The direction at the top of the Jaguars' organization remains unclear. They have yet to hire a head coach, and there are differing opinions about the job security of general manager Trent Baalke. But what we do know is that the Jags need to do everything they can to provide Trevor Lawrence with a more sound infrastructure in 2022. They need to improve upfront and must find more reliable offensive weapons. Adding more protection and firepower are the keys to ensuring Trevor Lawrence has a more productive season in 2022. Of course, they shouldn't ignore the defensive side of the ball either, where they need help in a few different areas, but helping the franchise quarterback is priority number one.
#1 Overall - OT Evan Neal, Alabama
Starting left tackle Cam Robinson played under the franchise tag in 2021. So the Jaguars' decision-makers — whoever they may be — will need to decide whether or not to ink Robinson to a long-term deal, run it back for one more year under the franchise tag, or let him walk. Robinson has been average to slightly above average over the last couple of seasons, so paying him the big bucks probably isn't a wise decision. At right tackle, Jawaan Taylor has underwhelmed as of late and needs to be replaced in the starting lineup. Fortunately, 2021 second-round pick Walker Little has shown enough over the final few weeks of the season to pencil him as one of the starting tackles for the Jaguars in 2022.
Pairing Evan Neal, who has a ton of experience at both left and right tackle, with Walker Little, makes too much sense. Neal is a massive, mauling offensive lineman who excels in pass protection and at the point of attack in the run game. With two young, promising offensive tackles protecting Trevor Lawrence, the foundation for the Jaguars' offense is beginning to take shape.
#27 Overall - WR Drake London, USC
Traded 33, 155, 187 to BUF for 27
The Jaguars need to find Trevor Lawrence a legitimate WR1 — an X that can win at all three levels of the field. Landing one in free agency feels increasingly unlikely, and drafting one that can grow with Lawrence might be the smarter move for the long-term outlook anyway. We traded up to guarantee we landed our guy, Drake London, who is coming off of a fractured ankle. Assuming he makes a full recovery, London boasts an unfair combination of size, overall athleticism, catch radius, route running nuance, and YAC. He'll be the day one starter on the outside and also has the experience and versatility to kick inside and win from the slot. Giving Lawrence a big-bodied contested-catch superstar who can also separate and win in the short and intermediate areas of the field is a massive win.
#48 Overall - OG Zion Johnson, Boston College
Traded 65, 179, and 2023 4th to LAC for 48
Both of the Jaguars' 2021 starting offensive guards have expiring contracts. While Ben Bartch has done enough to earn consideration as a starter in 2022 at right guard, there's still a hole or two to fill here. Zion Johnson is an older prospect, but don't let his long path to the draft fool you. He's a mauling run blocker that plays with excellent leverage. In pass pro, his intelligence, athleticism, and hand usage allow him to thrive. Adding Johnson to the mix gives the Jaguars another young, talented piece to add to an offensive line undergoing a significant overhaul.
#70 Overall - EDGE Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
The Jaguars' pass-rush had plenty of ups and downs in 2021. Even with some dips in his play throughout the year, Josh Allen is clearly a starter moving forward. Dawuane Smoot is better suited for a rotational role as an edge defender and pass rusher. Enter Kingsley Enagbare, who has violent hands, twitchy athleticism, a versatile pass rush toolbox, and excellent length. His ability to line up in a two or three-point stance gives him some scheme versatility. Enagbare needs to become a more consistent edge setter against the run, but the tools are there for him to improve in this area. He can enter 2022 as a rotational rusher and develop into a prominent role as the season progresses. Finding this level of edge-rushing talent in the third-round is rare, but the pass-rushing depth in this class sees Enagbare fall well past where he should.
#102 Overall - WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State
Coming from the FCS, Watson won't have as much buzz on him as he deserves. The 6'5" receiver towers over defensive backs but has the speed and route-running savvy to separate as well. Pairing Watson with Drake London gives Trevor Lawrence two big-bodied playmakers that win in contested catch situations and separate in the short and intermediate areas of the field. Like London, Waston is superlative with the ball in his hands and should provide plenty of YAC at the next level. Redundant? No. Both have experience outside and in the slot and will cause mismatch nightmares for opposing defensive coordinators when on the field together.
#180 Overall - RB Dameon Pierce, Florida
Traded 196, 218 to DET for 180
With some uncertainty surrounding the recovery timetables for runningbacks James Robinson (achilles) and Travis Etienne (lisfranc), adding a do-it-all back at some point in the draft should be in play. Pierce should be able to take on a significant workload if Robinson and Etienne miss some time early on in 2022. Pierce is a violent runner who displays patience, vision, power, contact balance, and impressive lateral agility. He isn't a speed merchant, but he has enough explosiveness to rip off some chunk plays. In addition, he provides a reliable set of hands and is solid in pass protection.
#197 Overall - C Brock Hoffman, Virginia Tech
Jaguars' starting center Brandon Linder and his trusty backup Tyler Shatley are both getting long in the tooth. Linder misses a ton of time with injuries and has an expiring contract after the 2022 season, while Shatley is set to hit free agency in March. I don't think the Jaguars should look to replace Linder in the starting lineup this year, but adding a young center with starting potential should be a priority. Hoffman is excellent in pass protection and gets the job done as a run blocker too. He also has some limited experience at guard, so he could slide over in a pinch.
#227 Overall - CB Damarion Williams, Houston
The Jaguars' primary slot defender in 2021 was Rudy Ford. While Ford brought a lot to the position with his physicality and downhill play style, the Jaguars could use a more traditional slot cornerback with a more coverage-centric skill set. Williams is just that. Despite being somewhat undersized, he shows good instincts as a zone defender and is sticky in man coverage. Shows plus ball skills. Despite his size, Williams is decisive and aggressive against the run and has experience at safety as well. Adding a slot defender with the potential to excel in obvious passing situations is an easy pick.
This draft provides value at every turn and achieves the primary goal of the offseason: HELP TREVOR LAWRENCE. The foundation is in place for the Jaguars' offense, with two dynamic big-bodied receivers added to the mix to go along with three offensive linemen. Landing a potential running mate for Josh Allen on the edge in the third round feels like stealing. Picking up an insurance policy for your injured running backs is critical. And finally, inserting a coverage nickel with some versatility helps the Jaguars with different situational personnel groupings. The Jags don't have a starting middle linebacker with experience under contract, but the need for experience at the position can be addressed in free agency.
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