The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock. We’ve seen mock drafts, bold predictions, and more — but what we’re looking at right before the 2022 NFL Draft kicks off tonight is who we want the team to pick. Not who we think will be the pick. Who we want to be the pick.
Before the NFL Draft begins, we wanted to ask the Big Cat Country team (and you!) a simple question:
“Who do you want at No. 1?”
Alfie Crow (@AlfieBCC)
Let’s make this offensive line great. Ickey Ekonwu with the top pick.
Ryan Day (@ryaneatscake)
I want Kayvon Thibodeaux and, frankly, I don’t know where his hype train went. It seems like he was (at least) neck and neck with Aidan Hutchinson in the race to be the No. 1 overall pick, but that has dropped off quite a bit. Would I be mad if the pick were Aidan Hutchinson? Or Travon Walker? Or even Ickey Ekwonu? Nope, not in the slightest. But I just think Kayvon Thibodeaux is the better pass rusher with better technique and a slightly higher ceiling than Aidan Hutchinson.
Ryan O’Bleness (@ryanobleness)
For a franchise as dysfunctional as Jacksonville has been, Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson should probably be the pick because he is considered “safe” and he projects to have a productive, albeit possibly unspectacular career. The Jaguars need a solid edge rusher with a high floor to pair with Josh Allen, so I would not be upset if Hutchinson is the pick. As of right now, however, the pick appears it will be high upside Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker.
However, for me, my pick would actually be Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux because I believe he will end up being the most productive pass rusher in the 2022 class — more so than Hutchinson, Walker, and others. His athletic traits are hard to overlook. Of course, Thibodeaux’s draft stock has taken a bit of a hit with scouts and analysts calling into question his character, work ethic, and passion for the game. I am unsure if those concerns are valid or overblown, but I think his talent is undeniable.
Thibodeaux will almost certainly not be Jacksonville’s pick here. He has not been connected to the team much throughout the pre-draft process, and did not take a top-30 visit with the Jaguars. But if the question is who I would select if I were making the pick, the answer is Thibodeaux.
JP Acosta (@acosta32_jp)
I want maximum fun, because nothing else matters. So I would draft Jordan Davis from Georgia first overall. His lateral quickness is like a man 100 pounds lighter, and he would instantly revamp the run defense, with more upside as a pass rusher. You want to build a defense? Go draft that behemoth.
Demetrius Harvey (@Demetrius82)
The Jaguars are entering a point at which they need to absolutely nail the first-overall pick. Unfortunately for them, this year’s draft does not include the usual suspects one might find as the clear answer. There’s no Myles Garrett, there’s no Jadeveon Clowney, nor any quarterbacks that a team might pine to come up for.
As such, the evaluation and potentially their strategy must alter as well. Though they could come away with a “safe” pick in Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson, would that be the best use of their resources?
Enter Travon Walker, who presents a physically dominant defensive end/outside linebacker that has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing offenses. Walker’s production, or lacktherof, however does present plenty of questions. He tallied just 13 quarterback hits throughout his collegiate career. But, the physical traits at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, running a 4.5 40-yard dash, along with all of his other measurables including a wingspan of 84.25 inches, are all there.
It’s a major boom-or-bus pick, and Jacksonville will hope that the scheme Walker played in simply didn’t give him an opportunity to show all of that he can do as a pass-rusher. It’s the type of pick that might make or break a draft class and one I believe they’re willing to make.
What do you think? Got any predictions? Let us know in the comments below!