Jacksonville Jaguars NFL draft picks 2022: Analysis for every selection

Travon Walker's NFL draft profile (0:40)

Check out the highlights from standout Georgia defensive star Travon Walker. (0:40)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The 2022 NFL draft is in the books, and every Jacksonville Jaguars draft pick is analyzed here.

The draft was held in Las Vegas on the strip in the area adjacent to Caesars Forum two years after it was initially scheduled. The 2020 NFL draft was turned into a virtual event because of COVID-19.

Here is a pick-by-pick look at how each player Jacksonville selected will fit.

Analysis of every NFL pick | Updated depth charts

Round 1, No. 1 overall: Travon Walker, DE, Georgia

My take: The Jaguars had to beef up a pass rush that recorded only 50 sacks over the past two seasons, which was fewer than all but the Atlanta Falcons (47). Walker had a career-high six sacks last season while spending the majority of his time at defensive end, but he also lined up at tackle and outside linebacker. Expect the Jaguars to use him similarly under new defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell. Adding Walker should help defensive end/linebacker Josh Allen too. He had 10.5 sacks as a rookie rushing alongside Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue, but he had just 10 sacks in his past 24 games without anyone else drawing attention away from him.

Firsts: Per ESPN Stats & Information, Walker is the first player selected first overall in the common draft era (since 1967) who never made an All-Conference or All-American team in college. Walker had 9.5 sacks in his three-year college career, which per ESPN Stats & Info, are the fewest career sacks by a defensive end/linebacker who went on to be a top-3 pick since 2000 (when sacks became an official stat in the NCAA).

No split: General manager Trent Baalke and head coach Doug Pederson denied pre-draft rumors that they were split on the player they wanted to take with the first pick. Baalke was rumored to want Walker and Pederson was rumored to prefer N.C. State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu. Pederson said there was agreement on which player to take. "This thing was never split," Pederson said. "It was never that way. I don't know where that came from."

Round 1, No. 20 overall: Devin Lloyd, ILB, Utah


Devin Lloyd's NFL draft profile

Check out the highlights from Utah's prolific linebacker Devin Lloyd.

My take: The Jaguars got another player with some position flexibility. Lloyd played mainly inside linebacker last season but also played 234 snaps at outside linebacker and 15 as a defensive back. The Jaguars had to replace Myles Jack, whom they cut, as a player who can stay on the field on all three downs. And he pairs with Foyesad Oluokun, who led the NFL in tackles last season, to make a good, young linebacking core. Lloyd had 15.5 career sacks and five interceptions at Utah, and he was the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 after recording a career-high seven sacks to go with 111 tackles and four interceptions.

Defense first: The Jaguars did a lot of work in free agency on the offensive side of the ball -- signing receivers Christian Kirk and Zay Jones, tight end Evan Engram, and right guard Brandon Scherff -- to get better around Trevor Lawrence, so the Jaguars prioritized defense in the first round. Baalke said they were considering potentially moving back into the first round to get Lloyd even before the draft began. Coach Pederson said of DC Caldwell after the team made the pick: "Mike was fired up."

Two first-rounders ... again: The Jaguars traded three picks to move back into the first round to take Lloyd, giving up Nos. 33, 106 and 180 to move from No. 33 to No. 27. It's the third year in a row the Jaguars have made two first-round picks. They took cornerback CJ Henderson (ninth) and outside linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson (20th) in 2020 and quarterback Lawrence (first) and running back Travis Etienne Jr. (25th) last year.

What’s next: The Jaguars don't have a second-round pick -- for now, anyway -- but have two third-round picks (Nos. 65 and 70). They also have four sixth-round picks, so they could put together a package to move back into the second, if they choose. Safety, receiver and an interior offensive lineman are potential targets.

Round 3, No. 65 overall: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky


Luke Fortner's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights from Kentucky center Luke Fortner.

My take: The Jaguars needed to find a replacement for Brandon Linder, who retired earlier in April after eight seasons with the franchise. Fortner was a three-year starter for the Wildcats, playing both left and right guard before starting every game at center in 2021, earning first-team All-SEC honors. Fortner helped the UK run game average 5.7 yards per rush inside the tackles since 2019, the third-highest mark in the FBS over that span, per ESPN Stats & Info. The Jaguars re-signed backup center Tyler Shatley, who started 18 games over the past two seasons when Linder was injured, to a two-year, $6.8 million contract this spring. He also can play guard, so he could move to left guard and compete against Ben Bartch with Fortner starting at center.

Round 3, No. 70 overall: Chad Muma, ILB, Wyoming


Chad Muma's NFL draft profile

Check out the best highlights that led to a stellar collegiate career for Wyoming's Chad Muma.

My take: Muma is a speedy playmaker, who had two pick-sixes and had double-digit tackles in 11 games in 2021. One of the biggest problems with the Jaguars' defense the past several years has been a lack of big plays, whether it's sacks or turnovers. The Jaguars have upgraded their linebacker corps significantly this offseason. In addition to Muma, the Jaguars drafted Lloyd at 27 and signed Oluokun in free agency. How the Jaguars fit them together will be sorted out later, but Baalke said Muma was valued high on their board and they felt like they couldn't pass him up. Baalke did say Muma will fit into their special teams plans from Day 1 but also added that you "can never have too many guys at linebacker."

What’s next: The Jaguars don't have a fourth-round pick but have one in the fifth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh. Receiver, tight end and safety are areas the Jaguars could target, though Baalke said they're going to make selections on board value rather than based on need.

Round 5, No. 154 overall: Snoop Conner, RB, Ole Miss

My take: The Jaguars traded two sixth-round picks to move up in the fifth round to make the pick. Conner (5-foot-10, 222) is a banger and not a burner (he ran 4.59 in the 40-yard dash). He played in every game for the Rebels the past three seasons but started only two. He scored 13 rushing touchdowns in 2021. Connor slots in behind James Robinson, who is coming off a torn Achilles, and Ryquell Armstead in the rotation, with Travis Etienne Jr. being used in multiple spots, including the passing game. Conner is a short-yardage specialist.

Round 6, No. 197 overall: Gregory Junior, CB, Ouachita Baptist

My take: Junior is the first player drafted in Ouachita Baptist history as well as the first player in school history to play in the Senior Bowl, where he reportedly had a good week of practice. Junior ran a 4.45 at his pro day and at 5-foot-11, 203 pounds has decent size, but it's going to be hard to find a spot on the field at corner. He's going to have to make an impact on special teams to have a chance to make the roster.

Round 7, No. 222 overall: Montaric Brown, CB, Arkansas

My take: Brown was a first-team All-SEC pick in 2021 after leading the conference in interceptions (five). He was hurt a bit by his 4.55 40-yard dash but is solid in underneath coverage and seems to have a nose for the ball. He fits more as a special teams player and returner than on defense. However, he came to Arkansas as a safety, so there's a chance he could get some work there too.