Will Jaguars go offensive line or defensive line with first pick?

Jacksonville Jaguars Introduce Doug Pederson As New Head Coach
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The betting odds continue to point to the Jaguars selecting defensive end Travon Walker. As the time for the team to go on the clock gets closer, it’s hard not to wonder that maybe they’ll address the other side of the ball.

Simms and I talked through the possibility during Thursday’s PFT Live. The more we talked about it, the more we liked the idea of the Jaguars taking someone like Ikem Ekwonu or Evan Neal over Walker or Aidan Hutchinson.

The NFL — and especially the AFC — is currently loading up the offenses. While a great pass rush can come in handy when the time comes to win a championship, a team can’t contend without an offense that can gain yards and score points.

Last year, the Jaguars invested two first-round picks in skill-position players. Even with left tackle Cam Robinson signing an extension, it makes sense to add another body to the brigade of blockers to create holes for James Robinson and Travis Etienne, and to buy time for Trevor Lawrence.

Also, consider the team’s recent history. In 2017, the Jags had a great defense. What did it ever get them? They need to pivot to the offensive side of the ball to compete and to contend.

The wild card comes from the fact that owner Shad Khan lived through the years of great defense and nothing to show for it. He has seen the league skew toward offense. He has hired a coach with an offensive background who outscored the Patriots in Super Bowl LII. And Khan told SI.com this recently: “I have an opinion. I do have an opinion. We are supposed to get together on Wednesday, and so I don’t have as firm a decision as I did maybe last year, but I do have it. I think we’ll have to really firm up the draft board, so we have clarity on all the permutations and combinations we’re gonna hit. “

This isn’t General Manager Trent Baalke’s call. It’s not coach Doug Pederson‘s call. Ultimately, it’s Khan’s call. And Khan is the only one of the three whose experience stretches back beyond extremely recent history. Khan has seen that a heavy investment in defense has gotten them nowhere. If they want to get anywhere in the AFC as it’s currently constructed, they need to put their offense in a position to score points.

That said, the thinking continues to be that they’ll take Walker.

Whatever they do, the first overall pick is as much of a crapshoot as the rest of them. Look at the history. Plenty of No. 1 overall picks have ended up not doing much of anything in the NFL. For the Jaguars to get the most out of last year’s first overall pick, they should be thinking about a first overall pick who can directly help that effort.

23 responses to “Will Jaguars go offensive line or defensive line with first pick?

  1. Exactly. I’m an Eagles fan. Protect the QB. Make him comfortable and happy. Get the NC St o lineman.

  2. “Khan has seen that a heavy investment in defense has gotten them nowhere”….well if getting to the AFC championship game and being 10pts up at Gillette in the 4th quarter (before Brady donned his superman outfit) is nowhere, then I guess you are right but I think most would not consider the AFC championship game as gotten nowhere even if it was just the once.

  3. By taking an OL feel like it would screw up other teams draft plans much more than if they went DL.. I say do it!

    A good to great offensive line is more valuable than a good to great defensive line.

  4. If Khan doesn’t trust his GM and coach to make the draft decisions then obviously he hired the wrong guys . I get it he’s the owner but there’s no way he’s as educated about the draft and the team as Baalke and Pederson are . No wonder the Jags are picking first for the second year in a row .

  5. If I was GM, I’d take Ekwonu and laugh maniacally for years as he absolutely decimates players in the 2nd level while creating holes for Etienne (or whoever).

    It’s Baalke, so I’m sure they’ll find a way to screw this up.

  6. If Khan doesn’t trust his GM and coach to make the draft decisions then obviously he hired the wrong guy

    Imagine letting Tony Khan make any decision on the draft. He’d probably try to draft Veer no.1 overall.

  7. If Khan is smart, he’ll do the exact opposite of what Baalke wants. But since Khan blew his opportunity to can Baalke earlier this off-season, the Jags will follow Baalke’s advice and regret it for years to come.

  8. Trade down.
    This draft class has a lot of OLine guys.
    Trade down and bring home a couple of good players (both OL e Defense)

  9. There are no home runs in this draft, so be practical, and protect the QB. Draft a tackle. Lawrence has been anointed as the next generational talent and he’ll only reach that level if he’s upright.

  10. miquidm says:
    April 28, 2022 at 10:42 am
    Trade down.
    This draft class has a lot of OLine guys.
    Trade down and bring home a couple of good players (both OL e Defense)

    The rumors are they have been shopping the pick for awhile and nobody is willing to give up capital to move up in a draft with no clear #1 overall talent. They seem to be “stuck” with the first pick.

  11. They need to actually see if Trevor Lawrence is the guy. He showed flashes but the bar is higher for #1 overall draft pick and all the hype that surrounded him.

  12. Everyone in the building in Detroit is praying that the Jags take Walker. Getting Hutchinson, the most can’t miss prospect in this draft who also happens to have gone to Michigan, is an absolute dream scenario for them.

  13. If you want to help the offense take a kicker. If you want to help the defense take a punter.

  14. Naming the #1 pick is not that complicated. The owner listens to what different factions have to say and makes a business decision. Here, consensus means nothing. If a presentation falls short, it would be stupid to go that way. Khan is not a football guy, he a business guy, who has had to learn something from past failure.

    He’ll listen, make the call & hold the faction he goes with accountable. Doubt if that has happened before, but now it’s critical to get it right. I think he goes offense too.(OL) Imagine Robinson at LT and Icky at LG? That makes sense. We’ll see.

  15. This draft you take protection for your young QB, and since most likely they will have the first pick in the draft again next year.

  16. “Before Brady donned his Superman outfit”??? Am I the only one who watched the 4th quarter of that patriots-Jaguars game in 2017? The refs absolutely HOSED the Jaguars and took away any chance for them to beat the Patriots. I mean, what’s the viewership for an Eagles-Jags Super Bowl, you know? I would not use that game as any litmus test for offensive or defensive leanings screwing the Jaguars in 2017. Blame: Lack of vision, lack of leadership, poor decision-making, and the wishful thinking that if you spend big money in a small market, the trophy should just come. You simply take the best player available here, boys…

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