3 Winners, 3 losers from Jaguars selection of Brian Thomas Jr. in 2024 NFL Draft

• The Jaguars selected Brian Thomas Jr. at No. 23

• Here are 3 players (or staff) who'll benefit from his arrival

• There are also 3 who were affected

Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. poses with NFL
Apr 25, 2024; Detroit, MI, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. poses with NFL / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Jaguars Winner No. 2 Jaguars GM Trent Baalke

Say what you want about general manager Trent Baalke but that man knows how to navigate the first round of the draft. You can make the case that his track record in later rounds leaves much to be desired, and you would be right. But that's a conversation for another time.

Last year, the Jags had pick No. 24 but Baalke moved back twice and still ended up selecting his guy, offensive tackle Anton Harrison. Along the way, he was able to get extra draft picks. He did it again in 2024. The Jaguars were on the clock at No. 17 when it was announced that they moved down six spots in exchange for pick No. 167, a 2025 third-round pick, and a 2025 fourth-round pick.

Baalke said after Day 1 of the draft that the Jaguars would've taken Brian Thomas Jr. if they had stayed at No. 17.

"He was going to be there at pick 17," Baalke told the media after Day 1 of the Draft. "Like we said, "There were other players involved and we just felt that the way the board looked and where the needs were the teams in between us, we felt we had a chance. There's risk, there's reward. You make the move back, but we felt were gonna get a really good football player that we had high on our board with the move back. [We were] fortunate that Brian was still there."

To summarize, the Jags didn't have to move up for Thomas and instead managed to get three mid-round picks. All things considered, that was a good haul, and Baalke deserves praise for it.

Jaguars Winner No. 3: HC Doug Pederson, OC Press Taylor

Offensive coordinator Press Taylor got flak for being unimaginative in his first season as the Jaguars' playcaller full-time. However, head coach Doug Pederson also deserves criticism, as he's the one who crafted the playbook.

Injuries and lack of depth ultimately prevented the Jaguars from opening the playbook last year. They took care of both issues in the offseason and the addition of Thomas should help them come up with more creative plays. Here's what Pederson had to say about the former collegiate star.

"You're adding a skilled receiver, you're adding depth. You're adding a guy that has an element of speed that we haven't had, probably, since Calvin last year. Once we get him in here, get our hands on him, get him into the playbook in a couple of weeks, we'll see how we can use him I think it can only be a great asset for us on offense. Not only to open up the field but to open up some other elements of the offense," Pederson said.