We’ve gathered Day 1 grades from 10 national media outlets to provide a fresh perspective on how the Jacksonville Jaguars fared in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The Jags traded back twice and selected Anton Harrison 27th overall.
From Charles McDonald of Yahoo Sports: A
With Cam Robinson reportedly on the brink of suspension, the Jaguars needed a stud tackle to protect Trevor Lawrence and be a long-term starter. Harrison is a strong replacement for Jawaan Taylor and has athleticism to grow into a dominant player.
From Chad Reuter of NFL.com: A
Lacking depth at offensive tackle and with Cam Robinson facing suspension, the Jaguars addressed their offensive line in the first round with an up-and-coming prospect in Harrison. The mobility he showed during the season and at the NFL Scouting Combine was impressive, so it’s not a surprise he went in Round 1. The top corners were off the board and this draft’s depth at tight end allowed them to meet this need first.
From Vinnie Iyer of Sporting News: A
The Jaguars had a bigger need to develop at offensive tackle right before the draft with Cam Robinson facing a possible PED suspension. They did lose Jawaan Taylor in free agency and needed depth anyway behind Robinson and Walker Little. Now Little might need to slide to the left side given Harrison is a physically impressive run blocker for the right side at first before developing much better in pass protection.
From Pete Prisco of CBS Sports: B+
They traded down and still landed a tackle they probably would have taken at No. 24. That’s good drafting. Harrison can come in and play left tackle or right tackle, depending on where they play.
From Robert Zeglinski of For The Win: B
The Jaguars had their hand forced after Cam Robinson’s suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Waiting to take a starting tackle any longer would’ve meant a sizable chasm in front of Trevor Lawrence. Folks: That is a no-go.
Harrison isn’t a perfect prospect by any means, but he has quality size and length and experience playing both tackle positions. His limited athleticism will leave him liable to get abused by some of the superstar pass rushers in the AFC, but he’s good enough to keep the ship afloat in Robinson’s absence. Not a high bar, I know.
Alas, while Jacksonville still has the same interior offensive line issues that ended its season last year, it couldn’t afford to have any off either end.
From Scott Dochterman of The Athletic: B
A three-year player with two seasons as Oklahoma’s starting left tackle, Harrison worked in multiple schemes and has enough versatility to become a quality starter on either side for the Jaguars.
With starting left tackle Cam Robinson suspended for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing policy, Jacksonville needed at least a swing tackle capable of starting along with Walker Little. The Jaguars traded down twice and picked up three additional mid-round selections.
Harrison (6-4 3/8, 315) perhaps is light for an NFL left tackle, but he has the requisite arm length (34 1/8 inches), speed (4.98 in the 40) and strength (24 bench press reps of 225) to suggest he’s capable of becoming a backside protector.
From Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report: B
Oklahoma’s Anton Harrison is already a solid offensive tackle prospect, but he has a chance to be even better in the NFL.
Harrison will be only 21 years old throughout the entirety of his rookie season. Yet the left tackle surrendered only one sack and no other quarterback hits last season, according to Pro Football Focus, en route to first-team All-Big 12 honors.
Danny Kelly of The Ringer: B-
With Cam Robinson facing a possible suspension in 2023, the Jaguars address a big position of need here, nabbing an athletic, nimble-footed pass protector in Harrison. A two-year starter for the Sooners, Harrison blocks with a strong punch and good balance, but he needs to clean up his handwork and learn to sustain longer as a run blocker. This is a reach for me—he’s my 50th-ranked player—but Harrison has moldable traits and a ton of upside.
From Ryan Gosling of Pro Football Network: B-
The Jaguars must protect Trevor Lawrence. Cam Robinson will miss an undisclosed amount of time after being suspended for violating the league’s performance-enhancing substance policy. Walker Little flashed in Robinson’s absence, but the Jaguars also lost Jawaan Taylor in free agency.
Anton Harrison has a lot of untapped potential in his game. He’s a fantastic athlete for the position and has the ideal amount of length to ward off opposing pass rushers. The AFC South boasts a mix of speed and power rushers that the young blocker must deal with twice a year, so cleaning up some of his technical deficiencies will be necessary for sustained success.
By Matt Verderame of Sports Illustrated: C+
The Jaguars addressed a pressing need. After losing Jawaan Taylor in free agency, Jacksonville needed to fill right tackle, and could use short-term assurance at left tackle with a reported looming suspension of Cam Robinson. Ultimately, Harrison is a mountain at 6’4” and 315 pounds, providing security for star quarterback Trevor Lawrence. However, he’s a questionable athlete, especially against speed rushers.
Average grade: B+