NFL Draft News & Analysis

Jacksonville Jaguars 2024 NFL Draft picks, analysis and rookie spotlight

2T30XAF October 21, 2023: LSU's Brian Thomas Jr. (11) runs the ball into the endzone after a long catch and run during NCAA football game action between the Army Black Knights and the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA. Jonathan Mailhes/CSM

The 2024 NFL Draft is now in the rearview mirror. After a flurry of selections from April 25 to April 27, 257 players were selected to join the NFL.

With that, we give you our full recap of the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ draft, with analysis on every selection the team made during the weekend and an in-depth look at their top pick.

For more information on the players your favorite team drafted, it’s not too late to get the 2024 NFL Draft Guide, which includes expanded scouting reports, draft grades, offseason reports, unique advanced data, PFF grades and much more.

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2024 Draft Picks

Thomas — The Jaguars add another weapon to a wide receiver room that includes Gabe DavisChristian Kirk and Zay Jones. Thomas’ calling card is his explosive speed and ability to win vertically. He led the nation in 2023 with a 99.9 PFF deep receiving grade and 12 deep receiving touchdowns. He’ll instantly threaten safeties vertically, and if he improves his route running, he has WR1 potential.

Smith — The Jaguars reached for PFF’s 140th-ranked player at a position of need. Smith notched a career-high 23 quarterback pressures (seventh among SEC interior defenders) and a 9% pass rush win rate in 2023 (second). Smith is physically gifted, but he needs to improve his footwork and play recognition to be an impactful NFL player.

Jones — While Jones lacks the long speed to hold up on the outside, he does have the quickness to excel out of the slot. Jones is a reliable tackler and more than willing to thump in the run game. He sported a career-best 90.1 PFF grade in 2023, fifth among players at the position, and has allowed zero touchdowns since 2022 on 458 coverage snaps.

Foster — Foster was a multi-year starter at left tackle in the SEC. His 87.9 PFF grade since 2022 is the fourth-best among FBS tackles, though he could move inside to guard in the NFL.

Jefferson — For the second time in this draft, The Jaguars look to LSU to find an interior defender. Jefferson set a career-high with a 72.4 PFF run-defense grade and has desirable size and strength on the interior. He just hasn’t put it all together yet.

Prince — Prince is PFF’s ninth-highest-graded cornerback since 2021, with an 89.6 overall grade. In 2022, he was particularly sound in the run game, posting an 84.7 category grade that was good for sixth in the conference.

Robinson — Robinson wasn’t on PFF’s big board after receiving few offensive opportunities at Texas. The Jaguars grab him here, likely in preparation for the NFL’s new kick-return structure. Robinson averaged 23.5 yards per return and even notched a kick-return touchdown over the past two seasons.

Little — Little is the third kicker off the board in the sixth round. He earned a 90.9 PFF field-goal grade in 2023, missing just one kick inside 40 yards all season. Over the course of his three-year career, he went 7-for-11 from 50-plus yards.

Cole — Ranked 185th on PFF’s big board, Cole learned from two productive NFL edge defenders in Josh Allen and Travon Walker. He recorded 27 pressures on 267 pass-rush snaps in 2023. His “bag” isn’t as deep as some of the top guys in this class, but there were times when he flashed solid ability.


Rookie Spotlight: WR Brian Thomas Jr.LSU

Scouting summary

Thomas is the kind of player every offense wants for their vertical passing game plans. A former football and basketball star in high school, he is a big, tall and fast vertical threat who forces the defense to be honest about his ability to get behind them. His footwork and flexibility are fast and fluid for a big man.

From 2022-23, his releases became more effective at creating separation. He is also a willing and competitive blocker. He posted a career-high catch percentage in 2023, and that needs to continue moving forward.

Click here to view Brian Thomas Jr.'s 2024 NFL Draft profile!
Wins above average

WAA represents the number of wins a player is worth over an average college football player and is a metric that evaluators can utilize to assess performance. It combines how well a player performed in each facet of play (using PFF grades) and how valuable each facet is to winning football games. The result is a first-of-its-kind metric that allows for cross-positional valuation and predicts future value at the player and team levels.

Thomas Jr.’s Wins Above Average (WAA) since 2021.
How Thomas ranks in the stable metrics
Brian Thomas Jr.’s percentile ranks in the most stable receiving stats since 2021.

Thomas was among college football's best separators for his entire career, and that only improved in his last season. In 2023, Thomas was charted as open on 74 of his 87 targets. He also led college football with 17 receiving touchdowns.

At the NFL combine, he ran a 4.33-second 40-yard dash, which ranks in the 97th percentile among all receivers. His rare blend of size (6-foot-3) and speed will make him a hot commodity during the draft process.

The bottom line

Thomas offers a good combination of size and speed to push the ball vertically down the sideline, demanding safeties stay rotated to his side. To truly unlock that kind of threat, he will need to show he can consistently beat press coverage.

Offenses that like to push the ball will prioritize what he brings to the table in the top 50.

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