Jaguars Mock Draft 2021: Lawrence headlines haul of playmakers

It’s just four years since the Jacksonville Jaguars were a Super Bowl contender. As the worst team in the NFL last season, they couldn’t be further away from success. Now, however, they have a new general manager, a new head coach, and are within touching distance of their new franchise quarterback. They’ve been active in free agency, but how do they utilize the NFL Draft to set the program up for glory? In this Jaguars 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, they address needs on both sides of the ball in an attempt to secure long-term success.

Jacksonville Jaguars Post-Free Agency 7-Round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

  • Round 1, Pick 1: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
  • Round 1, Pick 25: Trevon Moehrig, S, Texas Christian
  • Round 2, Pick 33: Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama
  • Round 2, Pick 45: Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State
  • Round 3, Pick 65: Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech
  • Round 4, Pick 106: Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan
  • Round 4, Pick 130: Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame
  • Round 5, Pick 145: D.J. Daniel, CB, Georgia
  • Round 5, Pick 170: Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State
  • Round 7, Pick 249: Sadarius Hutcherson, OG, South Carolina

Jaguars 2021 NFL Mock Draft | Pick-by-pick analysis

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

By 8:10 pm ET on April 29, Trevor Lawrence will be the quarterback of the Jaguars. So much of the NFL Draft is uncertain, but this is not one of those things. The Clemson quarterback has been the presumptive No. 1 pick of this draft class ever since he led the Tigers to a national championship as a true freshman.

He has a great arm, football intelligence, accuracy, fantastic ball placement, and — for a player who stands at 6’5″ — he has deceptive ability to escape the pocket and take off down the field. Although BYU signal-caller Zach Wilson has made a late run up the quarterback rankings, it is inconceivable that he supplants Lawrence as the No. 1 overall pick.

The relationship between the Clemson quarterback and the city of Jacksonville appears to already be in full swing. Reportedly, Lawrence has the Jaguars’ playbook in his possession. Furthermore, fans and their presumptive new signal-caller have traded gifts. The newly married quarterback received wedding presents from Jaguars fans. The Lawrences reciprocated by donating to local charities in the Jacksonville area.

The rest of this Jaguars 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft is spent putting Lawrence in a position to succeed. Since Jacksonville entered the NFL, they have made 29 first-round picks, and 19 of them have come inside the top 10. Additionally, they have drafted three quarterbacks in the first round — Byron Leftwich, Blaine Gabbert, and Blake Bortles — who couldn’t lead the team to glory.

With a new general manager and head coach, they have to get it right this time around.

Trevon Moehrig, S, Texas Christian

The 2021 NFL Draft really starts for Jacksonville at No. 25. Having secured their franchise quarterback, they can employ a BPA philosophy. They allowed the most yards per play in the NFL last season while also scoring the third-fewest points on offense. Long story short, there is a lot of work to do on both sides of the ball.

Their most recent success — the run to the 2017 AFC Championship Game — was built on a crushing defense. That unit was a shadow of its former glory last season. In addition to allowing the most yards per play, they allowed the second-most total points and total yardage.

With holes to fill all over the defense, there are several avenues they could explore with this pick. For instance, if Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore is still available, he has to be in consideration. The reasons why that selection would make sense will be explained later.

Jaguars secure the secondary with their second pick of the first-round

Despite selecting C.J. Henderson in the first round last year and adding Shaquill Griffin in free agency, it wouldn’t be a total shock to see the Jaguars add a cornerback like Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley.

However, in this Jaguars 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, they add a playmaker in the heart of the secondary in TCU safety Trevon Moehrig. A versatile ballhawk who excels in coverage, Moehrig was the recipient of the Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in college football last season.

Moehrig has secured an interception in each of his three seasons with the Horned Frogs. He also finished in the top five for passes defensed in the Big 12 for the past two seasons. Furthermore, Moehrig is a physical enforcer coming downhill against the run. That could prove critical for a team that allowed the third-most rushing yards in the NFL last season.

Alex Leatherwood, OT, Alabama

If the Cincinnati Bengals taught us anything in 2020, it’s that you can’t trot your new quarterback out behind a sub-standard offensive line and expect him to succeed. If the Jaguars think that Lawrence will come in and miraculously turn around an offense that had the third-lowest percentage of drives end in a score while playing behind a line that allowed the eighth-most sacks in the league, they’re straight wrong. I’d expect to see Jacksonville address the offensive line at least once, maybe even twice in the 2021 NFL Draft.

They hit left tackle Cam Robinson with the franchise tag. The assumption is that rather than work out a contract extension, he’ll hit the open market next spring. Although right tackle Jawaan Taylor had an impressive rookie campaign, he did allow the most pressures in the NFL in 2020.

Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood won the Outland Trophy as the best interior lineman in college football after anchoring the Crimson Tide offensive line at left tackle. Athletic, intelligent, and explosive, Leatherwood has proven to be a solid pass protector. Furthermore, he helped spring running back Najee Harris due to his ability to get out to the next level.

As a versatile lineman, Leatherwood has played across the line in Tuscaloosa during his career. He’s played on the right side, with 15 starts at right guard in 2018; he’s spent the last two years at left tackle. That versatility offers great value for the Jaguars, allowing Leatherwood to start immediately in 2021 while evaluating if he could be the long-term answer at left tackle.

