NFL mock drafts for 2017 have the Jacksonville Jaguars targeting Leonard Fournette with a first-round pick. Fournette would give the Jaguars an upgrade at the running back position and possibly a star from the 2017 NFL draft class. Not all NFL experts agree that the team is or even should be targeting Fournette, as there are a number of holes on the roster that also need to be addressed with their eight selections.
A report by the Florida Times underscores how terrible the Jaguars’ running game has been over the past few seasons. Since the 2012 NFL season, the Jaguars rank as the worst running team in the entire NFL. That didn’t improve much in 2016, presenting more questions than answers for a roster that kept several backs under contract. A reality that the front office may come to, though, is that T.J. Yeldon is best suited for third downs and Chris Ivory shouldn’t be a primary running back for any team.
A new 2017 NFL mock draft by CBS Sports predicts that the Jaguars won’t address the running back situation until the second round. The CBS mock draft has created Jacksonville Jaguars rumors about a defined interest in Oklahoma Sooners running back Joe Mixon. His off-field troubles may push Mixon into the second round, which will certainly hurt the signing bonus he gets from an NFL team. In this scenario, CBS Sports has the Jaguars selecting defensive end Solomon Thomas with a first-round pick.
Leonard Fournette’s stats for LSU are the reason why he is being courted as a top selection in most 2017 NFL mock drafts. In three seasons for LSU, he rushed for 3,830 yards and 40 touchdowns in just 32 games. Fournette also had 41 catches for 526 yards and a touchdown through the air. The number that is drawing the attention of many NFL scouts is that Fournette averaged 6.2 yards per carry during his time in college.
As for Joe Mixon, he played two seasons for Oklahoma, putting up equally impressive numbers in 25 games. Mixon averaged 6.8 yards per carry but was also used much more in the passing game. During his two years, Mixon finished with 2,027 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns on the ground. He also had 65 catches for 894 yards and nine more touchdowns through the air. That’s a total of 2,921 yards and 26 touchdowns for Oklahoma.
An interesting 2017 NFL mock draft by ESPN presents the best-case scenarios for all teams. In this situation, fans could expect a number of Jacksonville Jaguars trade rumors to pop up, as it predicts action could take place if none of the top three teams selects a quarterback. If the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Chicago Bears pass on improving their quarterback situations, it will raise the value of that No. 4 pick for the Jaguars. The phones could be ringing off the hook, allowing the Jaguars to slide back a few picks and get a top-tier playmaker later in the first round.
Another Jacksonville Jaguars mock draft has the team throwing caution to the wind and going with Leonard Fournette with the first-round selection. This report is by NFL.com expert Chad Reuter, who feels that Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles needs a playmaker to work with. After taking Fournette at No. 4, in the second round, he then has the Jaguars targeting Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram. Potential selections in later rounds could be Florida State defensive end DeMarcus Walker and Utah safety Marcus Williams.
If the Jaguars are looking for a playmaker who will excite fans and get the NFL experts talking, Leonard Fournette is certainly the man to go with. He will bring a lot of buzz to the team and could likely help sell more tickets than simply adding someone on defense or the offensive line. Sure, the team has a lot of additional holes to address, but getting a playmaker on offense who could change how the team approaches games might matter more. In that regard, these latest NFL mock drafts linking Fournette to the Jaguars should be enjoyable to the die-hard fans of the franchise.
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