5. The Jacksonville Jaguars vs the NY Giants at TIAA Bank Field.
You can call this the Snub Bowl, or the “Players the Jaguars passed on the draft” game, or any variations of that. There are going to be very intriguing games on Jacksonville’s schedule this upcoming season but this one will be a bit special because they will get to play against two players they could have selected with the top pick in this year’s selection meeting but didn’t.
In case you missed it, the Jags chose Georgia defensive lineman Travon Walker at No. 1 but they could have easily taken Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal and Oregon defensive lineman Kayvon Thibodeaux. At some point in the draft process, both Neal and Thibodeaux were mocked to Jacksonville but in the end, they chose to fortify their front seven with Walker
Meanwhile, the New York Giants were able to land both Neal and Thibodeaux, and just like the Jets, they got positive reviews for their haul. It’s unlikely that either prospect feels snubbed for not being drafted first overall but they would surely like the show the Jags chose the wrong player.
On the other hand, general manager Trent Baalke will have the opportunity to validate the Jags’ decision to keep him around and show he got the first overall pick right. Neither team might make the playoffs in 2022 but they must show they’re moving in the right direction. This in turn makes it an interesting matchup, that will feature two clubs that are trying to improve after years of subpar results.