The Jacksonville Jaguars will have their fair share of choices with the first overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. They could take an offensive tackle or they could go defense and fortify their pass rush. The one thing the Jags should avoid is going for the ‘sexy’ pick.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report recently put together a list of surprise prospects NFL teams could target in the 2022 draft and Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson was the pick for the Jaguars. Sobleski says that offensive tackle should be Jacksonville’sprimary target but points out that “tackles aren’t sexy” and defensive ends are “definitely an easier sell”.
Sobleski notes that the Jags already have Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson but thinks that Hutchinson would have a big impact at No. 1
"Thus, the selection of a prospect like Aidan Hutchinson can’t be ruled out as someone who helped reset the culture at Michigan while simultaneously playing at an elite level. A No. 1 overall pick isn’t just about talent. Ability is a requirement, but the effect the individual can have on a franchise needs to be considered as well. The 21-year-old Hutchinson, who set a new Michigan single-season record with 14 sacks, is a two-time team captain and a Senior CLASS Award finalist."
The Jaguars must draft a difference-maker regardless of the position.
Hutchinson would not be a particularly a surprise choice with the top pick. He’s been previously mocked to the Jags and is one of the top three prospects in the 2022 draft. In fact, nobody would bat an eye if the Michigan native lands in Jacksonville. A shocking pick would be someone like Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton or LSU cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. The odds of the Jags taking either one are slim and they would be better off trading down and hoarding extra selections if they want to target one of them.
In the end, the Jaguars need to do what they believe it’s right for them and shouldn’t fall for the ‘sexy’ pick. If they think Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal or even someone like Charlie Cross of Mississippi State is going to help them win games, they need to go for it. On the other hand, if they think Hutchinson or Kayvon Thibodeaux will be a better fit and improve their defense, they need to choose either one of them then.
Do you remember the 1999 draft? The Philadelphia Eagles held the second overall selection and the consensus was that they were going to choose running back Ricky Williams, the sexy pick. Instead, Philly went for quarterback Donovan McNabb and they got blasted by their fans for the decision. Ultimately, the pick paid off as McNabb led the Eagles to four consecutive NFC Championships and a Super Bowl trip. Moreover, he earned six Pro Bowl designations, and while Williams was a fine player himself, he didn’t make the kind of impact McNabb had throughout his career.
The Jags aren’t necessarily in the same situation as Philadelphia was back then but they still need to avoid going for the bang selection and need to do what’s best for them.