Jaguars’ 2024 NFL Draft class in the books. Who did Jacksonville take?

TMI Newsdesk
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The 2024 NFL Draft is officially in the books. The Jacksonville Jaguars came away with nine selections, including the headliner of the class, LSU receiver Brian Thomas Jr., taken at pick No. 23 after the team traded down with the Minnesota Vikings from pick No. 17.

Jacksonville acquired an additional fifth-round selection this year as a result of the trade, as well as a third and fourth-round pick in next year’s draft.

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson believes the team has invested in a multitude of positions across all three phases of the program to make for a more competitive roster.

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson speaks during a press conference Friday, April 26, 2024 at EverBank Stadium’s Miller Electric Center in Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Jaguars selected LSU’s wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. as the 23rd overall pick in last night’s NFL Draft. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

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“For me, a football team is made up of many parts. I think this is a great example of the guys we got. There are different positions here, there’s different body types, skillsets, all of that and they’re all guys that can come in and compete,” Pederson said shortly after the draft.

“So, that’s what I’m excited about. Starting from the top all the way down, there’s talent here. Guys that we had focused on and obviously as Trent has said, the way things fell.”

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke preached a “combined effort” during this year’s draft, incorporating discussion and influence from all three phases and the team’s coaching staff, including new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen.

“It’s a combined effort, so they had a lot of say in the guys that we not only picked, but the type of guys that we picked. In terms of strengths, weaknesses and all the other stuff that goes with it,” Baalke said after the draft on Saturday.

Jaguars 2024 NFL Draft notes

  • The Jaguars selected two cornerbacks, one wide receiver, one running back, two defensive linemen, one defensive end, one kicker and one offensive lineman.
  • They selected six players from the Southeastern Conference (SEC), one player from the Atlantic Coast Conference and two players from the Big 12 (Texas will move to the SEC this season).
  • The Jaguars selected Arkansas kicker Cam Little in the sixth round. He is the youngest kicker drafted in NFL history. Little is the first kicker Jacksonville has drafted since 2004 (Josh Scobee).
  • The Jaguars selected three players from the same school, including Thomas, second-round pick DL Maason Smith and fourth-round pick, nose tackle Jordan Jefferson. All three players played at LSU in 2023. That marks the first time in the common draft era (since 1967) that three players from LSU went to the same team in the same draft.
  • Thomas is the first receiver the Jaguars have selected in Round 1 since Justin Blackmon in 2012.
  • Dating back to when he began as the 49ers’ general manager in 2011, Baalke has selected at least one running back in every draft class he has run. Fifth-round running back Keilan Robinson marks the 10th RB Baalke has selected.

Who did the Jaguars take in the 2024 NFL Draft?

Overall, the Jaguars picked three offensive players, five defensive players and a kicker. The team’s overall depth is thought to be improved as the team heads into the third year under Pederson and the fourth season with Baalke as the team’s general manager.

LSU receiver Brian Thomas Jr. runs with the ball vs. Wisconsin at Raymond James Stadium, Jan. 1, 2024 in Tampa, Fla.

Analysis: The Jaguars selected Thomas after losing out on Calvin Ridley in free agency to the Tennessee Titans. Thomas offers the team a deep-threat player and touchdown machine after he led the nation with 17 touchdown catches in 2023. He has tremendous upside and projects as a Year 1 starter outside opposite Gabe Davis.

Stats: 127 catches, 1,897 yards, 24 touchdowns in 38 games played at LSU.

Quotable: “I think the number one thing you see is the speed on film. You see the ability to get behind secondary and the second and third-level defenders. That’s big in our league.” — Pederson on Thomas.

Round 2, Pick No. 48: Maason Smith, DL, LSU

Sep 4, 2022; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Louisiana State Tigers defensive tackle Maason Smith (0) celebrates a play during the first half against the Florida State Seminoles at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: Smith most likely comes in as a rotational piece behind both Arik Armstead and Roy Robertson-Harris at defensive tackle. While he likely won’t see a tremendous number of snaps in his first year, he has the profile and projection to become a key cog in the team’s defensive line for years to come. His 2021 campaign with LSU gives a glimpse of what he can do pre-injury. Smith tore his ACL and meniscus in 2022.

