There seems to be a sentiment among Jaguars fans that trading up in the draft is a bad thing. It's understandable. A draft pick is like a lottery ticket and the more tickets you have, the better the chance of you winning.
Last time the Jaguars traded up in the first round it was to acquire wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Say no more.
Gene Smith is no longer the team's general manager and there has been much less stupidity since. Smith doesn't seem like a stupid man, but he was obviously ill prepared for the position, due to ego and convoluted philosophies.
So why should the Jaguars trade up this year?
The first reason is that the entire front office is on the hot seat. Although Gus Bradley told me that he always wants to do what's best for the organization (and for the record I believe him), the best opportunity for everyone to keep their jobs is with a good season and getting an impact player can help go a long way in that. It sounds somewhat callous, but giving away future picks won't matter to anyone if they're no longer employed.
There appears to be five elite talents in the 2016 NFL Draft and the Jaguars select fifth in the first round. That's a good thing, right?
Probably, but the Jaguars don't really have a place for DeForest Buckner assuming he's the only elite player left on the board when it's the team's turn to select.
The Jaguars primary target should be linebacker Myles Jack from UCLA. He could go anywhere from first-overall to any of the four picks preceding Jacksonville. If he's available when Dave Caldwell is on the clock, he will be the selection.
Another trade-up target should be Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey. He can play anywhere in the secondary and might be the most talented player in this draft. Although the team mitigated that need somewhat with the signing of Tashaun Gipson, a combination of Ramsey and Gipson on the back end would be elite.
The final trade-up target should be defensive end Joey Bosa from Ohio State. There are questions whether he's reached his peak as a pass rusher, but he will still be a solid football player who can start right away.
Who should the Jaguars trade with?
The San Diego Chargers are the best trade partner for Jacksonville. Assuming that the Titans or Browns select Ole Miss offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil, the Chargers should be in the market to move back.
It shouldn't take a great deal of compensation to move from No. 5 to No. 3, and with San Diego needing help on the offensive and defensive lines, it would make more sense for them to move back and still be able to get Buckner or Notre Dame offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley.
The Jaguars would be guaranteed to get Jack, Ramsey or Bosa in a trade up with San Diego.
In summation, the Jaguars could guarantee that they get an elite football player with giving up what could be a pair of third-round picks. With the front office on the hot seat it's a chance that they must take.