The Jacksonville Jaguars are in a great spot after making some key signings in free agency. They’ve addressed some big needs and narrowed down which draft prospect who would make an immediate impact on the field: Will Hernandez
Hernandez has shown promise with the amount of talent, athleticism, and knowledge he has for the game. He comes from a small Division I school in Texas known as University of Texas at El Paso. If he gets drafted in the first-round, he’ll be the third one in UTEP school history.
Lets take a look into Hernandez and if he’s a fit for the Jaguars.
Hernandez in College
All Stats via – UTEP Miners
Hernandez’s career started in 2014 after he was a red-shirt freshman the year before. He started all 13 games on an offensive line that only gave up 13 sacks which ranked eighth in the nation. UTEP had a dominant rush game, recording 208.5 rushing yards per game and rushing for 27 touchdowns.
He didn’t slow down the next season and was named to Phil Steele’s 2015 Postseason All-Conference USA third team.
In 2016, Hernandez was named Conference USA first team and honored AP All-America second team. He helped former running back Aaron Jones achieve 1,773 rushing yards, the most yards in a single-season in program history.
Despite UTEP losing all 12 games in 2017, he was still playing at a high level. For the second year in a row he was apart of AP All-America second team. Furthermore he was also named CBS Sports All-America second team and earned All-Conference USA first team honors.
Will Hernandez didn’t miss a single game in his Miners career, starting all 49 games.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Analyzing Hernandez is easy, as he doesn’t disappoint in much of anything. Here are some strengths and weaknesses of the human bowling ball.
- Very athletic for his size.
- Vast amount of strength.
- Aggressive player, wants to maul everyone.
- Amazing run blocker.
- Quick and shifty feet.
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- Height and length.
- Needs to improve pass blocking.
- Not quick enough for speed rushers.
Hernandez at the Senior Bowl
Hernandez shined at the Senior Bowl and that’s why he’s becoming a topic around NFL teams. He became the center of attention for offensive linemen. Scouts had concern with him at UTEP, where majority of his games were against no name schools. He impressed those same doubters by performing well against some of the best Senior defensive linemen in college.
2018 NFL Combine
Hernandez finished with a 6.12 prospect grade, which means he should become an instant starter. Here’s how he performed via – NFL.com
He impressed in the 40-yard dash, running a 5.15 which was ninth among offensive linemen. The former Miner also did the three-cone drill in 7.59 seconds, good for seventh among offensive linemen.
He showed off his strength, recording 37 reps on the bench press, which was first among offensive linemen and third in the entire combine.
Despite his size, he still recorded a 24-inch vertical jump, which was eighth among offense linemen.
Why Hernandez Fits the Jaguars
Hernandez would be the perfect fit for the Jaguars. Drafting him will kick A.J. Cann out of the right guard spot allowing Hernandez to take over and keep Norwell at left guard.
Based off last season, the Jaguars wanted to pound the rock with star running back Leonard Fournette in the backfield. He has a lot to bring to the table in run blocking and will be capable of taking pressure off Fournette’s back.
Pass blocking is a slight issue for him but it’s something he can fix with experience and technique practice. Players like Norwell and Brandon Linder will show him the ropes and potentially turn Hernandez into a star linemen.
Even with teams stacking the box against a mediocre line and Fournette they still finished first in the NFL for team rushing yards with 2,262 yards, but after the addition of run blocking star Norwell and drafting Hernandez, it will only get better.
Offensive line is one of the few position needs for the Jaguars, and they have the perfect opportunity to draft a future star here.