Stats: 47 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks and two pass breakups in 22 games played (17 starts).

Quotable: “6’5, 305, big guy. Again, just another player that is explosive, can move his lateral quickness, you just watch his tape and you see him chasing some ball carriers down. He can hold the point of attack, he’s a space eater in there, he can push the interior pocket.” — Pederson on Smith.

Round 3, Pick No. 96: Jarrian Jones, CB, Florida State

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - OCTOBER 09: Jarrian Jones #7 of the Florida State Seminoles reacts after intercepting a pass during the first half of their game against the North Carolina Tar Heels at Kenan Memorial Stadium on October 09, 2021 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Analysis: Jones was a standout at Florida State, particularly when he moved inside to nickel in 2023. He is incredibly athletic and intense in the run game. He doesn’t shy away from contact and with Nielsen’s defensive scheme, he fits right in. Jones projects as a long-term answer at nickel with the versatility to play outside.

Stats: 96 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss, one sack, 17 pass breakups and five interceptions in 55 total games played between one year at Mississippi State and four years with the Seminoles.

Quotable: “He’s a young guy that’s a converted wide receiver, learning the cornerback position and he showed, through the course of the year, especially as the year went on, that he has a real knack for it and he can play inside and outside; he’s not just a nickel. He’s 5’11” and change, it’s 190-plus pounds. He runs 4.39, he can play outside and inside but he happened to play primarily inside there.” — Baalke on Jones.

Round 4, Pick No. 114: Javon Foster, OL, Missouri

Oct 9, 2021; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers offensive lineman Javon Foster (76) and running back Dawson Downing (28) on the line of scrimmage against the North Texas Mean Green during the game at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: Both Cam Robinson and Walker Little are in the final years of their respective deals this season. Enter Foster who can play on either side as a left or right tackle. He projects as a potential future starter with upside as a swing tackle early.

Stats: Started 39 games at left tackle, and two games at right tackle. Earned First-Team All-SEC honors in 2023. Was the eighth-highest-graded tackle last year in all of college football, according to Pro Football Focus.

Quotable: “We view him as swing tackle, a guy that can play left and right. He played primarily on the left side in college obviously but went to the Senior Bowl and proved he could line up on the right side. You start him out in a swing position. That’s for the coaches to settle in on what his role is going to be. But really like the size, the length, two-time captain, leader in the SEC, 31-game starter, a lot of things that played into the pick.” — Baalke on Foster.

Oct 7, 2023; Columbia, Missouri, USA; Missouri Tigers running back Nathaniel Peat (8) runs the ball and is tackled by LSU Tigers defensive tackle Jordan Jefferson (99) and LSU Tigers linebacker Whit Weeks (40) during the second half at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: Jefferson gives the Jaguars depth as a nose tackle and offers a bit of insurance for DaVon Hamilton who missed 10 weeks last year leading up to and during the season due to injury/illness. Jefferson has a lot of room to grow but can be a rotational player with upside.

Stats: 90 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, one forced fumble, eight pass breakups in 25 games started. Played at West Virginia for four seasons before transferring to LSU in 2023, starting six games for the Tigers.

Quotable: “Power. He’s a guy that consistently had great knockback at the point of attack, uses his hands extremely well, dominates his area at the point. That’s another one that the coaching staff went out and worked out along with Maason [DT Maason Smith], they were at the same workout. They spent a lot of time with him, really liked the makeup of the young man. He started at West Virginia, then transferred to LSU. A lot to like and see a big upside in that player.” — Baalke on Jefferson.

Round 5, Pick No. 153: De’Antre Prince, CB, Ole Miss

Sep 9, 2023; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; Mississippi Rebels cornerback Deantre Prince (7) intercepts a pass against the Tulane Green Wave during the second half at Yulman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: Prince is another athletic corner that fell to the fifth round. He offers upside as a potential future starter but will enter 2024 as a depth player behind starters Tyson Campbell and Ronald Darby. He’s got good movement ability and is thought to be one of the better special teams players in this year’s draft class.

