The Jacksonville Jaguars are one of the most intriguing NFL teams to keep an eye on in 2016. Despite the team's 5-11 record a season ago, there's a lot of optimism in Jacksonville, mainly because of their offense led by quarterback Blake Bortles.
After having a mediocre rookie season in 2014, Bortles more than tripled his touchdown passes in his second campaign (from 11 to 35). He also helped guide the Jaguars to 10th in the NFL in passing offense as the team averaged 257 yards per game.
Many are expecting the Jaguars to take a significant step forward in 2016 and contend for the AFC South crown that the Houston Texans won last season. For that to happen, Jacksonville still has a few holes to fill, mainly on defense.
Here are five prospects in this year's NFL Draft that would be great fits for the Jaguars:
1. Myles Jack, linebacker, UCLA
Before suffering a torn meniscus last September, Jack was an All-American candidate. Now that Jack has proven to teams that he has recovered from his knee injury, he will be an excellent fit for the Jaguars, which have the No. 5 overall pick.
Jack is a splendid athlete, as displayed by the fact that he played running back as well as linebacker during his time with the Bruins. He has the skill set needed to cover running backs and tight ends and does a great job at anticipating routes.
Jack also has the speed and strength required to rush the passer and make big plays in the backfield. He is the most versatile linebacker prospect in years and the Jaguars would be crazy not to select him with the fifth pick.
2. Kendall Fuller, cornerback, Virginia Tech
Jacksonville finished 29th in the NFL in passing defense (268.2 ypg) last season, so it stands to reason the secondary could use an upgrade. Fuller is someone who could come in and produce as a rookie cornerback.
While a knee injury basically robbed Fuller of his junior season with the Hokies, he is now fully recovered. Fuller has above average read and react skills while possessing enough athleticism to make plays on the ball in coverage.
Fuller also is a solid tackler and is capable of playing in either a man-to-man or zone scheme.
3. Keanu Neal, safety, Florida
Yes, the Jaguars signed Tashaun Gipson to a lucrative free agent deal this offseason, but don't be surprised if the team decides to add another safety during the draft. If that is the case, Neal from Florida would be an excellent fit.
Neal is a physical tackler, who demonstrates a lot of power through his hits. His 96 tackles were third on the Gators last season.
Neal still needs to improve on his coverage skills, but Jacksonville could bring him along slowly.
4. Landon Turner, guard, North Carolina
To say Jacksonville has had protection issues the last few seasons would be an understatement. The team gave up 51 sacks in 2015, which was the fourth most in the league. So expect the Jaguars to address the offensive line in either the second or third round of this draft.
Turner from North Carolina would be a fit because the team has a need at guard. He started for the Tar Heels for most of his four-year career.
Turner is an impressive blocker who has a strong lower body and enough upper body strength that allows him to keep defenders in front of him. He is a physical blocker, which could help the Jaguars improve their 27th-ranked rushing attack.
5. Carl Nassib, defensive end, Penn State
Jacksonville selected Dante Fowler with the third overall pick of the 2015 draft, but he tore his ACL on the first day of rookie minicamp and was lost for the season. While the team has been encouraged by Fowler’s recovery, the Jaguars have been vocal about adding another pass rusher.
An All-American last season who also won the Lombardi Award and was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, Nassib led the country with 15.5 sacks, while adding 19.5 tackles for a loss and forcing six fumbles. He’s able to get off of the line of scrimmage quick and has enough speed to chase down a ball carrier. He would be perfect as a situational pass rusher for the Jaguars.
— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.