No. 3 the Jaguars failed to address in the 2022 NFL Draft – Wide receiver.
It’s easy to see why the Jaguars didn’t use a single draft pick on a wide receiver. They signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency and also brought back Laquon Treadwell. They signed Notre Dame’s Kevin Austin Jr. after the conclusion of the selection meeting but Trent Baalke passed up the chance to add more weapons to the offense.
During the Jaguars’ pre-draft conference, Baalke said that he hoped “best player available” and “need” came together but he would feel comfortable fortifying a position group which is precisely what he did when he chose two linebackers and two cornerbacks. So why not wide receiver? Doug Pederson also said during the sitdown that there was a dropoff after the top prospects but there were still several enticing wide receivers they could have targeted.
Throughout the second round, there was a run for wide receivers. First, the New York Giants selected Wan’Dale Robinson at No. 43 and the Houston Texans chose John Metchie with the following pick. Later, the New England Patriots took Tyquan Thorton with the 50th overall pick. The Pittsburgh Steelers selected George Pickens at No. 52. Alec Pierce went to the Indianapolis Colts at No. 53 and Skyy Moore to the Kansas City Chiefs the next pick. The Jaguars could have traded up to acquire any of them.
It’s possible that the Jags had set their sights on Fortner or maybe they didn’t like any of the wide receivers available in the second or third round. Either way, they had the chance to take one but didn’t.