Jaguars draft grades: Ranking Jacksonville's last four draft classes

Former Clemson teammates Travis Etienne and Trevor Lawrence and now Jacksonville Jaguars teammates.
Former Clemson teammates Travis Etienne and Trevor Lawrence and now Jacksonville Jaguars teammates. / Bob Self via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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At the risk of stating the obvious, teams with a better success rate in the draft are going to consistently find themselves in the thick of the playoff race. Not surprisingly, the Jacksonville Jaguars struggled to win many games under former general manager Dave Caldwell, who consistently failed to replenish the roster.

Make no mistake, no club is going to have a perfect track record in the draft and Caldwell certainly had his share of hits. However, his misses were too many to overcome, which is the 2020 draft was his last with the team.

With Trent Baalke now leading the front office, the Jaguars have fared much better in the draft but which of their last four classes has been the best? Which one is the worst? Without further ado, here's a ranking of the Jags' last four draft.

4. The Jaguars 2020 draft class

Dave Caldwell oversaw several bad drafts and the one in 2020 was one of the worst three. While the Jags found a couple of core special teams contributors -- safety Daniel Thomas and cornerback Chris Claybrooks, they weren't able to come out with any difference-makers despite the fact that they had three selections in the top 3.

Cornerback C.J. Henderson, the ninth overall pick in 2020 lasted less than two years with the Jags and hasn't been able to hit his stride with the Carolina Panthers. Wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., a second-round pick, flashed potential as a rookie but regressed in 2021. Like Henderson, he was also shipped to Carolina.

Of the Jaguars' top selections in 2020, only outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson remains but the Jaguars opted not to pick up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal and is running out of time to prove he should stay in Jacksonville beyond 2023.

Defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is so far the best player the Jaguars drafted in 2020 and he was a third-round pick. On the other hand, Ben Bartch has been solid on the interior offensive line (17 starts) but he's far from a franchise building block. He's coming off a season-ending injury, which puts additional pressure on him to show out in the last year of his rookie season.

While the Jaguars' 2020 draft class wasn't as bad as its 2013 and 2018 counterparts, it wasn't good either, which is why it's in the cellar of this ranking.

Final grade: D