Jaguars may not go wide receiver in the first 2 rounds of the draft

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]Jki 010922 Bsjaguarsvscolt 3
Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]Jki 010922 Bsjaguarsvscolt 3 /

Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency, they could still add another wide receiver in the 2022 NFL Draft. However, receiver isn’t their only need and they may prioritize other position groups in the first two rounds of the draft.

Maurice Moton of Bleacher Report recently discussed every NFL team’s three top needs ahead of the draft and listed pass rusher, linebacker, and interior offensive lineman as the Jags’ biggest three. He cites K’Lavon Chaisson’s minimal impact the last two seasons as a reason why they must upgrade their pass rush. He notes that former San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key was a solid addition in free agency but he might not be enough.

"The Jaguars have to finish reconstructing the second level of the defense. With the No. 1 overall pick, they can select the best pass-rusher on their big board to complement Josh Allen on the edge. K’Lavon Chaisson has two sacks and 20 pressures through 952 defensive snaps. Arden Key will strengthen the pass rush, but he’s only started in 10 games through four seasons.  Jacksonville released Myles Jack, so the defense needs another first-stringer alongside newcomer Foyesade Oluokun at inside linebacker."

Moton goes on to say that the Jaguars will lean on Ben Bartch and Tyler Shatley at left guard and center, respectively, but he doesn’t see either one as a clear-cut starter and cites their respective lack of starting experience as a potential cause for concern. When all is said and done, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Jaguars address all these positions with their first three picks in the draft (1, 33, 65). Precisely because the team’s brass signed Kirk and Jones in free agency, they may not feel inclined to allocate an early-round selection to the position.

Why the Jaguars might not take a receiver in the first two rounds.

Signs point to the Jaguars taking either Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson or Georgia’s Travon Walker at No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft, so that pick is pretty much earmarked. On the off chance Jacksonville selects Evan Neal or Ikem Ekwonu, they could then take an edge defender in the second round. Either way, the Jags are bound to take one in the first two rounds.

Let’s say the Jags do take Hutchinson with the top pick, they could then bolster their linebacker corps or add an interior offensive lineman in the second round. They need someone to start next to Foyesade Oluokun. Shaquille Quarterman and Chappelle Russell are currently the top two options, so the team’s brass look for upgrades in the draft. They recently hosted Georgia linebacker Quay Walker, who could be a realistic choice at No. 33.

Jacksonville could also address their interior offensive line in the second round or third round. Cam Jurgens would be a realistic target in the second but Zion Johnson and Kenyon Green also deserve consideration. Similarly, Dylan Parham would be an enticing option in the third.

There are plenty of scenarios that can come to fruition in the 2022 draft and many of them won’t include a wide receiver in the first two rounds. This isn’t particularly surprising when you take into account that they still have several roster holes in spite of all the additions they made in free agency.

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