There’s a long list of issues that have prevented the Jacksonville Jaguars from winning games over the last 10 years. Not having the right coach in place has certainly played a role. Not being able to retain their homegrown talent hasn’t helped either but their inability to identify and acquire difference-makers in the NFL Draft.
That’s why the Jags needed to come out of this year’s draft with a solid haul and by all appearances, that’s precisely what they did. Here are grades for all of their picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Grading Jaguars 2022 NFL Draft: Round 1, No. 1 pick – Travon Walker, DL.
Once the Jaguars applied the franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson — and subsequently gave him a three-year, $54 million deal — the No. pick was always going to come down to Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson or Georgia’s Travon Walker.
A few weeks before the draft, the Jags were leaning toward taking Walker first overall and he was ultimately their choice. The biggest knock on the Georgia native was his lack of production at the collegiate level, posting 9.5 sacks over a three-year span. However, he wasn’t solely a pass rusher on the Bulldog’s defense and had all kinds of responsibilities and roles across the defensive line.
Walker will settle on one position in the pros but he has all the traits to become a dominant edge rusher in the pros. Moreover, he will be a force against the run from Day 1. The Jags took a risky gamble at No. 1 but it’s one that could pay significant dividends down the road. In the future, his grade could be better or worse. For the time being, he gets a solid mark.