NFL analysts wouldn't change Jacksonville Jaguars 2 top picks in 2021 NFL Draft

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

It takes time to really evaluate how good a draft class is but it's fair to say that the Jacksonville Jaguars got their first two picks in 2021 when they selected Trevor Lawrence first overall and later running back Travis Etienne at No. 24

Adam Rank of NFL Media recently did a re-do of the 2021 NFL Draft and he didn't change the Jags' two first-round picks while the New York Jets got Justin Fields instead of Zach Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers took edge rusher Micah Parsons over Trey Lance.

Other teams that kept their original pick in the due over were the Atlanta Falcons (Kyle Pitts) and Miami Dolphins (Jaylen Waddle). Regarding the Lawrence pick, Rank simply stated, "They nailed it". When it came to Etienne, Rank brings up the impact he had late in the 2022 season.

"As much as I didn't like the Steelers going with a running back in the first round in 2021, that's how much I love that Jacksonville did it with this choice, acquired from the Rams in exchange for Jalen Ramsey. Especially with the way Etienne played for the Jags heading into the playoffs last season (103.3 yards from scrimmage per game over the final four weeks). I'm not completely against choosing an RB in the first round if you have a way to use him, and the Jaguars did. (Well, eventually)."

After an underwhelming rookie campaign, Lawrence made a huge improvement in 2022, completing 66.3 percent of his passes for 4,113 yards with 25 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. On top of that, he added five rushing touchdowns.

Similarly, Etienne finally got the chance to show what he could do after missing his rookie campaign with a Lisfranc injury. Even though the former Clemson Tiger started the year behind James Robinson, he eventually supplanted him in the starting lineup and never looked back, racking up 1,125 yards with five touchdowns on 220 carries.

The Jacksonville Jaguars nailed their first five picks in the 2021 NFL Draft

Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne aren't the only picks the Jaguars wouldn't probably change. Although Tyson Campbell, the 33rd overall pick in 2021, struggled early in his rookie year, he got much better as the season passed. The former Georgia Bulldog started all 17 games last year and was one of three Jaguars that snagged three interceptions (the other two were Rayshawn Jenkins and Devin Lloyd).

With their second pick in Round 2, the Jags took Walker Little, who's flashed starting potential and will tentatively play right tackle in 2023. Safety Andre Cisco (65th overall in 2021) came into the NFL with injury flags but he's managed to stay healthy and has put on display the ballhawk skills that earned him recognition at Syracuse.

Then, there's tight end Luke Farrell, who hasn't gotten much playing but has been serviceable when called upon That's three additional starters besides Lawrence and Etienne and a backup. Not a bad haul, right?

Of course, the Jags also had a few misses. They waived fourth-round pick Jay Tufele last season and he went on to become an important piece of the Cincinnati Bengals' defensive front. Fourth-round pick hasn't managed to stay healthy and sixth-round selection Jalen Camp was waived before the beginning of the 2021 season. Still, the Jags got six out of nine picks right, arguably their best haul in the last ten years.

Hitting on many of their picks in the 2021 draft is one of the reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars are in a position to return to the playoffs and win the AFC South for the second year in a row in 2023. Looking at how things have played out, the Jags' are surely pleased with their selections.

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