Jaguars trail AFC South foes in NFL Media’s post-draft ranking

Jacksonville Jaguars fans cheer before the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars fans cheer before the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been at the bottom of the AFC South for a while and in an effort to turn things around, they made several important additions in free agency and came out of the 2022 NFL Draft with a solid haul. Nevertheless, a couple of observes believes other teams all other teams in the divison fared better in the draft.

Gennaro Filice and Dan Parr of NFL Media ranked every team’s draft class and the Jaguars landed at No. 22. All things considered, this isn’t a bad spot but it was still lower than the Houston Texans (8), the Tennessee Titans (12), and the Indianapolis Colts (18). Parr wasn’t particularly thrilled about Jacksonville’s decision to take Georgia’s Travon Walker over Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson at number one.

"Walker’s clearly a special talent. His stock skyrocketed after the college football season as he shined brighter in workouts than he did during his time at Georgia, which fueled a classic debate on how to weigh a prospect’s game tape versus his athletic testing. I’m just not particularly confident that general manager Trent Baalke landed the best player available."

Farr likes that the Jaguars drafted Devin Lloyd at No. 27 and Chad Muma at No. 70 but thinks that it was “a bit odd” for the Jags to go heavy at linebacker when they had other needs. Moreover, he wonders why Jacksonville didn’t “invest in more weaponry” for Trevor Lawrence. Click here for Farr’s whole take on the Jags’ draft class.

How did there Jaguars’ AFC South rivals fare in the 2022 NFL Draft?

The Colts were missing their first-round pick because of the trade they made for Carson Wentz last year. They were also without a third-round selection after acquiring Matt Ryan from the Atlanta Falcons a few months ago. Still, they made the most of the resources they had and drafted wide receiver Alec Pierce and offensive tackle Bernhard Reinmann. Both of them will fill immediate needs right away.

Meanwhile, the Texans got an extra first-round selection this year (and several more in the future) when they traded Deshaun Watson to the Cleveland Browns. They went on to use their first-round picks on cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and offensive guard Kenyon Green. Lastly, the Titans traded wide receiver A.J. Brown but drafted Treylon Burks at No. 18 to take his place.

The Jaguars need to improve their division standings in 2022.

The good thing about NFL Media’s draft ranking is that the Jags landed at 22, meaning that they fared better than 10 other clubs. On the other hand, they were the worst AFC South, which isn’t something to brag about.

Before the Jags can set their sights on the playoffs, they need to start winning some division games. They’ve beaten Indy at least one time every year since 2014 but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. Last year, they went 1-5 in the AFC South. With that kind of divisional record, they won’t sniff the postseason anytime soon.

The Jaguars have had a busy offseason and even if they don’t improve considerably (they should), it won’t be due to a lack of effort. They’ve adopted an aggressive approach and if they start winning games and their rookie class has an immediate impact, they’ll move up several spots in every power ranking.

Next. 4 things we learned about the Jaguars in the 2022 NFL Draft. dark