Pat Freiermuth, TE, Penn State

The Jaguars drafted Tyler Davis late in the 2020 NFL Draft, and they added Chris Manhertz in free agency. In addition, they retained one of their own in James O’Shaughnessy. Tight end is clearly going to be an element of their offense going forward. However, they don’t currently have a top-quality player at the position. With a fairly crammed wide receiver room, tight end figures to be their biggest pass-catching need.

With the No. 45 overall pick of this Jaguars 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, they meet that need with Penn State’s Pat Freiermuth. While Kyle Pitts basks in the spotlight, Freiermuth has somehow become lost in his shadow. Nevertheless, the Penn State pass catcher has possibly the best all-around game in terms of the tight end position.

Freiermuth has great catch technique in addition to having strong hands. Even on a diabolically poor Penn State offense in 2020, he accounted for 77.5 yards per game before suffering a season-ending injury. He has also demonstrated reliable blocking ability. Freiermuth is one of the better tight ends in the class in that respect.

A pass-catching threat who can be used in protection for a rookie quarterback checks all the boxes for the Jaguars.

Milton Williams, DT, Louisiana Tech

As alluded to earlier, defensive tackle is a genuine consideration early on for the Jaguars in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jacksonville was one of the easiest teams to run on last season. They gave up the third-most rushing yards and fourth-most rushing touchdowns. As a result, they need to strengthen the spine of the defense, and that starts on the defensive line.

Louisiana Tech’s Milton Williams has been the biggest riser in a defensive tackle class that has been widely derided for its lack of talent. A former defensive end who only switched to defensive tackle last season, Williams’ athletic ability and fluid play style have attracted the attention of NFL scouts. Furthermore, his most productive season for the Bulldogs came at just the right time. An incredible testing performance at the Louisiana Tech Pro Day has only increased his draft stock.

The Jaguars added Malcom Brown in free agency, which should allow Williams to take on an early rotational role while he develops further.

Cameron McGrone, LB, Michigan

With their fourth-round pick in this 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, the Jaguars continue to strengthen the spine of their defense. Cameron McGrone has only been a two-year starter for Michigan. Still, the former four-star recruit has a desirable skill set that will help upgrade the Jaguars’ defense.

McGrone is an explosive downhill banger. He thrives on finding gaps and bursting through them to impact the game behind the line of scrimmage. He has also demonstrated enough speed to get from sideline to sideline to defend the run in the open field. Furthermore, McGrone has decent coverage skills at the linebacker position.

Although his best fit would be as a true middle linebacker, there’s no reason to believe he couldn’t line up at any position in the Jaguars’ linebacker group. Jacksonville has an opt-out in Joe Schobert’s contract in 2022, and if McGrone plays up to his potential, he could provide a long-term replacement option.

Daelin Hayes, EDGE, Notre Dame

Although the Jaguars have Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson as the front-seven bookends, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them add another edge rusher in this class. The Jaguars’ defense had the second-fewest sacks in 2020 (18) while ranking 28th in pressure percentage. Jacksonville forced pressure on just 20.1 percent of their defensive plays last year.

Despite only playing nine games in 2020, Daelin Hayes had his most productive season for Notre Dame last year. The defensive end displays athleticism, agility, and play strength while having the versatility to play with his hand in the ground or stand up over the tackle. Hayes had an impressive week at the Senior Bowl as well, which should help raise his stock in the 2021 NFL Draft.

D.J. Daniel, CB, Georgia

In addition to re-signing several cornerbacks, the offseason acquisition of Griffin suggests that the Jaguars are not fully set at the position. The dismal defensive statistics from last season increase the belief they could add another cornerback in Jacksonville.

With one of their two fifth-round selections in this 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft, the Jaguars add Georgia cornerback D.J. Daniel. Overlooked compared to his Bulldogs teammates Eric Stokes and Tyson Campbell, Daniel offers solid value on Day 3. A broken ankle suffered before last season led to him losing the starting place he had earned during an impressive 2019 campaign.

Despite some inconsistencies, Daniel has a hard work ethic and playmaking ability. He also displays physicality both in coverage and as a tackler in the run game.

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Oklahoma State

In spite of the sensational rookie season of James Robinson and the addition of Carlos Hyde, the expectation is that the Jaguars will further bolster their running back room in the 2021 NFL Draft.

After a sensational 2019 campaign where he led the nation in rushing, Chuba Hubbard was considered a potential first-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. He opted to return to school for another year, however, in what has proved to be a disastrous decision.

Hubbard’s play regressed this last season, plummeting from 6.4 yards per carry to just 4.7 yards. Furthermore, he contributed career-lows in rushing yards and touchdowns. Despite this, he has demonstrated solid play strength, quick feet, and the ability to make a man miss. He figures to be a solid rotational piece in the Jaguars’ backfield to help take the load off of Lawrence and the passing game.

Sadarius Hutcherson, OG, South Carolina

The final selection of this 2021 7-Round NFL Mock Draft sees the Jaguars double-dip at the offensive line position. South Carolina’s Sadarius Hutcherson offers versatility on the line, having started at multiple positions during his Gamecocks career. A strong blocker who demonstrates good footwork, Hutcherson is an intelligent, hard-working offensive lineman who is always looking for work even when his assignment is complete.

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Oliver Hodgkinson is a staff writer for Pro Football Network. You can follow him on Twitter at @ojhodgkinson.

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