The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the dubious honor of once again picking first in the 2022 NFL Draft. Unlike last year’s player selection meeting, this upcoming draft class did not have a clear number one choice.
General manager Trent Baalke and team owner Shad Khan are reportedly at odds about who to take first. Nonetheless, a choice will have to be made and, with so many holes on the roster, the team can’t go wrong with any of the top three prospects.
Let’s review Jacksonville’s haul that they’ll be working with starting today barring any trades.
2022 Jacksonville Jaguars draft picks
- 1st round: 1st overall
- 2nd round: 33rd overall
- 3rd round: 65th and 70th overall
- 4th round: 106th overall
- 5th round: 157th overall
- 6th round: 180th, 188th, 197th, 198th overall
- 7th round: 222nd and 235th overall
Jacksonville Jaguars mock draft: Addressing lack of pass rush and adding offensive weapons
Jaguars starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence offers tons of potential, and the team was aggressive in making sure he was protected. Management did this by securing Cam Robinson by signing him to a long-term commitment. By doing so, Baalke can now draft the best defensive player available, though no one would be upset if Evan Neal is the pick.
Doug Pederson is now on board following the fiasco that was Urban Meyer’s short-lived head coaching tenure. Topping the list of needs for the Jaguars will be to secure more weapons (wide receiver and running back) while also adding to the defense, which is now under Mike Caldwell. Adding to the defensive backfield and fixing the weak pass rush from 2021 will almost certainly be part of the plan for the next few seasons. Thankfully for Baalke, this draft class is loaded with defensive talent, and with so many picks to be had, the possibilities are endless.
1st round, 1st overall: Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
Baalke and the Jaguars have the pick of the litter when it comes to pass rushers this year with Travon Walker having bolted up recent draft boards. His selection would remind several folks of when Baalke drafted Aldon Smith when he was the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.
Baalke has the reputation of going with the physical freak with potential over a proven player but in this instance, it is the latter as Jacksonville drafts Aidan Hutchinson. The former Michigan Wolverine could end up being a dominant force in the NFL. He has a high motor with several traits that you look for in a pass rusher.
While there are concerns regarding his arm length and a previous ankle injury, the upside is too high to pass up for the Jaguars. A rare combination of speed, a notable bull rush, and game-changing quickness, Hutchinson has the tools to succeed as a pure pass rusher.
2nd round, 33rd overall: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
Georgia’s George Pickens is one of the biggest high-risk, high-reward prospects this year. Before he got hurt, he was one of the most talked-about wide receivers in college. He still has the natural ability to be a good offensive player at the next level.
He isn’t the fastest receiver; even before his injury, that wasn’t his strong suite. Rather, Pickens’ strength lies in his route running and hands. If you combine his physical stature (six-foot-three, 200 pounds) with his separation and notable catch radius, Pickens can become a dangerous outside threat for the Jaguars.
3rd round, 65th overall: Nick Cross, S, Maryland
The Jaguars’ pass defense struggled mightily last year, and if the team wants that to improve, they’ll need to reload the defense. Adding Maryland’s Nick Cross wouldn’t hurt. In 17 games, Jacksonville’s secondary allowed the fourth-highest average quarterback rating (100.8) and the highest completion rate (69.4%). Teams routinely attack this defense, especially its safeties, so a change is needed.
Cross is an above-average athlete with remarkable speed and notable explosiveness for a defensive back. At six-foot-one and 210 pounds, Cross has the size you look for in an NFL safety. With that size comes imposing tackling that reminds you of a linebacker with that much ferocity. While he’ll need refinement in pass coverage, Cross is explosive and has sufficient downfield speed to succeed in zone coverage. There’s definitely upside to this pick for the Jaguars.
3rd round, 70th overall: Dylan Parham, OG, Memphis
One of the most versatile offensive line prospects is Dylan Parham from Memphis. He can be a solid swing offensive lineman, potentially providing depth at guard and center for Jacksonville. Parham was a solid pass protector in college, displaying an ability to consistently pick up blitzes and stay patient while resetting his feet, showing off excellent anchor abilities. Another aspect of Parham’s game that’ll entice the Jaguars is his speed. He moves with ease and gets to the defense’s second level regularly, opening up running lanes which will help him in the NFL. Parham would be key in the Jaguars’ establishing their run game in 2022 under Pederson.
- 4th round, 106th overall: Brandon Smith, LB, Penn State
- 5th round, 157th overall: Matt Waletzko, T, North Dakota
- 6th round, 180th overall: ZaQuandre White, RB, South Carolina
- 6th round, 188th overall: Smoke Monday, S, Auburn
- 6th round, 197th overall: Matt Araiza, San Diego State
- 6th round, 198th overall: Josh Johnson, WR, Tulsa
- 7th round, 222nd overall: Noah Elliss, DL, Idaho
- 7th round, 235th overall: Marquan McCall, DL, Kentucky