Jaguars: Worst-case first round pick for each AFC South foe in the draft

Jacksonville Jaguars fans, 2021 NFL Draft (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
Jacksonville Jaguars fans, 2021 NFL Draft (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Alabama Crimson Tide offensive lineman Evan Neal (73). Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Houston Texans – 1st round, 3rd overall pick: Evan Neal, OT.

For a while, Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal had the distinction of being a strong candidate to go No. 1 to the Jaguars. However, that scenario has become less feasible after they applied the franchise tag on Cam Robinson. While there’s a chance Jacksonville can still take Neal and have him line up at guard in his rookie year, Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker may have higher chances of getting drafted first overall.

Now, nobody knows how the first three picks of the draft will unfold. You can ask three different people and you might get three opinions. Let’s say the Jags go with Hutchinson. There’s a good chance the Detriot Lions take Kayvon Thibodeaux or Travon Walker — as Peter King suggests in his latest column. This could leave the Houston Texans in a prime position to take Neal with the third overall pick, which could be bad news for Jacksonville.

Not only would the Texans bolster an offensive line in dire need of talent if they picked Neal but he could in turn try to prove the Jags made a mistake by not choosing him. Some prospects make a big deal out of getting snubbed while others don’t think much of it and downplay it. It’s hard to tell if Neal is the kind that holds grudges for a long time but if he ends up thriving, the Jaguars’ brass could double-guess the decision to take someone else at No. 1. This is why they need to get it right.