5 way-too-early predictions for Jaguars 2022 season

Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at 2021's draft party (Imagn Images photo pool)
Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at 2021's draft party (Imagn Images photo pool) /
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Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd lifts NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Jaguars LB Devin Lloyd will win the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Looking back, it was a bit shocking Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd was still available late in the first round of this year’s draft. The Jaguars seized the opportunity and moved up six spots to land the former Ute star at No. 27.

You could make the case that the Jaguars should have drafted a wide receiver or an offensive lineman but the truth is that Lloyd was too good to pass up. It’s not often that teams have the chance to take a prospect that was ranked among the best in the selection, and that’s precisely the situation Trent Baalke found himself into.

Twenty six picks before Lloyd, the Jags selected Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker. The former Bulldog is a franchise-building block that has the physical traits to become a difference-maker on defense. However, he needs to hone his pass-rushing skills and may not have a significant impact early in the 2022 season. On the other hand, Lloyd will most likely start next to Foyesade Oluokun from Day 1.

The California native can do it all. He can drop in coverage, blitz, and stop ball carries at the line of scrimmage. Last season, he logged 111 total tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, four interceptions, and one forced fumble. That’s the kind of game-changing plays Jacksonville’s defense has been lacking for a while. The Jaguars’ stout defensive front will allow him to make big plays. Walker might turn out to be the better pro but Lloyd will have the bigger impact early on. Moreover, he will earn Defensive Rookie of the year honors.