Seventh round picks aren’t always guaranteed spots on the final roster. The Jaguars had two draft selections in the final round. One player might not make, while the other has a chance to gain the starting job. Here are the Jaguars seventh round picks and what to expect from them:
LB Leon Jacobs, University of Wisconsin(Round 7, Pick No. 230)
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected linebacker Leon Jacobs with the 230th pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Jacobs moved from inside linebacker to outside linebacker his senior year.
Jacobs’ senior year statistics included 60 total tackles, 35 solo tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. His lackluster numbers did not go unnoticed by the Jaguars and they mentioned it in a conference call with him pre-draft. In that call, Jacobs said his lack of production was likely because of the position change. He also mentioned that he models himself after the Denver Broncos Von Miller.
Jacobs posted the fastest 40-yard dash of any edge rusher and tied for third on bench press(26 reps) at the Combine. His athletic potential is the reason the Jaguars took a chance on him.
Jacobs flashes the most ability on the edge or on stunt concepts and can beat tackles when swinging wide. He has good hands and exposes offensive tackles for missing a step, drawing comparisons to Miller. When engaged on a block, however, Jacobs struggles to disengage and get to the quarterback. This is due to a very raw spin move that is ineffective and his inability to cut back inside when rushing off the edge. Jacobs is also a victim of tunnel vision, as he gets caught tracking the wrong player on play action reads.
Where does Leon Jacobs fit on the Jaguars’ roster?
The Jaguars didn’t address their open outside linebacker spot until this pick and that’s what makes it interesting. Jacksonville must be fairly comfortable with a player already on the roster for them to address this position so late. The Jaguars also added a lot of competition for this spot when they acquired three undrafted free agent linebackers after the draft. Jacobs will have to fight for a roster spot and may not earn it.
Jacobs could be involved in blitz packages and provide relief for starters. Does he have the ability to take the starting spot from some of the more experienced linebackers? Probably not. He will be fighting for a depth role during OTAs and preseason. It’s very possible that one of the undrafted free agents takes the spot instead of Jacobs by the start of the 2018 season.
P Logan Cooke, Mississippi State (Round 7, Pick No. 247)
With the 247th pick in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected punter Logan Cooke out of Mississippi State. Cooke was a three year starter for the Bulldogs and posted impressive numbers. He is one of the bigger punters in the league at 6’5”, 228 lbs. He finished his senior year averaging 42.7 yards per punt, with 13 punts of 50 yards or more. The longest punt of his career was 68 yards. In his career, he pinned 60 punts out of 50 inside the 20-yard line.
Where does Logan Cooke fit on the Jaguars’ roster?
The Jaguars cut starting punter Brad Nortman just two days after the draft ended making Cooke’s path to the starting position as easy as it could be. The reason for this change is likely that the Jaguars are looking to free up some cap space, albeit a minimal amount, to resign big name players in the next couple of years.
The Jaguars put a big emphasis on special teams play in the 2017 season so Cooke could be looking at a versatile role in his rookie year. His upcoming cheap contract and versatility as a potential kickoff specialist, field goal kicker, and punter make him the ideal choice at punter for the Jaguars heading in to the 2018 season.