It’s never too early to talk about the draft. NFL teams are evaluating talent at the collegiate ranks pretty much the whole year, and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ scouting department is no different. The Jags tried to make as many upgrades as possible this past offseason but one year was not enough to address all their roster needs. They still need to add playmakers to several position groups in 2022 and they bolster their offensive line in a recent mock draft.
The Bleacher Report Scouting Department recently put together a first-round mock draft and they project the Jaguars taking North Carolina State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu with the fourth overall pick. They point out that left tackle Cam Robinson has performed at a “replacement level” throughout his NFL career, and think the Jags can select a top collegiate prospect at a premium position other than quarterback due to the presence of Trevor Lawrence.
The BR Scouting Department believes Ekwonu would be a worthy selection at number four and see him as a prospect with a lot of upside.
"Ekwonu will be in consideration for the selection due to his incredible physical traits, dominant film and notable improvement as a pass protector from the 2020 to ’21 seasons. Ekwonu can play tackle, but with Walker Little set to take over for Robinson next year and Jawaan Taylor on the right side, he will be able to slide into either guard spot as an immediate impact starter."
Ikem Ekwonu can fortify the Jaguars’ offensive line.
It’s hard to tell what the Jaguars plan to do with their offensive line next offseason. Cam Robinson is set to be a free agent and right tackle Jawaan Taylor will enter the last year of his rookie deal. Walker Little, a second-round pick in the 2021 draft, could step in either spot but it’s uncertain at this point what they have in the Stanford product, as he’s barely seen the field this season.
The Jaguars have probably seen enough of Robinson and they will either keep him knowing he’s already reached his ceiling or move on from him and look for a potential upgrade. Ekwonu could be a potential upgrade.
Also, guards Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann are set to hit the free-agent market, so the Jaguars may need to add more than just one player. Drafting Ekwonu or even Evan Neal, another top offensive line prospect, would be a step in the right direction but one of many the team’s brass needs to take next year.
The Jaguars are in the early stages of a multi-year rebuild. They drafted their potential quarterback of the future this past offseason and making sure he develops is one of the team’s current priorities. Fortifying their offensive line will ensure that happens.