Jaguars projected to take a right tackle in too-early 2023 NFL mock draft

Team Buckeye offensive guard Paris Johnson Jr. (77) Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Team Buckeye offensive guard Paris Johnson Jr. (77) Saturday, April 17, 2021. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars fortified their roster this offseason and while none of their players made Pete Prisco’s top 100 list, they have a well-rounded roster ahead of the regular season. Having said that, there’s still plenty of work left to do, and they could still add talent at some position groups. In particular, Joe Marino of The Draft Network believes the Jags take a right tackle in next year’s draft.

Marino recently posted a too-early 2023 NFL mock draft and had Jacksonville taking Ohio State offensive tackle Paris Johnson with the fifth overall pick. He also projects the Houston Texans to take another Buckeye, quarterback CJ Stroud, at No. 1 and sees the Atlanta Falcons taking Alabama edge Will Anderson with second overall selection. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young goes to the Detroit Lions at No. 3 and the New York Jets take Georgia interior defensive lineman Jalen Carter with the fourth pick. Regarding Johnson, Marino argues that right tackle is currently a question mark for the Jags.

"The Jaguars are committed to Cam Robinson at left tackle but right tackle remains a concern unless Jawaan Taylor finds consistency. If not, Paris Johnson has the making of the top blocker in next year’s class."

A five-star recruit coming out of high school, Johnson played guard in his first two collegiate seasons. He will switch to left tackle in 2022, which makes it a tad difficult to predict where he will go in next year’s draft, as he hasn’t lined up outside since high school. The Ohio native certainly has the tools to play offensive tackle in the NFL but he needs to work on his pass-blocking technique and show he can hold his own at tackle if he wants to get his name called early in next year’s draft.

The Jaguars will assess the right tackle position during the 2022 season

Jawan Taylor is the incumbent at right tackle. Since being selected in the second round of the 2019 draft, he’s made 49 consecutive starts, which is noteworthy when you take into account how physical football is. Having said that, he’s struggled with penalties throughout his career and has regressed after showing potential as a rookie.

This offseason, Taylor and sophomore Walker Little will compete for the right tackle job. As of this writing, it’s a toss-up due to Taylor having more experience but Little having more upside. This will be one of the most intriguing training camp battles the Jaguars will feature, as more starting jobs on offense are already set ahead of the 2022 regular season.

Keep in mind that Taylor is set to become a free agent, so he may not be back with the team in 2023, leaving Little as the top choice to replace him. Similarly, there’s a chance Little wins the competition and claims the right tackle job, if he does and ends up performing well, the Jags will then be able to turn their attention to other positions in next year’s selection meeting.

Marino is right when he says right tackle remains a concern ahead of the regular season and if they don’t find a suitable answer in 2022, targeting Paris Johnson will then become an option next year.

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