The 2022 NFL Scouting Combine is complete, and with that in mind, it's time for a new PREDICTIVE Jaguars Mock Draft!
Jaguars' head coach Doug Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke spoke with the media on Tuesday in Indy.
"You have to take the player that you think is the best fit for the organization as a whole and makes the biggest difference," Baalke shared. "If that's the offensive tackle position, you do it. If it's edge rusher, you do it. I've always been a big believer in go big or go home. This draft has a lot of unique players in it. There may not be that clear number one, but there's a lot of very good football players at the top of this draft that we're obviously going to be in position number one (and) have our pick of those players."
While neither the head coach nor general manager dropped any legitimate hints as to where they might go with the first overall pick, Trent Baalke's track record as a GM could point us in the right direction.
Don't forget, these picks do not reflect how I would run this draft, but more so how I see the Jaguars' brass attacking the draft. Also, keep in mind that the Jaguars' team needs will shift between now and late April, as they have over $54 million in cap space and will undoubtedly use a healthy chunk of their available cash to improve some of their rosters' weak points. I believe they'll use the majority of their free-agent spending money on the offensive side of the ball in an attempt to shore up the offensive line and wide receiver groups to help ensure quarterback Trevor Lawrence takes a significant step forward in year two.
This mock draft was conducted using TDN's Mock Draft Machine.
#1 OVR — EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan
Trent Baalke LOVES him some defensive linemen. In his last two seasons as the 49ers GM, he went D-Line in the first round both years. It's hard for me to imagine Trent Baalke and Doug Pederson not gushing over Aidan Hutchinson's mental makeup, play demeanor, and production. Throw in his insane testing over the weekend, and I think the Jaguars will value Hutchinson at the top of their board. Last week, Baalke spoke about the depth at pass rusher in this class. He may believe in the depth, and I certainly do, but I believe the Jaguars already know they're going to take Aidan Hutchinson at the top. I'm guessing that praising the edge class's depth was an unnecessary chess move by Baalke, considering he controls the top of the draft.
#33 OVR — LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
Devin Lloyd carries an early-to-mid first-round grade for me. If the Jaguars have evaluated him similarly, they'll be eager to add him at the top of day two. Finally giving Myles Jack a running mate with the talent to help elevate Jack's game is a massive win. Lloyd can communicate the plays, diagnose and destroy the run game, and drop into coverage with the best of them. Providing new defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell — who was a linebacker in the NFL and linebackers coach for most of his coaching career — two talented backers like Jack and Lloyd to work with makes a ton of sense.
#65 OVR — WR David Bell, Purdue
Another prospect who's probably more talented than a top of the third round selection would suggest, David Bell projects as a starting outside receiver. While he doesn't win with pure speed or athleticism, he plays with polish, strength, and awareness. Bell has some of the best hands in the class and is comfortable touching the ball in various ways. His elite production profile, size, and technical refinement make this pick a potential steal, and again, Trent Baalke loves a good value.
#70 OVR — DT Travis Jones, UConn
Jaguars' starting nose tackle Malcom Brown's contract expires following the 2022 season. Jags' brass may be keen on finding a cheaper, younger, and perhaps more dynamic replacement in the draft. Travis Jones had flashes of dominance during his time at UConn and was the best nose tackle at the Senior Bowl. He followed that up with an incredible showing at the NFL Combine, running a 4.92 at 325 pounds.
#83 OVR — EDGE Arnold Ebiketie, Penn State
Traded #104, #156 to PHI for #83
While Trent Baalke may have been offering some misdirection with his comment about the depth of the EDGE class, I don't think he was lying. Even after adding Aidan Hutchinson, the Jaguars could still use more pass rush. It seems likely the Jaguars will pick up Josh Allen's fifth-year option for 2023, so he should be around a couple more seasons at minimum. But good teams have waves of pass rushers, and with Dawuane Smoot entering a contract year and K'Lavon Chaisson failing to show development, adding another rusher to the mix who doesn't have pressure to start in year one is an easy decision. Ebiketie is long, explosive, and powerful.
#124 OVR — S Nick Cross, Maryland
Traded #178, #186, 2023 5th to LV for #124
Cross might not be ready to enter the starting lineup for the Jaguars in 2022, but adding a safety with his size and athleticism to a room that already features Andre Cisco, gives the Jaguars a potentially dynamic pairing of safeties for the next handful of years. Cross leaped 37 inches and ran a 4.34 forty at 6 feet and 212 pounds.
#195 OVR — WR Justyn Ross, Clemson
Did I mention Trent Baalke loves value? Ross would likely have been a day two pick without his unfortunate string of serious injuries. But with injury concerns and questions about his athletic profile, some teams might take him off their board entirely. Add in the fact that there are too many talented wide receivers in this class to count, and we have Justyn Ross sliding down the board. Trent Baalke eagerly turns in this pick and pairs Ross with his former college quarterback.
#196 OVR — RB Tyler Allgeier, BYU
With Travis Etienne (lisfranc) and James Robinson (achilles) coming off serious foot injuries, the Jaguars need some insurance in the backfield. Allgeier is a perfect fit in a zone-rushing attack. He shows patience, vision, and power and can get the job done on all three downs.
#219 OVR — iOL Luke Fortner, Kentucky
Luke Fortner has a day two grade for me. He plays bully ball on the interior and projects to be a quality starter at center as both a pass protector and run blocker. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is always looking for someone to hit. With Brandon Linder entering the final year of his deal, the Jaguars may look to add a younger, cheaper potential replacement for the leader of their offensive line.
#232 OVR — CB Damarion Williams, Houston
The only thing holding Williams back from going much higher is his lack of size and length. But at 5'10", Williams has ball skills, an impressive overall athletic profile, and the potential to become a starting nickel at the next level. At the very worst, the Jaguars are adding a sub-package player or depth piece who should stick around on the 53-man roster.
Whew! It's been a week, Duval! I hope yall enjoyed this Post-Combine Predictive Mock and learned a thing or two. Let me know what you think on Twitter @jordandelugo!
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