the nation's fourth-best run defender (91.4). He also offers some upside as a pass-rusher and has the type of arm length (34.5 inches) and athleticism that could entice Jags general manager Trent Baalke.
Round 4 (127th overall pick): Viliami Fehoko, EDGE, San Jose State
As previously mentioned, the Jags need to attack their needs on the defensive line aggressively, so we doubled up with defensive line help. This time we went with a versatile sleeper prospect who can play both on the edge and interior part of the defensive line in Viliami Fehoko.
Fehoko is the cousin of Tampa Bay Bucs defensive tackle Vita Vea, so obviously, athleticism runs in the family. He was a pressure machine for San Jose, registering 65 pressures in 2022, which was good for the fourth-highest total in Division 1 football. A big reason for that is his hand combat ability.
As mentioned, Fehoko is a versatile player similar to Key and Smoot. According to PFF, he took 429 snaps outside the tackle, 101 over the tackle, and 41 in the B-gap all while registering a 90.2 pass-rush grade in 2022.