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AFC coach suggests Doug Pederson, Jacksonville Jaguars want an offensive player with first pick in NFL draft

Andrew Buller-Russ

The 2022 NFL Draft is near, which means rumor season is here. For the second consecutive season, the Jacksonville Jaguars have the privilege of selecting first. With no consensus top pick, unlike a season ago with Trevor Lawrence, it’s anyone’s guess who the first pick in the draft will be.

For the most part, there seems to be a consensus that the Jaguars will pick a defensive player No. 1 overall. Whether that’s Aidan Hutchinson, Travon Walker, or someone else remains to be seen.

Of course they have other options too. There’s always a possibility the organization could go offense two years in a row. In that case, an offensive tackle is likely the choice.

In fact, some NFL insiders, specifically an anonymous AFC offensive coach recently made a suggestion that could raise some eyebrows, when speaking to FanSided.

“They could easily go pass-rusher, but it’s the worst kept secret that Doug Pederson wants to go offense with that pick. The problem is, I’m not sure there’s a No. 1 overall offensive tackle in this class, let alone one worth the No. 1 overall pick.”

Anonymous AFC offensive coach on Jacksonville Jaguars’ draft approach

Related: ‘Realistic’ chance Jacksonville Jaguars make surprise No. 1 pick in 2022 NFL Draft

Why going offense makes sense for Jaguars

trevor lawrence
Bob Self / USA TODAY NETWORK

Their biggest need is to continue providing their 2021 No. 1 overall pick with an atmosphere he can thrive from. Selecting an offensive tackle, if that’s the suggested target, would certainly help keep Lawrence upright.

They’ve indicated building the trenches is a top priority, evidenced by signing Brandon Scherff to a three-year, $49.5 million contract in free agency, might they use their top 2022 draft asset to continue addressing an area of weakness? There’s nothing indicating Jawaan Taylor is ready to break out with a Pro Bowl season and it’s not like Cam Robinson is elite either.

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Selecting Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal could help fill out the best starting five up front whether they ultimately land at left tackle in their first season or not doesn’t matter, what matters is getting Lawrence everything he needs to succeed from Week 1. If they don’t feel their offense can take a major leap up from being the lowest-scoring unit in the NFL as they did a season ago, then maybe injecting some more beef in the trenches isn’t such a bad idea.

Related: Jacksonville Jaguars on draft “You can never have enough offensive linemen”