Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama - Round 2
Some teams had Robinson rated as their No. 1 offensive tackle in the 2017 NFL Draft class even though the Broncos took Garett Bolles and the Saints took Ryan Ramczyk over Robinson in the first round. Robinson fell to the Jaguars in the second round and ended up being a really nice value pick for them.
Entering the next level, Robinson is a plus run blocker at left tackle. He isn't a finesse tap-dancing left tackle who is weak in the ground game. Robinson doesn't have overwhelming power, but he is very good at latching on to defenders and turning them to open up holes. He is strong to sustain his blocks, and you will see him ride some defenders around the field. There is no doubt that Robinson has some heavy hands which defenders have a very difficult time shedding him once he gets locked on them. He also has the quickness and athletic ability to hit blocks on the second level. Over the past three seasons, Alabama had a lot of success running behind Robinson.
As a pass protector, the issue for Robinson is consistency. He has the athletic ability, feet, and bending skills to be a left tackle. However, he didn't play consistently up to his skill set. The flaws in execution are the points of improvement for Robinson in the NFL. He needs to continue to work on his feet and bending to not lunge after defenders while being ready for inside moves. Robinson's tape displays stretches where he is playing well and then gets sloppy to allow a sack or pressure. That happened too often for Robinson to be a high pick.
Because of the consistency issues, I think Robinson may not develop into an elite left tackle. However, I think he has a lot of upside to be a solid starter. He could start out his career competing at guard or right tackle, but before long, he could replace Brandon Albert as the left tackle for Jacksonville. At guard, right tackle, or left tackle, I think Robinson has the talent to become a solid starter.
2016: Sheldon Day, DT 2015: Dante Fowler, DE 2014: Allen Robinson, WR 2013: Luke Joeckel, LT
Most Likely To Bust
DeDe Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma - Round 4
Westbrook was one of the most electric receivers in college football last year as he produced a lot of big plays for Oklahoma. He exploded for 1,524 yards on 80 receptions with 17 touchdowns as a senior while showing some serious speed. Still, there were a lot of issues with Westbrook, and I think those problems could lead to him not panning out in the NFL.
In speaking with sources from multiple teams, there were a few reasons given for Westbrook's slide. Every team said, independently of each other, that Westbrook had bad off-the-field issues. There were incidents going back to his time in junior college, and teams felt that Westbrook had significant character concerns. They also all said that Westbrook's thin build hurt his draft stock. At 6-foot, 178 pounds, teams had durability concerns, and Westbrook gave that some validity with a concussion late in the 2016 season.
Some team sources had some choice words on Westbrook's character and what they thought of him off the field. On a softer note, here's how one team source described why Westbrook slid:
"Character and frail body. Little guys get hurt far more frequently in the league to justify taking him high. For every DeSean Jackson and Darren Sproles, there are a lot more guys like Tavon Austin, Ryan Broyles, Javhid Best and Ameer Abdullah."
Jacksonville also is deep at receiver, and I think Westbrook is going to have a hard time getting playing time over veterans. The Jaguars have their long-term No. 1 wide receiver in Allen Robinson, and Marqise Lee finally started to show his skill last year and should be locked in as the other starter. Jacksonville gave third receiver Allen Hurns a big extension, but some sources that were with the Jaguars said that was a mistake. They say that Hurns is a great guy and one of the nicest players you will ever meet, but they think he has some limitations as a player. Still, Hurns will probably be Jacksonville's third receiver as the organization made a big commitment to him and will want that contract to work out. That leaves two or three roster spots left. Westbrook will have some tough competition in Rashad Greene and Arrelious Benn, both of whom are valuable on special teams with more pro knowledge and good character to help them. It wouldn't surprise me if Westbrook ends up getting buried on the depth chart and never develops into a contributor. In the Jaguars' draft class, Westbrook has the most bust potential.
2016: Jalen Ramsey, DB 2015: A.J. Cann, G 2014: Blake Bortles, QB 2013: Denard Robinson, RB
Potential Boom Pick
Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU - Round 1
Throughout the 2017 NFL Draft process, I had Fournette near the top of my Big Board, and during the 2016 season, I had him rated second - for the most part. I ended up with him third-overall as he is a rare prospect with a skill set that is off the charts. I know NFL scouts who graded Fournette higher than Ezekiel Elliott and Todd Gurley, the top running backs in the previous two drafts. Fournette didn't go to a team with as good of an offensive line or quarterback as Elliott, so he may not put up similar numbers, but I think Fournette is going to be a devastating back who could be among the best backs in the NFL.
