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There may not be much controversy when it comes to the first overall pick, which Jacksonville will almost certainly use to select former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However, there are several directions the team could go with the 25th overall pick, which it received from the Los Angeles Rams as part of the Jalen Ramsey trade.
With a potential trade in the works for Baltimore offensive tackle Orlando Brown, the Jaguars likely won’t address the offensive line in the first round if that goes through. Another possible option would be to reinforce the receiving corps, but the latest mock draft from Touchdown Wire has the Jags addressing the other side of the ball.
This projection has Jacksonville selecting former Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons with the 25th pick, a talented defender who would help a linebacker unit that struggled last season. Parson has some off the field concerns, but if those can be managed, this pick would be a steal.
There’s absolutely no question about Parsons’ value on the field — based on that alone, I’d address him as a top-10 talent in this class. But serious off-field issues, including a fight involving Parsons and defensive back Isaiah Humphries that Penn State head coach James Franklin allegedly told Humphries not to report to police, will — or at least should — raise the hackles of NFL teams. Humphries sued the school in 2020. There are also allegations of sexual assault related to hazing that must be considered when evaluating the entire Micah Parsons picture.
“Well the Jaguars need help on a formerly great defense that Tom Coughlin blew apart over the last few years with his ‘get off my lawn’ approach, and to say the least, Urban Meyer has always been… lenient when considering off-field issues.
The justification for Jacksonville taking Lawrence on this mock draft was, understandably, pretty straightforward.
Lawrence is the best player in the 2021 class, and he has that high floor/high ceiling combination every team wants at every position, but especially at quarterback. Over three seasons with the Tigers, Lawrence completed 758 of 1,138 passes for 10,098 yards, 90 touchdowns, 17 interceptions, and a passer rating of 164.3. He increased his completion percentage, his yards per attempt, and his adjusted yards per attempt in each of those three seasons, and there really isn’t anything that confounds him. When under pressure in 2020, he completed 28 of 69 passes for 449 yards, seven touchdowns, and two interceptions. Lawrence also ran 68 times last season for 208 yards and eight touchdowns, so there should be no question about his effective mobility. The future is now in Jacksonville, and its name is Trevor Lawrence.
With the Chris Doyle situation occurring, the NFL community is likely watching Urban Meyer’s transactions a little closer than others, which might make a scenario where the Jags draft Parsons unlikely. However, information could become available in terms of teams who’ve met with Parsons virtually, which could help provide answers of who has him on their respective boards.
From a talent standpoint, this mock made the Jags’ roster stronger. They would land a franchise quarterback and a potential stud for the front seven. Though receiver options like Kadarius Toney or Elijah Moore are certainly intriguing, the Parsons pick would strengthen one of the worst defenses in football.