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Maurice Jones-Drew makes Jags pick in NFL Network Mock Draft

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire

Maurice Jones-Drew knows a thing or two about the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though he’s now an analyst for the Rams and the NFL Network, the Jags all-time leader in touchdowns still has some strong ties to the team he once starred for.

That’s why the NFL Network had Jones-Drew making the Jaguars pick at No. 4 overall in the mock draft it held live on Sunday night and why Jones-Drew’s surprise selection proved to be one of the most interesting of the two-hour special.

Now, it must be noted that when he went on the clock Jones-Drew immediately expressed a desire to trade out of the spot, which is something the Jaguars may indeed be looking to do, but this mock draft didn’t allow for trades.

With that being the case, Jones-Drew prefaced his choice by saying he was selecting a player that would help the running game, the passing game and beleaguered quarterback Black Bortles in announcing that the Jaguars will take Alabama tight end O.J. Howard.

Talk about a wow moment. With Myles Garrett (Browns), Solomon Thomas (49ers) and Marshon Lattimore (Bears) going 1-2-3, this proved to be the first big surprise of the NFL Network’s mock draft and it sparked a lot of debate, all of which favored the selection.

You got the feeling from listening to Jones-Drew, though, that this was more of a fallback move, in part because he made it clear that what he believes the Jaguars want to do is trade down to move into position where they’re not over-drafting an offensive lineman.

“I’m torn, because we need help on the offensive line, but I can’t take an offensive lineman at four,’’ Jones-Derw said before making the selection. “So I’m taking the best guy (on the board). I (also) wanted to go defense, but we spent so much money on that in free agency, what’s the sense.’’

The thing you have to wonder is just how much of a window into the Jaguars thinking did Jones-Drew provide here. It seems like he offered up a pretty good one. After all everything he said makes sense for a Jags team that is desperate to break out of a nine-year slump.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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