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APC Community Mock Draft: Jaguars are on the clock at No. 1

Leading up to the draft on April 28th, we are giving you a chance to predict the picks. Vote here and on Twitter to choose who you think each team will draft.

Syndication: USA TODAY Junfu Han / USA TODAY NETWORK

2022 NFL Draft, the stage is yours. With a thrilling March Madness coming to a close on Monday night, all eyes are on April 28th. After an off-season filled with enough superstar trades to make the NBA blush, draft boards are solidifying, pro days are wrapping up, and news of top-30 visits is spreading quickly. While every draft comes with its fair share of mystery, this year’s draft is bound to surprise, with question marks starting at the very top of the draft thanks in part to a weak QB class. All this uncertainty means it’s the perfect time to bring back our Community Mock Draft.

For the next 3 weeks leading up to the 1st round on April 28th, we’re putting the draft in your hands. Every weekday at roughly 11 AM EST and 4 PM EST, we’ll be posting polls here and on Twitter to give you the chance to predict the draft. In each post, we’ll include a handful of prospect breakdowns and a brief look at their fit with the teams picking that day. Once the poll closes, that player is off the board and we move on to the next pick. Simple as that! We kick off the draft today with the Jacksonville Jaguars, followed by the Detroit Lions tomorrow morning.


The Jaguars pulled off an unenviable defense of their title as the worst team in the league last season, finding themselves with the top pick in the draft in back-to-back years. While last year’s decision was a no-brainer in Trevor Lawrence, this one presents a tougher choice. Aidan Hutchison is currently the favorite after the Jags spent free agency bolstering their offensive line, but there is no telling what happens here.

Mostly because, well, it’s the Jaguars. They exist to make us scratch our heads and wonder “If given an infinite amount of time, would a group of monkeys making decisions at random turn this team into a contender faster than Trent Baalke?” Below, you can find breakdowns of the top prospects and how they may fit with this Jaguars team. Make sure to scroll to the bottom to vote and make your pick official.

Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan

The current favorite to go #1 overall, Hutchinson is a scheme versatile edge rusher with a relentless motor. While not quite the prospect that previous top 3 picks Nick Bosa and Myles Garrett were, he possesses a great blend of size, length, and technique that makes him more than worthy of this spot. After bolstering their offensive line this off-season, and with no consensus top OT in the draft, the Jaguars can look toward securing a playmaker for their defensive front. They had just one player inside the top 50 in tackles for loss last season (Josh Allen, 12 TFL). Allen and Hutchinson win in different ways, making them a great pair up front for a team that desperately needs help establishing a defensive identity.

Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State

Last month, the Jaguars surprisingly tagged their long-time OT, Cam Robinson, presumably ending any need they have to draft one this high. However, there continues to be a bit of smoke between Ekwonu and the team, with a few mock drafts predicting he will be the selection come April 28th. And despite the Cam Robinson signing, the pairing does make sense. Doug Pederson would be ecstatic to get his hands on a lineman as ferocious and physical as Ekwonu is in the run game. Although his frame would suggest a move to guard, where he played some in 2020, his potential as a pass blocker gives him the chance to be a very good anchor for many years. Setting up Trevor Lawrence for success should be priorities A, B, and C in Jacksonville, and going OT here, along with their off-season investment in the WR corps, would certainly send that signal.

Evan Neal, OT, Alabama

Likely to be the 1st or 2nd OT taken in the top 10, Neal’s football pedigree and absurd athleticism have made him a projected 1st round pick from the moment he stepped on Alabama’s campus. He provides excellent versatility, having started at both tackle spots and guard in college. Neal will need to improve in the run game, as he occasionally finds himself leaning and struggling to finish blocks. As a pass blocker, he’s an incredibly smooth athlete and would be a boon to a Jaguars line that struggled to protect their franchise QB last season.


Poll

Who will the Jaguars select at #1?

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    Aidan Hutchinson, EDGE, Michigan
    (85 votes)
  • 8%
    Ikem Ekwonu, OT, NC State
    (10 votes)
  • 15%
    Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
    (17 votes)
112 votes total Vote Now

That’s all for the #1 pick! Be sure to vote here and on Twitter (@acmepackingco) and come back later today to find out who the Lions will go with at #2.