Jaguars 2022 NFL draft: 4 things to keep an eye on in Round 1
2. Who will the Jaguars pick at No. 1 in the 2022 NFL Draft?
During the Jaguars’ pre-draft conference, Trent Baalke told the media the team hadn’t reached a decision on the No. 1 pick. It’s possible that they did know but didn’t want to show his hand or maybe he was telling the truth but one thing is clear, they will take an edge rusher, whether it’s Michigan Aidan Hutchinson’s or Georgia’s Travon Walker.
Baalke said the Jags had narrowed down their list of potential choices to four and there’s a good chance that two of those prospects were offensive tackles Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu. However, taking an offensive lineman at No. 1 is highly unlikely after giving left tackle Cam Robinson a three-year deal worth $54 million.
Had Robinson played the 2022 season under the franchise tag, the Jags could have drafted Ekwonu or Neal, have either one play left guard this season, and move him to left tackle next year. But after committing to Robinson, this path seems unrealistic. Keep in mind that the Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence last year, so choosing another quarterback is out of the question. Similarly, they won’t invest a premium pick in a safety, offensive guard, or a running back, leaving a pass rusher as the only realistic choice.
Maybe the Jags had already set their eyes on one of the top two pass rushers in this year’s draft. In fact, the top brass might have given Robinson a multi-year deal precisely because they knew all along they were taking an edge rusher with the first overall pick, so who wil it be?