Jacksonville Sports Day

Jags’ Best Strategy May Be To Trade Down–If There’s a Partner

Photo: Ketih Allison

At 3-13, the Jacksonville Jaguars at first glance might seem light years away from contending. But with a pretty solid core of returners and a less-than-imposing AFC South division that lacks a dominant team, the Jags may be a popular “sleeper” pick next fall.

With the NFL Draft nearly upon us, Pro Football Focus expert Steve Palazollo had a few thoughts on the best strategy for the team, which holds the #4 pick in the first round and alternating the third and fourth selections in the other rounds.

“Jacksonville’s needs don’t match up so well with the way the draft aligns,” he said on a conference call with media members on Monday. “It’s possible they could go to a Jamal Adams or Derek Barnett or Marshon Lattimore if he falls, but the ideal situation would be to trade down.”

That seems to be a strategy that most teams picking near the top may try to employ, Palazollo thinks.

“A lot of the mock drafts have them filling the need at running back with Leonard Fournette, or tight end with O.J. Howard,” added Palazollo. “But in a maybe not so crazy world they trade down and grab one of the intriguing quarterbacks. Blake Bortles had the one good season, but maybe with the rest of the roster looking in pretty good shape moving forward, maybe some competition at QB isn’t out of the question.”

Just selecting to fill needs, Palazollo noted, isn’t the best way to build. And without a willing trade partner, the best move may be to select the best available player, not necessarily a “position of need.”

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