With just one game remaining on the 2022-23 NFL calendar, and the Senior Bowl in Mobile all wrapped up, draft season is officially upon us.
To get a feel for the most popular projected picks for Jacksonville in Round 1, here’s a look at recent mock drafts from national media.
Oklahoma OT Anton Harrison
From Joe Marino of The Draft Network (published Feb. 1):
The Jacksonville Jaguars would be wise to make sure their cupboard is full of offensive line talent around budding superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence. While Walker LIttle has flashed, Jawaan Taylor is an expiring contract at right tackle. Anton Harrison is a silky-smooth athlete with exciting length to develop into a long-term fixture for Jacksonville upfront.
Tennessee OT Darnell Wright
From Matt Miller of ESPN (published Feb. 6):
Perhaps the most surprising team of this NFL season was the Jaguars, going from the No. 1 overall pick to AFC South champions. The work on the roster build is far from over, though, with multiple key starters hitting free agency. One such area of need is right tackle, where Jawaan Taylor might price himself out of the Jaguars’ comfort zone. If Taylor isn’t retained, a clear answer to the position is available from the University of Tennessee. Wright started his career at left tackle before moving to the right side in 2022. He flourished there, helping to pave the way for one of college football’s most exciting offenses.
The 6-5, 342-pound tackle just turned in a fantastic Senior Bowl performance, showing great power, length, quickness and balance for his size. He’s a plug-and-play starter on the right side. Wright allowed only one sack this season, and he didn’t have a single blown run block.
Georgia TE Darnell Washington
From Dane Brugler of The Athletic (published Jan. 17):
Back in the 2006 NFL Draft, the Jaguars drafted a big combo tight end late in the first round: Marcedes Lewis, who’d go on to be a Pro Bowler in Jacksonville. Darnell Washington is even bigger than Lewis and has better upside as both a pass catcher and blocker. His unique skill set will mean he’s valued differently by every offense, but it would be fun to see how he could blossom within the Jaguars’ offensive ecosystem.
From Daniel Kelly of The Ringer (published Feb. 2):
Washington is a unique prospect who blocks like an offensive tackle but is capable of creating mismatches as a pass catcher in the red zone. His ability to contribute in both the ground game and passing offense could be a huge boost for the Jags offense.
From Eric Edholm of NFL.com (published Feb. 3):
Jacksonville could use more help defensively, but adding a king-sized blocker and receiver for Trevor Lawrence makes a ton of sense. Washington reminds me of longtime Jaguar Marcedes Lewis.
From Mark Schofield of SB Nation (published Jan. 30):
This is absolutely a luxury pick.
Remember, the Jaguars expect Calvin Ridley back next season, which would bolster their wide receiver room. While the emergence of Evan Engram this season has been fantastic to see – and is saving some of my pre-draft takes from 2017 – Engram is entering free agency.
Ideally, the Jaguars bring him back … and still draft Washington. Why? I’m picturing a “big 11” personnel package with Ridley and Christian Kirk on the outside, and Engram along with Washington at tight end. Engram can operate as the move-type TE, while Washington gives Jacksonville an in-line option who can handle the run-blocking part of the position well.
That would cause problems for opposing defenses.
Notre Dame TE Michael Mayer
From Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network (published Feb. 6):
The blasphemous occurrence of Michael Mayer as not the TE1 in this class played itself out in this NFL mock draft simulation and I honestly get why the buzz is happening. It isn’t just because Daniel Jeremiah dropped that nugget the other week, either—teams like dynamic players and Mayer is a study, consistent, and clean player. But teams love high ceilings. Mayer’s ceiling is high but the appeal here is really with the floor.
Maryland CB Deonte Banks
From Mel Kiper of ESPN (published Jan. 25):
How about those Jaguars? After an AFC South title in 2022, shouldn’t they be the early favorites to win it again? General manager Trent Baalke did a nice job filling holes last offseason, but the pass rush still was mediocre, the off-ball linebackers struggled badly in coverage and there’s an open corner spot opposite Tyson Campbell. With a strong cornerback class in this draft, Baalke & Co. could target Banks, a man-coverage defender with exceptional physical tools. He could rise as we get closer to the draft once NFL teams see him test at the combine.
Georgia CB Kelee Ringo
From Bucky Brooks of NFL.com (published Feb. 23):
Adding another former Bulldog corner to play opposite Tyson Campbell could allow the Jaguars to play more man-to-man coverage on the perimeter.
Offensive tackle, tight end, and cornerback seem to be the most-mocked positions for Jacksonville in the first round. According to NFL Mock Draft Database, Mayer has been the most popular Jaguars mock selection, followed by Oklahoma tackle Anton Harrison and South Carolina corner Cam Smith.