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Round 1 grades for every pick

Gregory Payan/Associated Press

Strengths: Size, speed, power, vision, patience and cutback ability.

Weaknesses: Durability, experience as a receiver and shotgun rusher.

The Jaguars solved most of their problems in the offseason.

By “solved,” of course, we mean “catapulted boulder-sized heaps of cash in every direction and crossed their fingers.” As usual for the Jaguars. 

They assembled yet another mercenary army of some of the biggest names free agency had to offer: A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell, Branden Albert (who is becoming the Darrelle Revis of overrated left tackles when it comes to cashing in on his reputation), and lots of second-tier stocking-stuffers like Barry Church. Ostensibly leading the charge is Doug Marrone, innovator of the cut-‘n’-run maneuver in Buffalo. But Tom Coughlin will be standing in front of a flag and making Patton speeches, so all will be well, as long as no one chafes under his extreme micromanagement. 

Anyway, everything looks rosy for the Jaguars, because it is April, and this team is undefeated over the last decade when it comes to spring optimism. It would be inappropriate to be too harsh on this selection just because everything the Jaguars try to do turns into a fire in a fertilizer factory by August 1.

Leonard Fournette is a huge, powerful, explosive, old-fashioned, I-formation downhill runner in the mold of LaDainian Tomlinson. His biggest weakness is that he is an old-fashioned, I-formation downhill runner in the mold of LaDainian Tomlinson.

Fournette often left the field when LSU switched to its pass-oriented spread formations, which could make it hard for him to adjust to NFL offenses that now use shotgun formations on over 60 percent of snaps. That’s right, folks: We are now seeing collegiate players who played too little spread offense for the NFL. We’re through the looking glass.

Anyway, Fournette has the skill set to be a decent receiver and has a one-cut-and-explode rushing style that can turn shotgun outside-zone handoffs into touchdowns. 

The analytics guy in me hates selecting a running back fourth overall. But he’s a need pick and arguably the best player on the board. If Coughlin (and Marrone) plan to go old-school, Fournette is the guy to do it with.

    

Grade: B+

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