4. Jacksonville Jaguars – OJ Howard (Tight End, Alabama)
Here’s the first curveball for the Eagles Focus mock draft with OJ Howard heading to Jacksonville. Leonard Fournette has been a popular selection in other mock drafts because of his skill and the fit for Doug Marrone’s preference of offensive style. The depth of this running back class leads me to believe Jacksonville can draft a quality player in the later rounds to pair with TJ Yeldon and Chris Ivory. The Jags have also spent a boatload of money in free agency towards their defense including the additions of Calais Campbell, Barry Church and AJ Bouye. Julius Thomas was traded to Miami during the offseason leaving a void at the tight end spot. Marcedes Lewis has never lived up to being a first round pick and is on his last legs as an NFL player. OJ Howard from the Crimson Tide is the clear cut best tight end prospect in this class. Howard fits the mold of the athletic wide receiver type tight ends which has popularized the league in recent seasons. He was never fully able to showcase his talents while at Alabama due to the style of offense and lack of overall targets. Strength and interior blocking will need to improve for Howard to be considered a complete tight end. Another weapon for Blake Bortles to work with.
5. Tennessee Titans – Marshon Lattimore (Cornerback, Ohio State)
The Ohio State product is viewed as the top cornerback prospect after completing his redshirt sophomore season in Columbus. Lattimore was only a one year starter with the Buckeyes, but scouts cannot help themselves when discussing his skillset. Natural feet and agility combined with tremendous ball skills makes Lattimore a desired target for any team drafting in the top 10. There is some concern surrounding Lattimore’s ability to play off coverage in the league right away as he consistently was able to jam receivers off their routes in college. The Titans inked former Patriots corner, Logan Ryan, during free agency to start at one of the corner spots. Jason McCourty is currently listed as the starter opposite Ryan. Tennessee could certainly use another high end corner to compete in a division with TY Hilton, Allen Robinson, and Deandre Hopkins.
6. New York Jets – Malik Hooker (Safety, Ohio State)
Ohio State gets back to back selections in the top 10 with the Jets selecting Malik Hooker at pick six. New York has an incredibly long list of needs as an organization so it’s really hard to go wrong with whoever they take at this spot. I think they would be foolish to select Mitchell Trubisky or Deshaun Watson in the first round. Hooker is similar to Lattimore in that he was only a one year starter at Ohio State. Scouts consider Hooker to be more raw at this stage of his career, but the ceiling is extremely high for him as well. Hooker has great football instincts allowing him to consistently find the ball and read the eyes of an opposing quarterback. Ohio State assistant and former NFL head coach, Greg Schiano, recently praised Hooker and even made comparisons to Ed Reed whom he coached in college as well. Tackling issues may plague Hooker early in his career, but he should get the opportunity to play major snaps paired with Calvin Pryor at safety.