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2022 NFL Draft: What positions do Jaguars’ Doug Pederson and Trent Baalke favor by round?

Jacksonville Jaguars Introduce Doug Pederson As New Head Coach Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

The 2022 NFL Draft begins tonight, Thursday April 28 at 8 p.m., and runs through Saturday, April 30. Usually by now there is a consensus about who the first pick of the draft is going to be. However, that is not this case this year.

The Jaguars own the No. 1 overall selection and are between four players (Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker, Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, North Carolina State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwonu and Alabama offensive lineman Evan Neal). The most recent consensus is that it will be Walker, but who will Jacksonville actually take with the first pick? By the end of Thursday night, that question will finally be answered.

But for now we are still left guessing. Does the historical drafting habits of Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson and general manager give us any clues? Are there any notable trends? Obviously, every year will be different for a franchise based on team needs, best player available, etc. But with that in mind, let’s examine the data and see if there are any particular positions the decision-makers have favored not just in the first round, but through all seven rounds of past drafts.

Of course, with each franchise, there are multiple people with input into a draft pick and Pederson and Baalke were likely not the only person in their respective rooms making the pick in any given year. The same is true this year, but given that they are the top-two decision-makers in the Jaguars’ power structure, and they want to have a “collaborative” process between the two of them and owner Shad Khan, Pederson and Baalke are obviously the two most influential in Jacksonville’s war room.

Let’s take a look at their past draft selection positions by round. This exercise only includes drafts where Pederson had the role of head coach and Baalke had the role of general manager.

Head Coach Doug Pederson (all with Philadelphia Eagles):

Note: Throughout this article, positions for each pick are listed below, but individual player names are not. For a complete look at all of the players drafted by the Eagles while Pederson was the head coach in Philadelphia, visit Pro Football Reference.

Pederson’s positional draft selections as a head coach are as follows:

2016: first round: quarterback (No. 1); third round: offensive guard (No. 79); fifth round: running back (No. 153) and offensive tackle (No. 164); sixth round: cornerback (No. 196); seventh round: safety (No. 233), defensive end (No. 240) and linebacker (No. 251)

2017: first round: defensive end (No. 14); second round: cornerback (No. 43); third round: cornerback (No. 99); fourth round: wide receiver (No. 118) and running back (No. 132); fifth round: wide receiver (No. 166) and safety (No. 184); sixth round: defensive tackle (No. 214)

2018: second round: tight end (No. 49); fourth round: cornerback (No. 125) and defensive end (No. 130); sixth round: offensive tackle (No. 206); seventh round: offensive tackle (No. 233)

2019: first round: offensive tackle (No. 22); second round: running back (No. 53) and wide receiver (No. 57); fourth round: defensive end (No. 138); fifth round: quarterback (No. 167)

2020: first round: wide receiver (No. 21); second round: quarterback (No. 53); third round: linebacker (No. 103); fourth round: safety (No. 127) and offensive guard (No. 145); fifth round: wide receiver (No. 168); sixth round: linebacker (No. 196), wide receiver (No. 200) and offensive tackle (No. 210); seventh round: defensive end (No. 233)

Position by Round:
First round: quarterback (1), defensive end (1), tackle (1), wide receiver (1)
Second round: cornerback (1), tight end (1), running back (1), wide receiver (1), quarterback (1)
Third round: guard (1), cornerback (1), linebacker (1)
Fourth round: wide receiver (1), running back (1), cornerback (1), defensive end (2), safety (1), guard (1)
Fifth round: running back (1), tackle (1), wide receiver (2), safety (1), quarterback (1)
Sixth round: cornerback (1), defensive tackle (1), tackle (2), linebacker (1), wide receiver (1)
Seventh round: safety (1), defensive end (2), linebacker (1), tackle (1)

Trends/Observations:

  • The Eagles picked a different position in the first round every year under Pederson (quarterback, defensive end, offensive tackle and wide receiver), but three of the four picks were on the offensive side of the ball (Philadelphia did not have a first-round pick in 2018).
  • Pederson’s Eagles teams also had five different positions selected in the second round in five separate drafts, but again favored offense with four of the five picks on that side of the ball.
  • A lot has been made about Pederson’s affinity for drafting offensive linemen, but the Eagles drafted just one offensive lineman in the first round (Andre Dillard in 2019) and just two combined in the first three rounds during Pederson’s tenure in Philadelphia.
  • Additionally, Pederson drafted just two interior offensive linemen in total during his time with the Eagles. He drafted five offensive tackles in total, however.
  • Pederson likes to draft defensive lineman on Day Three of the draft. The Eagles selected a total of five defensive linemen in rounds four through seven from 2016 through 2020 (just one defensive lineman in the first three rounds).
  • Out of 36 total picks, the most commonly drafted position by Pederson is wide receiver (six picks).
  • Out of 36 total picks, Pederson drafted 20 offensive players and 16 defensive players.

General Manager Trent Baalke (San Francisco 49ers/Jacksonville Jaguars)

Note: For a full list of the names that were drafted by Baalke’s teams while he was a general manager, head to Pro Football Reference.