As a player, Fournette is the real deal. He is very fast with a burst to hole and has a second gear in the open field to take the ball the distance. He possesses rare acceleration and takes away angles from defenders with speed. While Fournette is a fast back, he also is a power back who can run through tackles and bulldoze defenders trying to tackle him. Fournette is very tough to stop in short-yardage situations and on the goal line. He has a perfect combination of speed and power.
On top of having a great combination of size, power and speed, Fournette is elusive in the open field. He has excellent feet, vision, patience and balance. Fournette uses that combination of all those to spin away from defenders, weave around them, and cut through small openings to pick up more yards. Fournette has a superb ability to run while bending at the knee, which allows him to run behind his pads and helps him to bounce off tacklers. Many backs his size have a tendency to run too upright, but Fournette is very good to bend until he gets in the open field and turns on the afterburners. Fournette also has flashed some nice hands and route-running as a receiver. He is a willing blocker, and he should quickly turn into a three-down starter once he learns NFL blitz schemes and pass protection.
The only real concerns regarding Fournette are durability after an injury-plagued junior year and some other minor nagging injuries in the previous seasons. I think Fournette will stay healthy by and large to become one of the top running backs in the NFL. He could be a perennial Pro Bowler who makes an impact for his team.
2016: Myles Jack, LB 2015: T.J. Yeldon, RB 2014: Marqise Lee, WR 2013: Jonathan Cyprien, S
Future Depth Player
Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois - Round 3
The Jaguars got a nice value with Smoot in the third round, and they should have a nice rotation of defensive ends for the 2017 season. Smoot (6-3, 264) is a solid base end who can get after the quarterback with his speed, strength and athleticism. Jacksonville already had a lot of defensive end talent with high-priced veteran Calais Campbell joining the team this offseason. The team also has Dante Fowler, who was the third-overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, and Yannick Ngakoue, who has flashed as a recent third-round pick. With those three talented ends in house, Smoot should be a backup who rotates into the game to keep the starters fresh. Smoot probably won't win a starting job over the veterans, but he should be good depth for the Jaguars and provide them with a rotational contributor.
2016: Brandon Allen, QB 2015: Michael Bennett, DT 2014: Chris Smith, LB 2013: Ace Sanders, WR
Walt's 2017 NFL Draft Grades:
4. Leonard Fournette, DE, LSU: A- Grade
It's a little sketchy to pick a running back with a horrible offensive line in place, but Leonard Fournette is arguably the second-best player in this class. Fournette is going to provide a huge boost for Blake Bortles, so there won't be excuses anymore. Bortles has to produce, or the Jaguars will be taking a quarterback, and there will be lots of good ones, as you can see in the 2018 NFL Mock Draft. This pick deserves a high grade though, as Jacksonville was rumored to select Deshaun Watson, which would've been a disaster. Fournette is going to be a great player for the Jaguars.
34. Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama: A+ Grade
The Jaguars surrendered a sixth-round pick to move up one spot. I'd say it was worth it because Cam Robinson drew some interest from teams in the top 20. He fell, much like many of the other Alabama prospects, but the Jaguars stand to benefit from it. Jacksonville acquired Branden Albert this offseason, but given his injury history, the Jaguars had to find a blocking upgrade to protect Blake Bortles and open running lanes for Leonard Fournette.
68. Dawuane Smoot, DE, Illinois: C+ Grade
Is anyone surprised that Tom Coughlin stayed true to his strategy and took an edge rusher even though he didn't really need one all that much? I would've gone elsewhere, as Smoot lacks length and doesn't have a natural position because he's a tweener. He does have upside, however, so this pick could work out.
110. Dede Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma: C Grade
Dede Westbrook probably would've been a second-round pick if he didn't have off-the-field issues. He also interviewed extremely poorly at the combine. I think he's too much of a risk in the fourth round, but perhaps he'll grow up and become a solid slot receiver for the Jaguars.
148. Blair Brown, LB, Ohio: A Grade
I had Blair Brown being chosen in the middle of the third round, so I love this value. Perhaps he fell because he has just one season of high production, but he's very athletic and instinctive, and I think he could become a starter for Jacksonville at some point.
222. Jalen Myrick, CB, Minnesota: A+ Grade
This might end up being my favorite pick in the seventh frame. Jalen Myrick was slotted in the fourth or fifth round of all of my mock drafts. He has very good athleticism, and he was productive in college. He also offers some great special-teams ability to boot. Even though he's a seventh-rounder, I'll be mildly surprised if he doesn't make Jacksonville's roster.
240. Marquez Williams, FB, Miami: B Grade
I can't say I'm surprised that Tom Coughlin added a fullback to pair with Leonard Fournette. I have no issues at all with this selection.