Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 NFL Draft class gets mixed grades

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, GM Trent Baalke and owner Shahid Khan (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence, RB Travis Etienne, GM Trent Baalke and owner Shahid Khan (Imagn Images photo pool) /

There’s no doubt the Jacksonville Jaguars have the best quarterback in the 2021 NFL Draft in Trevor Lawrence. However, you can ask ten different people about the rest of their draft haul and you will get ten different responses. Some would say they shouldn’t have taken Clemson running back with the 25th overall pick while others liked the selection, but how did the experts grade the Jags’ draft haul?

First, let’s recap the selections, these are the players the Jaguars drafted:

Round 1, pick 1: Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence

Round 1, pick 25: Clemson running back Travis Etienne

Round 2, pick 33: Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell

Round 2, pick 45: Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little

Round 3, pick 65: Syracuse safety Andre Cisco

Round 4, pick 106: USC defensive tackle Jay Tufele

Round 4, pick 121: UAB defensive end Jordan Smith

Round 5, pick 145: Ohio State tight end Luke Farrell

Round 6, pick 209: Georgia Tech wide receiver Jalen Camp

Matt Lombardo of FanSided gave Jacksonville an ‘A’. He liked the picks Jacksonville made and believes the team’s brass has ‘done an outstanding job laying the foundation around’ Lawrence. He thinks Etienne will be an electrifying weapon in the passing game and believes Little has the potential to become a key cog in the offensive line. Moreover, he sees Cisco as a ballhawk with the physicality of a linebacker.

Also, the Jags got a ‘B+’ from Pro Football Focus. Even though they don’t think Etienne has first-grade value, they describe the running back as “an explosive play waiting to happen”. On the other hand, they think this Jacksonville team is adding Campbell to a crowded cornerback room with “a lot invested in the incumbent starters”. Furthermore, they see Little as a strong bet based on his potential.

Here are some not-so-flattering reviews the Jacksonville Jaguars earned.

Brad Gagnon of Bleacher Report thinks the Jaguars should get credit for not overthinking the Lawrence pick. By the same token, he says that drafting Etienne takes away points from their overall grade, as he believes he’s a phenomenal player but not one worth the 25th overall pick. Also, he thinks Walker is a high risk due to his injury history and sees the addition of Campbell as weird because they already had C.J. Henderson and Shaquill Griffin. For their effort, Gagnon gives Jacksonville a ‘C+’.

Connor Orr of Sports Illustrated believes the Jaguars’ draft took a strange turn after taking Lawrence. Like other analysts, he wonders if if Etienne is “worth allocating” a first-round pick. Also, he opines that Jacksonville could’ve done a better job addressing their run defense and thinks they could’ve added a few more defensive linemen. On the other hand, he likes the addition of Campbell and graded the Jags’ draft class a ‘C+’.

Going over the analysis, the Etienne and Campbell picks were polarizing but if both end up becoming solid contributors, it won’t matter where the Jags drafted them. After all, the whole point of the draft is to get better, and other than not really addressing the tight end position, this Jacksonville team did a good job of adding talent.

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