Baalke’s positional draft selections as a general manager are as follows:

San Francisco 49ers:

2011: first round: defensive end (No. 7); second round: quarterback (No. 36 overall); third round: cornerback (No. 80); fourth round: running back (No. 115); fifth round: offensive guard (No. 163); sixth round: wide receiver (No. 182) and safety (No. 190); seventh round: defensive end (No. 211), offensive guard (No. 239) and cornerback (No. 250)

2012: first round: wide receiver (No. 30); second round: running back (No. 61); fourth round: offensive guard (No. 117); fifth round: linebacker (No. 166); sixth round: safety (No. 180) and center (No. 199); seventh round: defensive end (No. 237)

2013: first round: safety (No. 18); second round: defensive end (No. 40) and tight end (No. 55); third round: defensive end (No. 88); fourth round: wide receiver (No. 128) and running back (No. 131); fifth round: defensive end (No. 157); sixth round: linebacker (No. 180); seventh round: quarterback (No. 237), offensive tackle (No. 246) and cornerback (No. 252)

2014: first round: safety (No. 30); second round: running back (No. 57); third round: offensive guard/center (No. 70), linebacker (No. 77) and offensive tackle (No. 100); fourth round: wide receiver (No. 106) and cornerback (No. 129); fifth round: defensive end (No. 150) and cornerback (No. 170); sixth round: cornerback (No. 180); seventh round: defensive end (No. 243) and fullback (No. 245)

2015: first round: defensive end/defensive tackle (No. 17); second round: safety (No. 46); third round: defensive end/outside linebacker (No. 79); fourth round: tight end (No. 117), running back (No. 126) and wide receiver (No. 132); fifth round: punter (No. 165); sixth round: offensive guard (No. 190); seventh round: offensive guard (No. 244) and tight end (No. 254)

2016: first round: defensive end/defensive tackle (No. 7) and offensive guard (No. 28); third round: cornerback (No. 68); fourth round: cornerback (No. 133); fifth round: defensive end (No. 142), offensive tackle (No. 145) and offensive tackle (No. 174); sixth round: quarterback (No. 207), running back (No. 211) and wide receiver (No. 213); seventh round: cornerback (No. 249)

Jacksonville Jaguars:

Jacksonville’s full draft history can also be viewed on Pro Football Reference.

2021: first round: quarterback (No. 1); and running back (No. 25); second round: cornerback (No. 33) and offensive tackle (No. 45); third round: safety (No. 65); fourth round: defensive tackle (No. 106) and defensive end/outside linebacker (No. 121); fifth round: tight end (No. 145); sixth round: wide receiver (No. 209)

Position by Round:
First round: defensive line (3), wide receiver (1), safety (2), guard (1), quarterback (1), running back (1)
Second round: quarterback (1), running back (2), defensive end (1), tight end (1), safety (1), cornerback (1), tackle (1)
Third round: cornerback (2), defensive end, (2), center (1), linebacker (1), offensive tackle (1), safety (1)
Fourth round: running back (3), guard (1), wide receiver (3), cornerback (2), tight end (1) defensive end (1), defensive tackle (1)
Fifth round: guard (1), linebacker (1), defensive end (3), cornerback (1), punter (1), tackle (2), tight end (1)
Sixth round: wide receiver (3), safety (2), center (1), linebacker (1), cornerback (1), guard (1), quarterback (1), running back (1),
Seventh round: defensive end (3), guard (2), cornerback (3), quarterback (1), tackle (1), fullback (1), tight end (1),

Trends/Observations:

  • Unlike Pederson, Baalke has a clear first-round trend: defensive linemen. Baalke has drafted three defensive linemen in the first round, which is more than any other position.
  • Baalke’s love affair with big, athletic defensive linemen with high upside is why many project Georgia’s Travon Walker to be the Jaguars’ pick at No. 1 overall.
  • Baalke also seems to value the safety position early. He has drafted two safeties in the first round and three total safeties in the first two rounds.
  • Similar to Pederson, Baalke likes to draft defensive linemen late as well. Baalke has drafted eight defensive linemen on Day Three of the draft, including three in the seventh round. While Jacksonville is expected to draft an edge rusher at No. 1 overall, it would not be surprising to see the Jaguars take another defensive lineman with one of the team’s last picks.
  • Of the seven running backs Baalke has drafted, three have come in the fourth round. Baalke recently said that “There’s some quality depth (at running back) in the middle of the draft.” Expect the Jaguars to draft a running back in the fourth or fifth round.
  • In seven drafts as a general manager, Baalke has drafted just one offensive lineman in the first round (guard Joshua Garnett). Additionally, Baalke has only drafted one offensive lineman in the second round (tackle Waker Little in 2021).
  • Out of 70 total picks, Baalke’s most commonly drafted position is defensive linemen (14 in total, counting defensive ends, defensive tackles and standup edge rushers — some of the drafted defensive linemen played multiple spots).
  • Baalke’s second-most drafted position is cornerback (10).
  • Out of 70 total picks, Baalke has drafted 36 offensive players, 33 defensive players and one special teams player (punter).

Looking at the data, are there any other trends you notice? Let us know in the comments section.