The Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 NFL Draft class is complete, which means it’s time to review how the new coach and general manager did in their inaugrual draft. Though they started out with 11 picks, they ended up with nine players after a trade-up in the fourth round. In all, the Jaguars obtained the following players:
- First round, 1st overall: Trevor Lawrence, quarterback, Clemson
- First round, 25th overall: Travis Etienne, running back, Clemson
- Second round, 33rd overall: Tyson Campbell, cornerback, Georgia
- Second round, 45th overall: Walker Little, 0ffensive tackle, Stanford
- Third Round, 65th overall: Andre Cisco, safety, Syracuse
- Fourth Round, 106th overall: Jay Tufele, defensive tackle, USC
- Fourth Round, 121st overall: Jordan Smith, DE/OLB, UAB
- Fifth Round, 145th overall: Luke Farrell, tight end, Ohio State
- Sixth Round, 209th overall: Jalen Camp, wide receiver, Georgia Tech
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 NFL Draft Grade: 8.0/10
Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 NFL Draft Review – The Start of A New Era
The Best Player: Trevor Lawrence
This part of the Jaguars draft review should come as no surprise to anyone. Trevor Lawrence isn’t just the best quarterback in this year’s class; he’s arguably the best overall player in the entire draft. The Jaguars won the crown jewel of this year’s draft by virtue of going 1-15 last year. Lawrence has only lost two games in all of high school and college combined. The 2021 season could be a trial by fire for the young signal-caller. But Lawrence has all the tools to succeed at the next level.
The Jaguars front office and new coach Urban Meyer did their best to add pieces to make his transition a little smoother. In fact, the new offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell has coached the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Matthew Stafford. He’s got an offensive coordinator who has worked with multiple great quarterbacks in the past. A new era is beginning for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it starts with Lawrence.
The Head Scratcher: No Pass Catching Tight End
To be fair, the Jaguars did select a tight end in this year’s draft. However, it wasn’t until the fifth round and he could hardly be considered a threat in the passing game. With the 145th overall pick, the Jaguars selected Luke Farrell out of Ohio State. There’s obviously a connection to Meyer here. But Farrell is more of a blocking tight end. In four collegiate seasons, Farrell played in 21 games and recorded 34 receptions for 380 yards and four touchdowns. Farrell’s best season came in 2018 as a sophomore. That year, he hauled in 20 passes for 205 yards and one score.
This pick is a head-scratcher not so much because of the player, but how late in the draft the team decided to pick a tight end. Granted, the tight end class this year wasn’t exactly sterling outside of the fourth overall pick, Kyle Pitts. Perhaps the team will make the position more of a priority in next year’s draft or even in the form of a certain former quarterback who used to play for Meyer in college.
The Surprise: Travis Etienne
Etienne is the biggest name the Jaguars selected this year outside of Lawrence. His selection was also a big-time surprise as Etienne is a top two running back this year and also a teammate of Lawrence in college. Anyone who follows the Jaguars wouldn’t be surprised that the team would add to the running back room in the draft. But 25th overall? Travis Etienne? Completely unexpected. He was at best a wild card expectation of some.
Of course, some would also consider this pick a head-scratcher due to the fact that the Jags have James Robinson. Robinson was an undrafted free agent just last year and he ran for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns. Was this a luxury pick? Perhaps. However, Meyer has emphasized the need for speed on this young team. You’ll get speed with Etienne. He ran a 4.33 second 40-yard dash and has the ability to make chunk plays with his feet. It’s never a bad thing to have multiple stars on your roster, but this pick was a surprise for sure.
The Steal: Dylan Moses*
Dylan Moses was not drafted by the Jaguars. He was, however, one of the team’s undrafted free agents, and is the biggest steal of the draft for the team. Moses is a senior out of Alabama at linebacker. He missed his junior season due to a torn ACL, and would likely have been a high draft pick if not for medical concerns. In Moses’ sophomore campaign, he recorded 86 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks.
Moses was a five-star recruit out of high school and is a quick study when it comes to technique. Moses seeks out contact and is an excellent tackler. With speed, ferocity, and good technique; the only thing that will hold him back is potential injuries. The Jaguars have a good linebacker room with Myles Jack and Joe Schobert leading the way, so he’ll have time to develop before eventually breaking on the scene as a quality starter.
Most Likely to Turn Heads During Training Camp: Andre Cisco
Andre Cisco is a third-round selection for the Jaguars and he could be just what the team needs at safety. Cisco has the tools to become a ball hawk. In his first two collegiate seasons, Cisco notched 12 interceptions, 14 pass breakups, one fumble recovery, and a score. He only played in two games in the 2020 season due to a freak injury, but he also had an interception that season. Cisco has a combination of intuition and a hard work ethic. He has an eye for the ball and isn’t easily fooled by quarterbacks. Cisco will fit right in with the new culture that Meyer is trying to establish in Jacksonville. Meyer’s mantra is four to six and A to B. To work hard for the four to six seconds of a play and to finish a play “A to B” (start to finish). Meyer wants players who give it their all and don’t back down. Cisco will do that, and appears to have talent to boot.
Even though these players didn’t make it into any of the categories above in the Jaguars draft review, they can still be productive pros. The Jacksonville Jaguars added an offensive tackle in the second round (pick 45) to help protect Lawrence. Walker Little doesn’t live up to his name, as he is a massive man. He’s 6’7” and 320 pounds. He’ll likely be used as a swing tackle this year, and could eventually replace one of the team’s starting tackles in the future.
Jalen Camp is the team’s lone sixth-round pick and stands at 6’2” and 220 pounds. The receiver room is crowded, but camp is fast at 4.43 in the 40-yard dash. Perhaps he’ll push for a roster spot and earn his stripes.
The Jags beefed up their defense in the draft. With Tyson Campbell, Jay Tufele, and Jordan Smith, Meyer proved he means business in regards to the defensive line.
Tufele has high upside and could contribute immediately in a rotational role. Campbell was somewhat of a surprise in the second round. The Jags drafted C.J. Henderson ninth overall last year, but perhaps the new regime wants to push him. The Jaguars traded up to obtain Jordan Smith so they must have high hopes for the young rookie who joins Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson on the edge of the line.
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