Though it’s that time of the draft season when everyone attempts to get a little bit spicy when it comes to a given team’s selection, there’s not much reason to do so when it comes to the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the first overall selection, we’ve mocked Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson to the team.
Hutchinson, officially listed at 6’7, 260 pounds, presents a tall, punishing presence on the edge of a given defense. His athletic testing numbers include a 4.74 40-yard dash, 36-inch vertical jump and a 6.73 three-cone time. His three-cone time was the best among his position group at the combine, and is in the 99th percentile, according to mockdraftable.com.
The athletic testing numbers match the production during the latter portion of his collegiate career, too. After tallying just 3.5 sacks through the first 22 games of his career, Hutchinson burst onto the scene in 2021 after dealing with injuries in 2020, tallying 14.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss.
He was Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded defender in 2021, and he earned the third-best grade among pass rushers with a 93.4 pass-rush grade. He also came in third in pressures with 74 on the year. Simply put, Hutchinson, despite some of his shortcomings (production year-over-year and overall length), can get after the passer.
For Jacksonville, this is a pretty easy selection if the team wants a safer pick at the No. 1 spot. The team already addressed its left tackle position by applying the franchise tag to Cam Robinson, and have a second-round pick recently in Walker Little, who is expected to compete for the starting right tackle position.
While drafting a tackle has been commonplace among some mock drafts in the community, it simply wouldn’t make much sense from the Jaguars’ perspective, if their intentions aren’t to draft a guard at No. 1 overall.
The one need the team didn’t address much in free agency, though, was at edge rusher, which was one of the team’s biggest needs exiting the season. Now, with Hutchinson, the team will finally have a sure-fire edge rusher opposite of former first-round pick Josh Allen.
A formidable duo to help usher in the team’s first year under head coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell.
Best players remaining:
- Kyle Hamilton, S, Notre Dame
- Derek Stingley Jr., CB, LSU
- Kayvon Thibodeaux, EDGE, Oregon
- Charles Cross, T, Mississippi State
- Ikem Ekwonu, T, NC State