Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Maurice Jones-Drew gives Jags an unconventional pick first overall

For the most part, it’s been easy to predict who the Jacksonville Jaguars will end up within Round 1 of mock drafts, whether it’s an offensive tackle like Evan Neal or Ickey Ekwonu, or a pass-rusher like Aidan Hutchinson. However, in his first mock draft of the offseason, NFL Network analyst and former Jaguar, Maurice Jones-Drew, had the Jags taking an unconventional pick.

Instead of upgrading the defense with Hutchinson, he went with combine standout and defensive end Travon Walker, who was one of the defensive stars for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs.

With general manager Trent Baalke working to sign Cam Robinson to a long-term deal, the Jags go defense with this pick. Walker is coming off a great combined performance that has the scouting community buzzing, according to my colleague Bucky Brooks. The Georgia product gives the Jags a major boost up front as a versatile defender capable of playing anywhere on the D-line.

Walker certainly gave onlookers something to talk about when he took the field for the combine. He ran a 4.51 40-yard dash, which was good for third among defensive ends. His vertical jump figure of 35.50″ was good for seventh at his position, while his broad jump figure ranked fifth (10’3″). Oh yeah, and he did this all at 6-foot-5, 272 pounds.

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On the field, Walker uses his mix of length and power well and is the linear type of athlete that Jags general manager Trent Baalke might be enamored with. His athleticism is something Georgia has long known about, too, as he dropped into coverage 26 times in 2021 and even got a pass deflection that ended up being an interception by his teammate Nolan Smith.

Walker also brings versatility to the mix as he lined up all over the field for Kirby Smart and Co., playing the one-technique and the three-technique positions, in addition to rushing from the edge and dropping back in coverage. That’s the kind of skill-set any team would want, though it might be hard to take him first overall.

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Walker ended the season with 37 total tackles and six sacks. He ultimately registered a 71.4 grade on Pro Football Focus, with a run defense grade of 73.7. With his recent surge in draft stock, his name will be worth watching heading into the draft, though it feels unlikely he’d be a Jag unless they trade back.

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Nation World News Desk
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