The 2022 NFL Draft is less than ten days away and the Jacksonville Jaguars have not decided (at least that’s the perception from the outside) who will be the No. 1 overall pick. If general manager Trent Baalke is reportedly not thrilled with the top prospects and could be interested in trading down. Even though the Jags said they are open to moving down in the draft, their phone hasn’t rung. But they should definitely listen to a trade offer like the one Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently thought of.
Knox recently drew up a list of trades that could shape up this year’s draft and he suggested the Carolina Panthers get the top pick in exchange for the sixth overall, the 137th pick, and two selections in the 2023 draft, one in the first round and one in the third. Knox argues that getting the first overall pick would ensure they can pick either Liberty’s Mali Willis or Pittsburgh’s Kenny Picket. Here’s the reasoning to move up all the way to No. 1 to land one of the top two quarterbacks in the class:
"The Detroit Lions are a potential threat to take a quarterback at No. 2. The Houston Texans could take one at No. 3. And the New York Jets and New York Giants could be open for business with the fourth and fifth overall picks, respectively."
Knox goes on to say that the Jags “would get a load of valuable capital” and a chance to land one of the top prospects in the draft. This makes sense when you consider that if the Panthers take a quarterback at No. 1, Jacksonville would have plenty of options at No. 6 and one of the top 3 edge rushers in the draft — Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, and Kayvon Thibodeaux (in no particular order) might even be available.
This trade would benefit the Jaguars but it’s highly unlikely to happen.
There are no reports the Panthers want to trade up, quite the contrary. Mike Giardi of NFL Media reported at the beginning of April that Carolina had called different clubs about potentially moving down, so it seems highly unlikely that they would call the Jaguars about the No. 1 pick. According to some NFL talent evaluators, there may not be a single starting quarterback in this year’s class and it would be a risky move to trade assets in order to take one with the top selection.
General manager Trent Baalke would be doing backflips if he was offered that proposal but the truth is that he will most likely have to make the pick, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. He would surely love to get additional selections (every team would) and while he may be undecided about who will be the top pick the Jaguars could come out with a building block if they choose right.
The stakes are certainly higher because Baalke must find a difference-maker at No. 1 and would come under (more) scrutiny if the strikes out. On the other hand, he will prove the organization was right to stick with him despite the fact that he was (and still is) a persona non grata in Jacksonville.
On the off chance the Jaguars manage to find a trade partner, they would put a dent in the big boards of teams that will choose in the top 10, which would make this a very intriguing draft. However, there are currently no indications that will happen.