The fascinating and rapid transformation of the Jacksonville Jaguars from a basement dweller to a potential contender continued in the 2023 NFL Draft. Ultimately, the defending AFC South champions drafted a franchise record 13 players.
Jacksonville added to its overall draft haul by trading down four times. Last season, the Jaguars leaped from three to nine wins, and they continued to build what is hopefully an eventual AFC title contender around franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
The first three 2023 draft selections were all on the offensive side. It appeared that the Jaguars had more pressing needs on defense, but adding quality pieces on offense could prove to be a correct path to rivaling the likes of Kansas City and Buffalo.
GM Trent Baalke faced some criticism on his way out of San Francisco and early in his Jacksonville tenure, but has since displayed some savvy maneuvering. The Jaguars came out of the 2023 NFL Draft with a deeper supporting offensive cast for Lawrence while also attempting to address some defensive concerns thereafter.
The team reportedly attempted to trade up several times during the draft but was unable to do so successfully. Instead, as Baalke told the Florida Times-Union, the Jags loaded up on more possible impact performers.
“We went through 15 or 16 teams when we were trying to trade up. Not one would make a move," Baalke said. “So that happened to us several times in the times we were able to trade back.”
Jaguars NFL Draft Picks 2023
- Round 1 Pick 27 Overall (From BUF): Anton Harrison, OT, Oklahoma
- Round 2, Pick 61 Overall (From SF via CAR, CHI): Brenton Strange, TE, Penn State
- Round 3, Pick 88 Overall: Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn
- Round 4, Pick 121 Overall (From TB): Ventrell Miller, LB, Florida
- Round 4, Pick 130 Overall (From BUF): Tyler Lacy, DE, Oklahoma State
- Round 5, Pick 136 Overall (From CHI): Yasir Abdullah, LB, Louisville
- Round 5, Pick 160 Overall (From NYG): Antonio Johnson, S, Texas A&M
- Round 6, Pick 185 Overall (from NYJ): Parker Washington, WR, Penn State
- Round 6, Pick 202 Overall: Christian Braswell, CB, Rutgers
- Round 6, Pick 208 Overall (from PHI): Erick Hallett, DB, Pittsburgh
- Round 7, Pick 226 Overall (from CAR): Cooper Hodges, OT, Appalachian State
- Round 7, Pick 227 Overall (from NO): Raymond Vohasek, DT, North Carolina
- Round 7, Pick 240 Overall (from BAL via NYG): Derek Parish, EDGE, Houston
Jaguars NFL Futures Odds
Now that the NFL Draft is complete, get ready for the 2023-24 NFL season with the latest Jaguars odds and futures betting markets.
Jaguars Draft Grade 2023
Jaguars NFL Draft Grade: C+
Our Frank Ammirante gave the Jaguars a C+ for addressing a major need at offensive tackle, but the Strange pick may have been a reach. Baalke’s move to nab a running back in the third round can also be questioned.
Click to see our full report card of 2023 NFL Draft Grades.
Note: The following information was written prior to the 2023 NFL Draft.
Jaguars Draft Team Needs 2023
1. Edge Rusher
Josh Allen is a formidable presence at one outside linebacker spot for the Jaguars. He led Jacksonville with seven sacks last season. But no other defensive player finished with more than five sacks.
As a team, the Jaguars finished with only 35 sacks. There is an obvious and glaring need to improve the pass rush if a deep playoff run is expected in a conference that features passers such as Patrick Mahomes and Buffalo’s Josh Allen.
This season, Jacksonville is not at the top of the first-round draft ladder anymore, so it is not in a position to grab one of the true elite pass rushers. Yet the Jaguars could still take one early in the draft and possibly add another edge-rusher type with a later pick.
Bolstering the pass rush is one route to improving the NFL’s 28th-ranked pass defense. Adding quality depth at cornerback should be another priority.
The Jaguars released former Pro Bowl cornerback Shaquill Griffin after he did not perform as well as hoped. However, Tyson Campbell seems locked in at one CB spot, and Darious Williams should be adequate on the other side.
Tre Herndon can play the nickel role, but the Jaguars may elect to draft a possible upgrade there with an eye on eventually moving a potential impact rookie to one of the outside CB spots.
3. Offensive Tackle
Kansas City beat Jacksonville in the playoffs, then scored another win over the Jaguars by signing Jawaan Taylor as a free agent. Taylor was Jacksonville’s steadiest offensive lineman last season.
The Jaguars expect Walker Little to take over at right tackle, and added more bodies in free agency. Josh Wells and Chandler Brewer provide needed depth.
If Jacksonville can land a solid long-term solution at RT, though, we may see the Jaguars use an earlier pick at the position.
Jaguars May Also Consider Drafting: Defensive Tackle, Tight End, Safety
Jaguars NFL Draft Round 1 Mock 2023
- Round 1, Pick 24 Overall: Cam Smith, CB, South Carolina
As of April 19, our own Anthony Cervino is predicting that with the No. 24 overall pick, the Jaguars will take the shot on Smith becoming an eventual starter at CB. Read our full NFL Mock Draft.
Jaguars NFL Draft Pick History
Jaguars NFL Draft Picks 2022
- Round 1, Pick 1 (1st Overall): Travon Walker, EDGE, Georgia
- Round 2, Pick 1 (33rd Overall): Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
- Round 3, Pick 1 (65th Overall): Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky
- Round 3, Pick 6 (70th Overall): Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming
- Round 5, Pick 11 (154th Overall): Snoop Conner, RB, Ole Muss
- Round 6, Pick 18 (197th Overall): Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist University
- Round 7, Pick 1 (222nd Overall): Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas