The 2022 NFL Draft has concluded. With some surprises and a few trades but overall, a great draft. The Jaguars had one of the best drafts in the league. Here I break down the picks and see how they can benefit the Jacksonville team.
Round 1, Pick 1
Travon Walker, Defensive End, Georgia
The Jaguars had one of the least successful pass rush defenses last season with 50 sacks, only ahead of the Atlanta Falcons. Travon Walker is an excellent addition to the team, having career highs in sacks during his time at the University of Georgia. With newly hired Defensive Coordinator Mike Caldwell and paired with Defensive End Josh Allen, Walker has the resources to be one of the best coming out of this draft class.
Round 1, Pick 27
The Jaguars traded the No. 33 pick, the No. 106 pick (fourth-round), and the No. 180 pick (sixth-round) for the No. 27 pick
Devin Lloyd, Linebacker, Utah
Devin Lloyd is a versatile player on defense. Having played mainly inside linebacker, he did happen to play 234 snaps at outside linebacker and 15 as a defensive back. This gives the Jaguars lots of options of where they can put him. It’s similar to Atlanta Falcons Cordarrelle Patterson, who plays running back, wide receiver, and is a kickoff specialist. Filling the gaps in their defense is one of the most significant needs for the Jaguars. And for the 3rd time in recent history, the Jaguars traded up and had 2 first-round draft picks. ( CJ Henderson and K’Lavon Chassion ( 2020 1.9 and 1.20) and Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne Jr ( 2021 1.1 and 1.25))
Round 3, Pick 65
Luke Fortner, Center, Kentucky
Brandon Linder retired from the NFL after eight years in the league, leaving a spot for the Jaguars looking for a replacement in the draft. In the 3rd round, the Jaguars got the answer they were looking for. Center Luke Fortner is a junior at the University of Kentucky. He is skilled at the offensive line. Having played both guard and center during his time in college, allowing him to be very crucial and versatile in the pass and run offense for the Jaguars. He’s earned first-team all-SEC while at the center position. And with the Jaguars having an abundance at the guard position, Linder at the center will be a perfect fit.
Round 3, Pick 70
Chad Muma, Inside Linebacker, Wyoming
Linebacker Chad Muma brings one of the things that the Jaguars needed last season someone on defense making the big plays when it comes to sacks and forced fumbles. Muma was highly valued on the Jaguars draft board, and when he was still available late in the 3rd round, the Jaguars couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get him at the pick they had. He had double-digit tackles in 11 games in 2021, and with fellow draftee at linebacker, Devin Lloyd will be one to look out for.
Round 5, Pick 154
Snoop Conner, Running Back, Ole Miss
The Jaguars traded two sixth-round picks to move up in the fifth round to make the pick. Conner (5-foot-10, 222) is a banger and not a burner (he ran 4.59 in the 40-yard dash). And only time will tell if he’ll be able to build chemistry with the other rbs in the Jaguars locker room.
Round 6, Pick 197
Gregory Junior, Cornerback, Ouachita Baptist
Junior is the first player drafted in Ouachita Baptist history and the first player in school history to play in the Senior Bowl and will have a great chance to be a special teams specialist.
Round 7, Pick 222
Montaric Brown, Cornerback, Arkansas
Brown was a first-team All-SEC pick in 2021 after leading the conference in interceptions (five). He was hurt a bit by his 4.55 40-yard dash but is solid in underneath coverage and seems to have a nose for the ball.