The 3rd pick in the 2015 NFL Draft belongs to the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags are coming off a 3-13 season in 2014 which was the second under head coach Gus Bradley. They took a step back from their 4-12 finish in 2013. Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles struggled in his rookie season throwing 17 interceptions to 11 touchdowns. The possible return of wideout Justin Blackmon who was suspended for all of 2014 should be a boost for Bortles. Wide receiver is most likely off the board with this pick seeing as the team drafted both Marquise Lee and Allen Robinson last year to go along with undrafted free agent Allan Hurns who Eagles fans know all too well. Cecil Shorts was the veteran wideout on the team and he left during free agency. I expect the Jags to stick with the young group they have and possibly address the position in the later rounds if at all. The addition of Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas should help in the development of Bortles as well. The defensive side of the ball is where I expect Jacksonville to focus on with the 3rd pick. Former Dolphins defensive linemen Jared Odrick was signed during free agency which was a very underrated move in my opinion. Odrick will fit in nicely with Tyson Alualu, Sen’Derrick Marks and former Eagle Chris Clemons. The Jags ranked sixth in the NFL last season in team sacks so they were able to generate pressure up front. They are lacking in the linebacker spot even after the signing of Dan Skuta from San Francisco. Jacksonville also upgraded the secondary with safety Sergio Brown and corner Davon House from Green Bay. They will make an above average secondary with incumbent safety Jonathan Cyprien and 2nd year corner Aaron Colvin. I still expect the team to address the secondary in the middle rounds of the draft. The glaring need for the Jags is an outside linebacker with the ability to make plays and at times get pressure on the quarterback. With that in mind the Jacksonville Jaguars select with the 3rd pick…
Dante Fowler- Outside Linebacker (Florida)
Fowler will slot into one of the outside linebacker spots in Gus Bradley’s defense. His versatility is what has scouts impressed. He played all over the place at Florida. He would line up on the defensive line as well as rushing from outside 3-4 linebacker spot. The Jags run a 4-3 defensive scheme so he will be asked to drop back in coverage more which he has displayed he’s capable of doing. Adding Fowler to a very underrated front four will give the Jags an added playmaking punch. Scouts have complimented Fowler about being difficult to block in open space which allow him to get to ball carriers. He could also provide a dimension on 3rd downs if Bradley wants to line him up at defensive end to rush the passer specifically. Fowler needs to work on his strength at the point of attack which comes with time and development. It’s never a bad thing to have more pass rusher in a division where you play Andrew Luck twice a year for the foreseeable future. The other option in play with this pick was defensive tackle Leonard Williams from USC. Williams is potentially the best player in this draft according to some scouts, but the interior line seems to be pretty stable for Jacksonville at the moment. Outside linebacker and speed off the edge is a much bigger need currently. As always do not rule the Jags moving from the 3rd pick if they can acquire more picks to fill needs on the roster.
Next Pick: Oakland Raiders Number 4
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