Exciting times are brewing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, as the franchise is going through a vibe it hasn't experienced since joining the NFL 26 years ago. Jacksonville had the No. 1 overall pick for the first time in franchise history and selected Trevor Lawrence, the league's most polished quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. Lawrence was chosen to lead the Jaguars out of the bottom of the NFL, where the franchise has been for a decade (minus one year the team made the AFC Championship Game in 2017).
Joining Lawrence in Jacksonville is college football legend Urban Meyer, who came out of retirement to give the NFL a shot. Whether Meyer succeeds in the NFL is up for debate, but the future College Football Hall of Fame head coach is making sure he has all the pieces in place to succeed at the pro level.
The Jaguars are a work in progress, even though they'll have an opportunity to make noise in the AFC South. Lawrence instantly makes the Jaguars better, with a young cast of offensive players Meyer picked up (Travis Etienne, Luke Farrell) and improvements on the offensive line (Walker Little) in this draft. Jacksonville also added two players in the secondary that should be immediate contributors (Tyson Campbell, Andre Cisco), a much-needed improvement for one of the worst pass defenses in football a year ago.
Jacksonville will be one of the most intriguing teams to watch this fall with Meyer and Lawrence. For once, it's an exciting time to be a Jaguars fan. So where did the Jaguars drop the ball in this draft and what pick will turn out the best (not named Lawrence)? Let's review what the Jaguars did:
2021 Jaguars draft picks
- Round 1 (No. 1): Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
- Round 1 (No. 25): Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson
- Round 2 (No. 33): Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
- Round 2 (No. 45): Walker Little, T, Stanford
- Round 3 (No. 65): Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
- Round 4 (No. 106): Jay Tufele, DT, USC
- Round 4 (No. 121): Jordan Smith, DE, UAB
- Round 5 (No. 145): Luke Farrell, TE, Ohio State
- Round 6 (No. 209): Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech
Where's the pass-catching help?
The Jaguars had a great draft, even if they failed to use one of the five picks they had in the top 65 on a wideout or tight end for their franchise quarterback. Jacksonville did add Marvin Jones in free agency, but the Jaguars needed more at the wide receiver position to help Lawrence out. Perhaps the Jaguars want to see their young pass catchers develop. Laviska Shenault Jr. had a solid rookie season and was a Swiss army knife in the offense, while D.J. Chark is one of just 19 receivers to eclipse 700 yards and five touchdowns in each of the last two seasons. Both players were former second-round selections over the last three years, so maybe Jacksonville didn't feel the need to add another wideout to an already crowded room.
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There were some talented players on the board for Jacksonville to take in a loaded wide receiver class. Rondale Moore and Terrace Marshall Jr. were on the board at No. 45 and dynamic Dyami Brown was available at No. 65. There was nothing wrong with whom the Jaguars selected at either of those picks (Little at No. 45 and Cisco at No. 65), as Jacksonville needed help on the offensive line and in the secondary.
Jacksonville could have used one of those picks at the tight end position, too, as Pat Freiermuth was available at No. 45. The Jaguars' top two tight ends combined for 314 yards and zero touchdowns in 2020. That just simply isn't good enough for a rookie quarterback.
Cisco a home run pick
The Jaguars used their first pick in the third round on one of the best safety prospects in the draft. Cisco would have been a first-round pick if he didn't tear his ACL two games into his junior season, which shows how dominant he was for the Orange. He was the only FBS player with 50+ tackles and 5+ interceptions in 2018 and 2019, leading the nation with 12 interceptions during that stretch. His 13 career interceptions kept Cisco tied as the FBS active leader when he declared for the draft despite missing the final nine games of his college career.
The reason few heard of Cisco was because of injury and Syracuse was one of the worst teams in the FBS. Not only is Cisco a good run defender, but he is a ballhawk and a force in the middle of the field. If he's healthy come Week 1 (and he should be), he's an immediate starter in Jacksonville's secondary. Meyer compared Cisco to Malik Hooker, who we coached at Ohio State.
The Jaguars did an excellent job in revamping their secondary this offseason. Cisco was the final piece of the puzzle that included free agent signings Shaquill Griffin and Rayshawn Jenkins and second-rounder Campbell. Jacksonville still has 2020 first-round pick C.J. Henderson and brought back Sidney Jones for depth at cornerback. All of a sudden, the secondary should keep the Jaguars in games -- instead of costing them.