Jacksonville Jaguars get best draft grades of AFC South teams

Cam Robinson #74 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Cam Robinson #74 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars came out of the 2021 NFL Draft with a franchise quarterback in Trevor Lawrence but also added a few players that should become key contributors. For that reason, they earned positive grades from a couple of experts.

Bucky Brooks and Lance Zierlein of NFL Media gave the Jags an “A”, the best mark in the AFC South. They said that taking Lawrence made it easier to grade them but also liked the selection of Travis Ettiene, which described as tough to evaluate but ultimately the right move. Zierlein says the former Clemson running back is a dependable three-down player with amazing contact balance. Moreover, he has the kind of team-first mentality that head coach Urban Meyer surely prefers.

Brooks also points out that the Jaguars didn’t try to find hidden gems and instead focus on adding blue-chip prospects as eight of their nine draft selections came from Power 5 schools and all nine were drafted above the  FBS level.

Meanwhile, the Indianapolis Colts were the team in the division that got an “A” while the Tennessee Titans got a “B-” and the Houston Texans a “C”. Although Indy had just six picks after trading for quarterback Carson Wentz, they fortified their defensive front with their first two selections, Michigan EDGE rusher Kwity Paye in the first round and Vanderbilt defensive lineman Dayo Odeyingbo in the second.

The Jacksonville Jaguars are getting solid reviews

Etienne was one of Jacksonville’s most scrutinized picks because drafting a running back in the first round doesn’t make much sense when teams can find talented prospects in later rounds or even after the draft. Also, the Jaguars already had James Robinson on the roster, but if Etienne is a dynamic player that can add another dimension to the passive game, it doesn’t matter where he was selected. After all, isn’t the whole point of the draft to add difference-makers?

The Jags also selected safety Andre Cisco in the third round and Walker Little in the second. Both suffered injuries in colleges — this might’ve affected their draft stock — but if they can stay healthy, they could become key contributors. Other than not properly addressing the tight end position, this was a good draft haul.

This was one of the most important drafts in Jaguars’ history. They needed to acquire as much talent (regardless of the position) as they could, and it seems like they accomplished the goal.

Next. 3 free agents the Jaguars can still sign after the draft. dark