Jaguars draft: Instant reactions to Anton Harrison pick after multiple trades
The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2023 NFL Draft with a handful of needs but they checked off a box in Round 1 when they picked Oklahoma left tackle Anton Harrison with the 27th overall selection. That's right, you didn't read a typo. The Jags chose Harrison at No. 27. Fans were already fidgety, waiting to see who was going to be the pick at No. 24 but they pulled off a last-minute trade with the New York Giants and moved back one spot in exchange for the 160th selection.
But Jacksonville wasn't done making deals in Round 1 and when it seemed like they were ready to make the pick at No. 25, they once again moved back. This time they got the 27th overall selection in pick No. 130 in exchange for the 25th overall selection.
All things considered, that was a good deal. The Jags only moved one spot and most of the prospects they had been targeting were still on the board, so racking up a few extra picks in the process might have been a smart move. It looks even better when you take into account that the top brass managed to land their guy.
Although it was a bit surprising to see the Jags not address needs such as cornerback, edge rusher, and tight end, taking Harrison at No. 27 was a smart move given the news of left tackle Cam Robinson's suspension for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy. So what are the Jaguars getting in Harrison? Glad you ask, here's a sample of what he brings to the table:
How does Anton Harrison fit the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023?
It will be interesting to see where the Jaguars will plug Harrison in. After all, Walker Little was expected to step in at right tackle to fill the void left by Jawaan Taylor's departure in free agency. However, the team's brass could move Little to the left side, his natural position.
An alternative is to leave Little on the right side and stick Harrison at left tackle. This makes sense when you take into account that he mostly lined up on the left side at Oklahoma and only appeared in 53 snaps at right tackle throughout the last three years.
Another thing to keep an eye on is Robinson's future with the team. This is just a conjuncture but if both Harrison and Little play well, it's hard to see the Jaguars going back to Robinson. This doesn't mean the Jags are planning to cut ties but it wouldn't be surprising if that's the path they ultimately opt to take later this year or in 2024.
In the end, the Jaguars needed to come out of the first round with a potential building block. It would have been great to see them take one of the top cornerback prospects or bolster their pass rush with someone like Myles Murphy but if they have Harrison line up at left tackle and doesn't give the job back, this will have been a great pick.
On top of that, the Jaguars can still take a cornerback, a tight end or a pass rusher in Rounds 2 or 3. Trading up shouldn't be ruled out after hoarding picks when they traded from No. 24 to 27. Stay tuned and make sure you check the Black and Teal to see what they end up doing.