Stats: 146 tackles, six tackles for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles, 27 pass breakups and six interceptions through 37 starts. Played four years at Ole Miss. Enrolled in a JUCO in 2020, but the season was canceled due to COVID-19. Transferred back to Ole Miss in 2021 as a walk on.

Quotable: “There’s a six-foot corner that runs, I think clocked in at 4.36 [second 40-yard dash time] I believe. He’s 184 pounds, the guy can run, he can cover, he’s got instincts. There’s a lot to like. We had him higher on the board than where he fell to us. We really like a lot of things about him. We feel he can come in here and compete.” — Baalke on Prince.

Round 5, Pick No. 167: Keilan Robinson, RB, Texas

AUSTIN, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 18: Keilan Robinson #7 of the Texas Longhorns rushes for a touchdown in the second half against the Rice Owls at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 18, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

Analysis: Jacksonville will deploy two kick returners and Robinson fits the bill as a standout returner from Texas. Though he didn’t have much experience in terms of playing time while at Alabama or Texas, he offers upside at the running back position as well. He’s fast.

Stats: 121 carries, 796 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground. He added 35 receptions for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Averaged 23.6 yards per kick return, including a 95-yard touchdown in 2023. Started five games, playing in 45.

Quotable: “I think y’all can expect for me to be a playmaker in all facets of the game. From offense, whether it be running the ball, catching the ball, lining up in the slot, doing whatever I can on offense. Then on special teams obviously making plays with the ball in my hands and without the ball in my hands. Just a playmaker that’ll love the city, and love the community. I’m there to win games. I’m happy to be a Jacksonville Jaguar.” — Robinson on what he will bring to the Jaguars.

Round 6, Pick No. 212: Cam Little, K, Arkansas

Sep 2, 2023; Little Rock, Arkansas, USA; Arkansas Razorbacks kicker Cam Little (28) kicks an extra point in the first quarter against the Western Carolina Catamounts at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: Jacksonville needed a kicker after it didn’t work out with Brandon McManus, nor in the team’s attempt to sign kicker Wil Lutz in free agency. With Riley Patterson and Joey Slye currently on the roster, Jacksonville went out and got the man for the job. The youngest kicker drafted in history has all the tools to be a decade-long (or more) player with the team. It’s his job to lose in training camp.

Stats: Litte made 82.8% of his field goals (53-for-64) and never missed an extra point (129-of-129) in three years at Arkansas. He also did not miss a kick within 30 yards and connected on 7-of-11 field-goal attempts of at least 50 yards.

Quotable: “I smashed the workout, did what I needed to do and they took a chance on me in the draft today. Ipromise you that they will not regret that. The city of Jacksonville will not regret that pick.” — Cam Little on what he brings to the Jaguars and the City of Jacksonville.

Round 7, Pick No. 236: Myles Cole, DE, Texas Tech

Nov 2, 2023; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders defensive end Myles Cole (6) pressures Texas Christian Horned Frogs quarterback Josh Hoover (10) in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium and Cody Campbell Field. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Analysis: Take a swing at measurables and sometimes you’ll hit. That’s what Cole is and what the Jaguars did in Round 7. Cole played with current Jaguars tight end Josh Pederson, Doug Pederson’s son, at the University of Louisiana-Monroe before transferring to Texas Tech. Developmental player.

Stats: 86 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and one pass breakup in 25 starts (12 at Tech).

Quotable: “Size, length, he’s a developmental guy for sure. Kind of got onto him later in the process just with his measurables, they just stood out. At that stage of the draft you’re looking for traits to develop and he’s certainly got some.” – Baalke on Cole.

Demetrius Harvey is the Jacksonville Jaguars reporter for the Florida Times-Union. You can follow him on X,  formerly known as Twitter, at @Demetrius82.

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