The NFL Draft has come and gone (along with my sanity), and the Jaguars have begun to fill out their 90-man roster before the upcoming lull in the NFL offseason.
Jacksonville had 12 draft picks entering the weekend, and used seven of them to draft the newest Jaguars, including number one overall pick Travon Walker.
So who on the current Jaguars roster was helped most by this draft? Who lost with the incoming draft class?
Jawaan Taylor and Walker Little
By not addressing the offensive tackle position in the NFL Draft, the Jaguars showed they have a lot of faith in the pair to solidify the right side of the offensive line. Taylor’s play has been up and down for the large majority of his career, and this could be his last chance to lock up a second contract with the Jaguars before his rookie deal ends.
As for Little, he’s entering his second year and looks to be out of a job as the starting left tackle after Cam Robinson signed an extension days before the draft. He’s going to be competing with Taylor for the starting right tackle spot.
There were plenty of quality tackles to draft over the weekend, including Alabama OT Evan Neal, but the Jaguars decided to address the defense, placing a lot of trust in the two tackles to improve their play.
The new Jaguars defensive coordinator got his side of the ball addressed heavily in the NFL Draft. Outside of using the number one pick on versatile DL Travon Walker, the Jaguars traded up to draft LB Devin Lloyd, who is versatile enough to play off the ball and blitz off the edge. The Jaguars also used a Day 2 pick on Chad Muma from Wyoming, another off ball LB who provides versatility and elite athletic traits at the position.
All the tools are in place for Caldwell to bring a Tampa-style defense to Jacksonville, and the expectations should be very high for the defense going into the football season.
Cornerback depth was a serious issue for the Jaguars last season. Starting corners Tyson Campbell and Shaquill Griffin both missed time during games and were out for games as well, and once CJ Henderson was traded the Jaguars lack of depth was evident. At one point the Jaguars started Nevin Lawson and Chris Claybrooks on the outside.
On Day Three of the NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected Gregory Junior from Ouachita Baptist and Montaric Brown from Arkansas. Neither seem to be instant impact players, but both provide depth to a room that severely lacked it towards the end of last season. Junior is especially interesting, standing out at the Senior Bowl despite coming from a smaller school.
With the addition of Darious Williams and the draft picks to the group, the CB room looks to be deeper than it was last year.
Wide Receiver Targets
During Doug Pederson’s tenure in Philadelphia, wide receivers weren’t exactly a part of the passing offense. From 2016-2020, Pederson’s wide receivers had the third lowest target rate in the NFL, per Sharp Football Stats. In comparison, tight ends saw the second highest target rate in the NFL. In the NFL Draft, this was especially evident with the Jaguars not drafting a single pass catcher with any of their picks. With this wide receiver classes being especially deep, it is rather confusing why the Jaguars wouldn’t take a swing on a receiver on the second day of the draft. This season looks to be one where tight ends will see a majority of targets.
With the release of Myles Jack and Damien Wilson, it seemed like LB Shaquille Quarterman was in for a larger role in the new defense. However, with the addition of Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma, Quarterman might be fighting for reps in what is now a crowded LB room that is predicated more on attacking and blitzing.