Did the Jaguars get it right in the 2022 NFL Draft?
It’s been a few days since the 2022 NFL Draft was held, so with enough time to process it, how do you think the Jaguars’ top brass performed in the first draft together? Was the drafting balanced enough to field a mediocre offense?
I think the Jags came out of the draft with a promising haul of players that could help them turn things around. Keep in mind that this isn’t going to be a quick turnaround for the organization after repeatedly digging themselves into bad situations. Last season was no exception and if fact, it might have been one of the worst years in franchise history.
The unpredictability makes the draft what it is. The talking heads give their expert opinions on who will go where. Sometimes they try to predict who the next diamond in the rough is and it’s fair to ask if the Jaguars got any in the 2022 draft. Here’s a synopsis of the key additions they made.
Better days are ahead for the Jaguars’ defense.
Defensive lineman Travon Walker is viewed as a building block who can jump up the production of the entire defense. Back at Georgia, he lined up at several spots across the defensive line, which makes you wonder if he will be more effective playing mostly one position in Jacksonville. Expectations are high, especially when you take into account that the Jags could have drafted a proven commodity in Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson.
Later in the first round, the Jags moved back to draft Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd at No. 27. He should be a Day 1 starter. Wyoming’s Chad Muma was probably a steal at No. 70. He was another sideline to sideline player. One major thing that this defense lacked was tackling the opposition. Jaguar’s actions in drafting a lot of defensive players have upgraded the defense.
Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell can now take advantage of the new acquisitions. The speed of the second level is only going to be better for Caldwell. Look what he was able to do when he was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker coach. Coverage skills in today’s NFL are essential. These incoming linebackers can provide help in this particular area. A glaring need was the inability to cover anyone, especially tight ends.
Did the Jaguars’ offense get enough help in the 2022 NFL Draft?
This offense was a sore spot for the fanbase for the last four years. That’s not to say that there are not some bright spots, but they are nowhere near the number of bad results. Head coach Doug Pederson, along with all the signings the Jaguars made in free agency, should buck the trend. However, it feels like the Jags could have done more to help Trevor Lawrence in the draft.
Kentucky center Luke Fortner will be a welcome addition to Jacksonville’s defense. At the very least, he will be a good backup but he could end up beating incumbent Tyler Shatley for the starting job.
Love him or hate him Cam Robinson is back. Robinson signed the franchise tag and has signed a contract extension. The Alabama product struggled early in his career but he was a strength for the team last year, giving up just one sack and earning a 76.6 Pro Football pass-blocking grade. The Jaguars passed on Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu in the draft because they had already signed Robinson. Time will tell if they made the right move.
The Jaguars focused on revamping their defense in the draft. Would you have taken the same approach or would you have used a few more picks on offense?