Jaguars get solid midseason grades for Devin Lloyd and Travon Walker

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Travon Walker at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Jacksonville Jaguars had the worst offense in the NFL last year but their defense wasn’t much better, which is why they selected Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd with their first two picks in the 2022 draft. Both Walker and Lloyd were starters from Day 1 and have become important pieces in the Jags’ puzzle, so it’s not surprising to see them get positive midseason grades.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently graded every first-round pick of the 2022 class. Walker got a B while Lloyd got a B+. Kristopher Knox points out that Walker started off strong but has cooled down in recent weeks and notes that he has a long way to go as a pass rusher.

"The problem is that the Jags needed to ensure that they got a generational player with the top pick in a draft loaded with defensive talent. Walker has been a force against the run, but as an edge-rusher, he hasn’t separated himself from the rest of the class just yet."

On the other hand, Knox likes the impact Lloyd has had on the Jaguars’ defense even though his coverage skills need refinement.

"Keeping him from receiving an “A” grade is the fact that he’s allowed 346 yards and two touchdowns in coverage. He needs to improve on his coverage skills, but as an off-ball chase-and-tackle linebacker, he’s been great for Jacksonville’s 10th-ranked scoring defense."

The Jaguars could have drafted defensive end Aidan Hutchinson first overall but opted to bet on Walker’s upside instead. Later in the first round, they saw the opportunity to land Lloyd and moved up six spots to take him with the 27th overall pick. So far, the duo has logged a combined three interceptions, nine pass deflections, and 103 total tackles. Moreover, Jacksonville’s defense ranks 11th in points allowed and already registered 11 takeaways, two more than last season.

Travon Walker and Devin Lloyd give the Jaguars a couple of building blocks

It takes time to fully grade a draft class but the Jaguars should be pleased with Lloyd’s and Walker’s performance. Could they be better? Certainly. Walker must improve as a pass rusher. He currently ranks near the bottom of the league in pass-rush win/rate.

Having said that, the team’s brass knew Walker would need time to develop, and he’s shown flashes at times, so it’s hard to call him a bad pick.

Just like Walker, Lloyd got off to a hot start and was even seen as an early candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. While he’s still playing well, he’s cooled down a bit. Then again, most of the Jags’ defense has, so it would be unfair to single him out.

It’s hard to tell how the second half of the 2022 season will play out but if the Jaguars want to keep their playoff hopes alive, they will need both Walker and Lloyd to make plays.

Trending. Jaguars 2022 midseason awards. light