The Jacksonville Jaguars left a good number of folks scratching their heads on Day 1 of the NFL Draft. Rather than going with former Michigan pass rusher Aidan Hutchinson, general manager Trent Baalke selected Georgia’s Travon Walker with the first overall pick. Essentially, the Jaguars’ brass went with raw talent and potential over college production.
The thing about this year’s draft class is that there wasn’t a consensus number one pick. Yes, Hutchinson was seen as the best overall player, but there were at least five players that could’ve gone in Walker’s place. This makes things interesting for Walker, mostly because his success will be tied to Hutchinson’s, whether that’s fair or not.
Baalke praised Walker’s versatility following his selection, an important reason why he went with the former Bulldog. In addition, there shouldn’t be any doubt that Mike Caldwell will make use of Walker’s ability to command double teams (as he did in college), which, in theory, will free up the Jaguars’ other pass rushers.
1. Aidan Hutchinson might have a better rookie year than Walker
The first reason why Walker’s going into a difficult situation is that Hutchinson might flourish out of the gate with the Detroit Lions. There’s a reason that Hutchinson has been compared to the Bosa brothers, and that’s due to the impact he has on a game.
Fans can expect Hutchinson to have anywhere between six and eight sacks in 2022. He’ll be aided by a fortified defensive line featuring Charles Harris and Romeo Okwara. Simply put, the Lions are in better shape to give their rookies more chances to rush the passer due to the overabundance of depth. Walker will likely be lined up all over the field, whether it’s inside or outside, which could affect his numbers by year’s end. Make no mistake, Caldwell will find a way for Walker to have an impact.