The Jacksonville Jaguars were first on the clock in the 2022 NFL Draft for the second straight year.
Jacksonville endured another challenging season in 2021. Much of it centered around rookie head coach Urban Meyer, who was fired in December after less than one full season at the helm.
Jacksonville finished 3-14 and “earned" the top pick for the second straight year. They’ve had a top-10 pick in 13 of the last 14 seasons.
The Jaguars made waves in free agency in an effort to jumpstart their rebuild under first-year coach Doug Pederson, brought in to help mold 2021 No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence.
After locking up offensive linemen Cam Robinson and free-agent Brandon Scherff, their attention mostly turned to building up the defensive side with long-term prospects after the clock started.
Here’s a recap of the Jaguars’ 2022 NFL Draft class.
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
The Jags addressed their biggest need in an EDGE rusher, taking the high-risk, high-reward (according to many) Travon Walker out of the elite Georgia defense.
They got more creativity and upside on the defensive front seven with Devin Lloyd, who could help bolster the middle of a defense that desperately needs to produce resistance.
Fortner replaces the retired Brandon Linder as a necessary add along the O-line to protect last year’s No. 1 overall pick, QB Trevor Lawrence.
Depth along the defense and running back-room rounded out this class.
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Note: The Jaguars NFL Draft predictions below were published before the 2022 NFL Draft.
Pre-Draft Jaguars NFL Mock Draft Predictions 2022
- Round 1, Pick 1 (#1 Overall): Aidan Hutchinson, Edge, Michigan
- Round 2, Pick 1 (#33 Overall): Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M
- Round 3, Pick 1 (#65 Overall): Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State
- Round 3, Pick 6 (#70 Overall): Justyn Ross, WR, Clemson
More Possible Jaguars Draft Targets: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Pre-Draft Jaguars Team Needs 2022
1. EDGE Rusher
The Jaguars tied for 27th in the NFL in sacks (32) in 2021, which was a big reason why they ranked 28th in the NFL in defense (457 points allowed/26.9 per game).
Jacksonville addressed its defense through free agency, signing interior lineman Folorunso Fatukasi (61.5 grade, 49th of 110 DTs according to Pro Football Focus) and linebacker Foyesade Oluokun (46.5 ranking, 65th of 87 LBs per PFF) to multi-year, big-money deals.
It’s widely believed that Michigan edge rusher and bona fide game-wrecker Aidan Hutchinson will be the top pick in the 2022 draft. Hutchinson had 14 sacks in 14 games a year ago and would bookend nicely with defensive end and 2019 first-round pick (No. 7) Josh Allen, who led the team with 7.5 sacks in 2021 and has 20.5 sacks in his three-season career.
2. Offensive Line
The Jaguars ranked dead last in offense in 2021 and clearly understand the importance of protecting second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who was sacked 32 times last season.
Jacksonville addressed its offensive-line deficiencies in free agency, signing veteran guard Brandon Scherff, a five-time Pro Bowler in his seven seasons with the Washington Commanders, and designating left tackle Cam Robinson as its franchise player.
Still, Robinson is set to hit free agency next year and has been a bottom-tier tackle — Pro Football Focus gives him a 67.4 grade, which makes him the 48th-best tackle among the 83 in the league. Incumbent right tackle Jawaan Taylor actually ranks lower than Robinson (60.4 grade, 67th of 83), and Lawrence’s future and progression depends on staying upright.
Don’t expect Jacksonville to take a tackle with the top pick, but look for them to select at least one lineman and a tackle at some point, presumably with the first pick of the second round if one of the first round-caliber talents falls to the second day.
3. Wide Receiver
The Jaguars signed receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, and tight end Evan Engram in free agency, and although Kirk has played at times like a top-flight receiver, they’re still lacking a bona fide No. 1 option for Lawrence to rely on, and they may eye replacing Marvin Jones.
Fans would undoubtedly love to see the Jaguars trade up to pick Jameson Williams from Alabama, but they could be in line to choose Skyy Moore from Western Michigan if they stand pat. Pro-Football Focus has Moore ranked as the 33rd-best player in the draft, and he was the best receiver in college football by PFF’s metrics during the 2021 season.
If Jacksonville prefers a receiver with more size, and more pedigree, it could hold off until the third round to take Lawrence’s former teammate Justyn Ross from Clemson or George Pickens from Georgia.
Jaguars May Also Consider Drafting: LB, Depth RB, Cornerback