WR George Pickens seen as Jaguars early fit in the 2022 NFL Draft

Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens (1) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Georgia Bulldogs wide receiver George Pickens (1) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /

Wide receiver isn’t a pressing need for Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft due to the acquisition of Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency. However, they must keep getting Trevor Lawrence weapons and if Georgia’s George Pickens is available in the second round, they can’t afford to pass up the chance to select him.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus recently took a look at every NFL team, their picks, and needs ahead of the 2022 draft and sees wide receiver, linebacker, and center as the Jags’ biggest needs. He believes Pickens is an early fit if they want to address the wide receiver position early in the draft. Renner doesn’t get into details but Jacksonville could certainly use Pickens. In fact, he’s been previously mocked to the Jags in the second round.

Pickens suffered an ACL injury in spring practice but managed to return to the 2021 College Football Playoffs. His best season came in 2019, when he hauled in 49 receptions for 727 yards with eight touchdowns. That year, he earned Freshman All-SEC Team honors and was the co-winner of the Offensive Newcomer of the Year award. He had one of the best drop percentages during his collegiate career, failing to secure just two passes in 139 targets

If the Jaguars aren’t able to secure Pickens, Renner sees Clemson wide receiver Justyn Ross as a late fit. Similarly, he believes Tyler Linderbaum is an early fit at center and Leo Chenal at linebacker.

The Jaguars might have a free path to George Pickens in Round 2.

Had Pickens not gotten injured last year, he might have been a top 20 pick in the draft but he’s expected to be in the late first round to early second-round range. Teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs could be interested in him and Pickens himself thinks he’s a first-round talent. However, there’s a realistic chance the former Bulldog will be available at No. 33.

Now, there are different routes the Jags could take in the second round and all of them are good. They could take center Cam Jurgens, a linebacker like Quay Walker or Pickens if he’s available. The truth is that all of them would fill needs, and there doesn’t seem to be one more pressing than the others.

Then again, Pickens would be a superb addition to the Jaguars’ wide receiver corps, giving them the deep threat they lacked last season once DJ Chark Jr. went down with an ankle fracture. General manager Trent Baalke told the media the team isn’t opposed to making a room stronger and if that’s the case, it wouldn’t be shocking to see them draft Pickens or any other wide receiver in the second round in spite of the addition of Kirk and Jones.

The draft is just a couple of days away and knowing who the Jaguars will be at No. 33 has become as fascinating as their choice with the first overall pick. Given his talent and upside, Pickens certainly deserves consideration.

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