Jacksonville needed to get help for Blake Bortles and in the process acquire some playmakers. The Jaguars accomplished both by the selection of Leonard Fournette. Fournette couldn’t have landed in a better place with Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone, two old school coaches who know the importance of a strong running game. Fournette has the Jaguars salivating with his powerful and physical running style but they will not get to see the full jackhammer until he puts on pads. The former LSU star has been showing consistency catching the ball every practice. Blocking in OTAs is basically screening guys off because practices are without pads. The signs of future success have been encouraging. Marrone, a long time offensive line coach, couldn’t let the wide-bodied Cam Robinson pass the Jaguars by with their need for offensive line help. He is expected to compete with Brandon Albert for the left tackle job in training camp. All signs point to Robinson maturing in camp and he has elevated his effort level. Has been working on his technique and how to practice. The Jaguars’ brass has been impressed with his daily improvement. Dawuane Smoot will try to break into the defensive end rotation with Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Dante Fowler. The Jags also think Smoot can rush from the inside in obvious passing situations. Dede Westbrook is learning to play as an outside receiver first for the Jaguars. He may eventually move inside to the slot where he will be able to take advantage of his quickness. Jacksonville views the former Sooner as a speed receiver who can make plays after the catch. He only played wide receiver on one side at OU and the Jags want him to settle in and learn one position. Blair Brown is recognized as a three down run and hit linebacker who is versatile enough to back up all the positions. Brown has the speed, instincts, and range to make plays on the perimeter. He’s a downhill player who fills the inside running lanes with a thump, takes good pass drops, and is aware of inside cuts by outside receivers. Can match up with backs out of the backfield. Jalen Myrick may have been the biggest value pick in the draft after running a 4.28 forty at the Combine and excelling at the East-West Shrine game. The short but compact talent is versatile enough to play safety as well as in corner sub packages. The tough and scrappy competitor will start out as a special teams’ core player in coverage and kickoff returns. Fullback Marquez Williams was drafted to lead the way for Leonard Fournette but must beat out Tommy Bohanon to win the job. The ex-Hurricane started five of the 13 games he played in. He was a transfer to Miami from Mars Hill University. Pro day numbers: 5102, 259, 4.73/40, 28/BP, 34.5/VJ, 8-8/BJ, 4.64/SS, and 7.60/3 cone. GRADE: GOOD.
FREE AGENCY: The Jaguars had millions to spend, and spend they did with contracts totaling 172 million of which 71+ million was in guaranteed contracts. Corner AJ Bouye and defensive end Calais Campbell gobbled up 56 million of the guaranteed total. Others getting a piece of the action were Barry Church (SS), Earl Watford (OG), Stefan Charles (DT), Mychal Rivera (TE), Audie Cole (IB), and Lerentee McCray (OB).
NOTABLE UNDRAFTED COLLEGE FREE AGENTS: Amba Etta- Tawo (Syracuse) WR, Avery Gennesy (Texas A&M) OG, Hunter Dimick (Utah) DE, Carroll Phillips (Illinois) OB, Ezra Robinson (Tennessee State) CB.