While there’s a slight chance the Jacksonville Jaguars will take an offensive lineman at No. 1 in the 2022 NFL Draft, it would be shocking if a pass rusher isn’t the pick. Meanwhile, they can take several routes in the second round and one of them includes Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt.
Chris Trapasso recently did a seven-round NFL mock draft and had the Jags taking Georgia defensive end Travon Walker with the first overall pick and fellow Bulldog Wyatt in the second round. The Walker selection isn’t particularly surprising. He’s been a riser over the last two mocks and has established himself as a realistic choice at No. 1 in spite of not being as polished as Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson. On the other hand, the Wyatt selection is interesting.
Defensive tackle isn’t as big a need as interior offensive lineman, linebacker, or wide receiver but Wyatt would give the Jags’ defensive front a boost. He needs to work on his hand usage and become a better pass rusher. He only posted five during his four-year career at Georgia. However, he’s stout against the run and could become a starter in his rookie campaign. Derrik Klassen of the Bleacher Report scouting department believes he’s a bit raw as a pass rusher but can still come in and contribute.
"Early on, Wyatt’s ability to come off the ball and play with discipline should be enough for him to be a quality starter while he works to get more consistent with his hands and develop a fuller pass-rushing approach."
The Jaguars have the chance to fortify their front seven in the 2022 draft.
This isn’t the first time someone suggests the Jaguars take Wyatt or a defensive tackle at No. 33 and there’s no doubt Wyatt would improve a run defense that gave up 100 yards or more in seven of the last nine games in the 2021 season. However, it’s fair to wonder if the Jaguars would take a defensive tackle and not a wide receiver or a linebacker in the second round.
General manager Trent Baalke told the media during the Jags’ pre-draft press conference that he hopes “need” and “best player” come together, so he wouldn’t be opposed to bolstering a position group. The Jags signed Foley Fotukase in free agency and still have DaVon Hamilton on the roster but they also let Adam Gotsis and Taven Bryan walk away in free agency, so they could certainly draft another defensive tackle. If Wyatt is available in the second round and is one of their highest-graded players on their draft board, they should go ahead and take him.
The Jaguars need to keep giving Trevor Lawrence weapons but they also need to build a defense that can stop high-gear offenses in the AFC. Devonte Wyatt could certainly help.