No. 1 prospect the Jaguars can draft at No. 1 – Aidan Hutchinson, DE.
Travon Walker’s stock is gaining steam ahead of Draft Day but Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson is still the favorite to go number one. While Walker may have more work to do as a pass rusher, he’s got a higher ceiling. On the other hand, Hutchinson is the more polished of the two and is ready to start from Day 1.
The former Wolverine doesn’t have as much bend as Walker or Thibodeaux, which could affect him negatively in the pros. He makes up for it with top-notch athleticism, power, and technique. Moreover, he’s a stud against the run and can come in and contribute to Jacksonville’s defense.
One thing that could work against Hutchinson is his lack of production at Michigan. Although he posted a monster 16.5 sacks as a senior in 2021, he had a combined 3.5 takedowns the previous three seasons. Then again, he suffered a leg fracture in the shortened 2020 season, so it’s understandable that his numbers took a hit. Also, he bounced back from injury and had no setbacks last year, so he should get a clean bill of health ahead of the draft.
Hutchinson could be the closest to a safe pick the Jaguars could make and after years of draft blunders, this could be what they need. Having said that, this could be a close call due. General manager Trent Baalke sees a lot of former defensive end Aldon Smith, one of the best players he drafted during his stint with the San Francisco 49ers. It’s uncertain who’s currently ranked higher on the Jaguars’ big board, Walker or Hutchinson, but one thing is sure. This is shaping up to be a pretty entertaining draft.