4. Jaguars most intriguing pick in the 2022 NFL Draft – Travon Walker, DL.
The cons are clear when it comes to defensive lineman Travon Walker. He left Georgia with just 9.5 sacks and didn’t spend much time rushing the passer, meaning that he’s got his work cut out if he wants to develop into a premier edge defender in the NFL. It won’t be easy and everyone will be paying attention to his transition. Moreover, his mistakes will be magnified and he will be compared to Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, who went to the Detroit Lions just one spot later in the draft.
On the other hand, he has the athleticism, the power, and the tools to turn into an effective pass rusher in the NFL. General manager Trent Baalke doesn’t currently enjoy a great reputation around the league for several reasons, including but not limited to his ability, or lack thereof, to identify talent in the draft.
On the bright side, Baalke showed during his stint with the San Francisco 49ers that he had an eye for defensive linemen, and if Walker turns out to be as productive as Aldo Smith once was or DeForest Buckner currently is, his image will earn a boost in Jacksonville.
Eyes will be set on Walker because he was the first overall pick in this year’s draft but if he can tune out the noise and focus on becoming the difference-maker the Jaguars believe he is, their defense will be set for years to come.