Jaguars draft grades: Ranking Jacksonville's last four draft classes
1. The Jaguars 2021 draft class
You know you had a good draft when you find a franchise quarterback and four more starters. That's precisely the haul the Jaguars had back in 2021. Coming off a 1-15 season, Jacksonville had holes at pretty much every position group. The fact that they didn't make many splash signings in free agency put extra pressure on Trent Baalke to find as many playmakers as possible. And he did it, just like Ian Malcolm said in Jurassic Park.
Now, almost every general manager would have drafted Trevor Lawrence even though some (not many) talent evaluators preferred BYU's star quarterback Zach Wilson. Thus, Baalke doesn't deserve credit for making the obvious and only choice. He, on the other hand, should get recognition for the Jaguars' next four picks. At No. 25, he chose Trevor Lawrence's teammate at Clemson Travis Etienne, who made running back James Robinson expendable last year.
Then, Baalke drafted Tyson Campbell with the 33rd overall pick. The former Georgia Bulldog has become one of the best cornerbacks in the league and a staple of the Jaguars' secondary. Walker Little was Jacksonville's next pick at No. 45. Although there were concerns about the Texans native not playing football in nearly two years, he's flashed potential over the last couple seasons and is set to start at left tackle in 2023.
In Round 3, the Jaguars drafted safety Andre Cisco, who slid due to injury concerns. The former Syracuse Orangeman has stayed healthy in Jacksonville and has become a mainstay of their secondary. Later, Baalke selected Luke Fortner in the fifth round. The Ohio State product has been a serviceable backup, which is as good a return as you can get with a late-round selection.
It wasn't a perfect draft though. The Jags already moved on from fourth-round pick Jay Tufele, who's become a solid rotational piece on the Cincinnati Bengals offensive line. Wide receiver Jalen Camp, a sixth-round pick, is no longer with the team either. Similarly, the Jaguars haven't gotten much production from defensive Jordan Smith and could move on from him this offseason if he fails to make an impression.
Looking back, this was one of the Jaguars' best draft in recent years and probably one of the best in team's history. That's why it takes the top spot in this ranking.
Final Grade: A