It’s no secret that the culture of the Jacksonville Jaguars will change under new head coach Gus Bradley. The former defensive coordinator has his work cut out for him, taking over one of the league’s worst defenses from 2012 (29th in PPG, and 30th in YPG).
The obvious place to start is with the No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL Draft. The Jaguars hold a key opportunity to turn around their franchise with one solid pick. While this year’s draft pool doesn’t have the star power of 2012, it’s still filled with impact players that will contribute right away.
So who are the top defensive draft targets for Jacksonville?
Mock drafts around the web are split, but the most popular choices are players like – DE Bjoern Werner, DE Barkevious Mingo and CB Dee Milliner.
It should be noted that the Jaguars were also dead last in sacks a season ago, only compiling 20 as a team. This leads many draft analysts to believe the team will indeed take a pass-rushing specialist.
It appears Milliner is similar to Morris Claiborne from a year ago, in that he’s a lock to be a top-10 pick.
Mingo is the wild-card, as a hybrid linebacker/defensive end out of LSU. He ran an impressive 4.5/40 at the combine, and many believe he is a top-10 talent. But is he really an option for Jacksonville all the way up at No.2? Unless the Jaguars trade down, I don’t see them reaching for Mingo.
Werner also seems to be a safe pick at DE, but most don’t have him going near the two spot. However, he is drawing comparisons to Chris Long, as a guy who’s just going to get the job done.
These are just three of the defensive options the Jaguars will have to upgrade their roster in 2013. You can bet that Bradley will be hard at work trying to make this last-place defense, look more like his first-place defense from a season ago.