2. The Jaguars must draft players that can contribute from Day 1.
Even though Trevor Lawrence partook in a training camp competition with Gardner Minshew, he was the Jaguars’ starting quarterback on Day 1. Cornerback Tyson Campbell also joined the starting lineup since Week 1 — due in part to an injury to Tre Herndon — and went on to have a productive season, logging a team-high two interceptions and ten passes defensed.
Leaving Lawrence and Campbell aside, the Jags’ didn’t get much production from their 2021 draft class and that was by design. Offensive lineman Walker Little sat behind Cam Robinson and safety Andre Cisco backed up Andrew Wingard. Both eventually saw the field but that was only because injuries (and COVID-19) struck the team. If Robinson and Wingard hadn’t been out, Little or Wingard wouldn’t have gotten playing time.
Maybe Urban Meyer wanted Cisco and Little to watch and learn in his rookie year, which would be fine if they were later-round selections but both were drafted in the top 65 and should have been expected to contribute right away. The fact that they displayed flashes once they stepped on the field made the team’s decision to have them ride the bench even more puzzling.
The Jaguars can’t afford to make the same mistake in 2022. They have four top-70 picks including two in the third round and while it’s unrealistic to expect the front office to acquire four starters, they must target players that should be able to help right away. They can save their late-round picks for developmental prospects, speaking of…