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Jaguars Daily: Why Travon Walker is working at linebacker

NFL Combine Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

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Good morning, y’all. And Happy Thursday. The Jacksonville Jaguars are moving the No. 1 pick around the field.

Here’s all the Jacksonville Jaguars news that’s fit to print, or find from around the Internet.

Why Jaguars believe linebacker is best position for Travon Walker

First, the Jaguars made an unconventional selection with the first pick in the 2022 NFL draft. Now they’re asking the player they picked to switch positions before his first NFL game.

Travon Walker tested through the roof at the NFL scouting combine and worked his way into being the top overall selection to the Jaguars. But Walker very much was a down lineman at Georgia, and a one-year starter at that. And now the Jaguars want to see what Walker can do as more of a linebacker in their system.

Jaguars defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said that the team believes Walker’s best fit will be as an outside linebacker in the team’s odd-front defense.

5 Jaguars who have improved this offseason

With the Jaguars not in pads until nearly two months down the road, it can be hard at times to gauge exactly what kind of strides players have made. There are some cases where it just looks like things have clicked for a player, however.

With this in mind—here are five Jaguars who we think have taken strides this offseason based on what we have seen on the field and heard in the building.

Bruce Smith: Tony Boselli’s Hall of Fame campaign undermined the integrity of the Hall

Former Jaguars left tackle Tony Boselli will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, and another Hall of Famer doesn’t seem too happy about that.

Bruce Smith, the Bills great who is the only player in NFL history with 200 sacks, wrote in a lengthy statement on Instagram that he doesn’t consider Boselli among the most accomplished left tackles in NFL history, and also took issue with the focus of Boselli’s Hall of Fame campaign on a particularly good playoff game that Boselli had against Smith.

NFL scout: Trevor Lawrence will have “true rookie year” after Urban Meyer exit

One benefit of the Jacksonville Jaguars moving on from Urban Meyer so quickly is it gives Trevor Lawrence an opportunity to work with a new, accomplished NFL head coach in 2022.

Speaking to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, one AFC scout said the upcoming season will be like Lawrence’s “true rookie year” while playing for Doug Pederson.

“Hopefully not too many permanent scars from last year,” the scout added.

There’s a strong argument to be made that the Jaguars damaged Lawrence’s rookie season long before he was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in 2021.

Rookie WR Kevin Austin Jr. hopes to make most of opportunity with Jaguars

It wasn’t long after the draft that Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Kevin Austin Jr. knew where he’d end up. He and his agent worked diligently to figure out the best spot, with Austin ultimately leaving it up to the latter to find the best spot, Jacksonville.

No, it wasn’t easy for the former Notre Dame receiver to see 262 names that weren’t his cross the ticker on the bottom of the television, but that’s ultimately what happened after his name wasn’t called and his phone didn’t ring during the three-day extravaganza.

Still, Austin has gotten over the fact that he wasn’t selected, knowing that he has a chance to compete for a spot on a roster that is in need of talent at the receiver position.

Click here to read more from Demetrius Harvey about the rookie’s journey to the NFL up to this point.

First look at No. 1 pick Travon Walker’s fit with Jaguars

The biggest challenge for NFL evaluators is determining whether a prospect is an ideal fit for the team’s scheme. For a media scout, the lack of information and insight from each organization can make it difficult to play the mock draft game when attempting to match top prospects with pro franchises.

In the 2022 NFL Draft, the surprising rise of Travon Walker to No. 1 overall created quite a stir in media circles, with many observers obsessing over the Georgia product’s sack production instead of focusing on his intriguing traits as a super-sized defensive playmaker with positional flexibility.

Click here to read more from NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks about the highly touted prospect who’s making waves in Duval.

5 observations from Day 1 of Jaguars minicamp

The Jacksonville Jaguars turned in the first of their three days of minicamp practice on Monday, with the day looking considerably different than OTAs due to the missing presence of nearly 50 veteran players.

But what did we see during Monday’s practice and what could it mean moving forward? John Shipley from JaguarReport.com breaks it down here.

4 Jaguars players who could get bumped down the depth chart

The Jaguars have a few OTA practices left before they take a rest and recharge batteries for training camp. During this period of time, there will be several players either competing for roster spots or trying to hold onto the jobs they had last season.

Several training camp battles will take place in the upcoming weeks, and these four Jaguars players could get bumped down the depth chart.

Jaguars look much improved on the defensive side of the ball

The Jaguars ranked 20th in the NFL in total defense (353.1 yards per game allowed), 17th against the pass (227.9 yards allowed per game), 24th against the run (125.1 yards allowed per game), and 28th in points allowed per game (26.9) last season.

Additionally, the Jaguars ranked 25th in the league in third-down defense (about 43 percent conversions allowed) and 30th in fourth-down defense (66.7 percent conversions allowed). Jacksonville also could not produce turnovers, as the Jaguars ranked dead last in the NFL with just nine takeaways (seven interceptions and two fumble recoveries).

Suffice to say, it wasn’t good.

With all of this in mind, the Jaguars have shown a clear plan to improve the defense this offseason. Newly-hired head coach Doug Pederson brought in Mike Caldwell from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to run the defense, and Pederson and Caldwell have greatly improved the personnel on that side of the ball — at least on paper.