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Jacksonville Jaguars GM might’ve revealed his top target in Round 2 of NFL Draft

Jacksonville Jaguars, Ricky Pearsall
Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke has faced plenty of criticism in recent years for his free-agency signing and top picks in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, a recent decision during the pre-draft process might’ve revealed one player the team is particularly high on.

In the days leading up to the NFL Draft, head coaches and general managers travel across the country to various workouts and pro days to watch top prospects. Simply attending a workout and meeting with a player doesn’t guarantee the team will draft them, it does shed some light on who a team is looking into.

Related: 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings

Baalke has been making the rounds to various colleges in recent weeks to get an up-close look at some of the top prospects at various positions before the 2024 NFL Draft. However, it’s his absence from a recent pro day that might have revealed something.

According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, Baalke was set to attend the Florida Gators’ Pro Day this past week with the team even sending a camera crew for an in-house production of “The Hunt” that will tell the story of the team’s draft process.

  • Ricky Pearsall stats (career): 159 receptions, 2,420 receiving yards, 15.2 yards per catch, 15 TDs

Related: Jacksonville Jaguars reporter reveals cost to acquire Brandon Aiyuk

However, Baalke “backed out” when he learned that Gators wide receiver Ricky Pearsall wasn’t participating in workouts. While general managers don’t attend every major pro day, even for SEC teams, Baalke’s specific decision to cancel a planned trip specifically because Pearsall wasn’t participating is a strong sign the team is high on him.

Pearsall is one of the fastest-rising prospects from the pre-draft process and is expected to now be a second-round pick in April. With the Jaguars’ interest in the 6-foot-1 wide receiver now obvious, it’s certainly possible that another team in need of a wide receiver could take Pearsall right before Jacksonville has a chance at him. If that happens, it would be the second time this offseason (Calvin Ridley) that the Jaguars lost out on a coveted wide receiver to another team due to a decision Baalke made.

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