JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Yes, teams have been calling about the Jaguars’ No. 1 pick. No, they aren’t going to trade it.
And as soon as Shad Khan signs off on it, Trevor Lawrence will be the Jaguars’ selection with the first pick of the draft.
Those were the big takeaways on the quarterback front from Wednesday’s virtual press conference with Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer and general manager Trent Baalke.
“We’ve fielded a couple of calls,” Baalke said. “But I think we’re going to hold tight. That decision is made organizationally, and our ownership is definitely involved with that as well.”
Baalke described the Jaguars’ scouting of Lawrence to have found “no negatives.” He said that all of the stars have aligned this year for the Jaguars to take a player expected to be a transformational force in the fortunes of a franchise that has reached the playoffs just once in the last 13 seasons.
But the Jags’ duo stopped short of announcing that Lawrence would be the pick.
“We’re meeting with ownership (Thursday),” Meyer said. “Ultimately, the owner is going to pull the ticket on that one.”
It’s clear that Meyer continues to learn on the job about the intricacies of the NFL draft. While Baalke has been a vocal advocate of value since his appointment to the general manager’s office, Meyer has to continually remind himself that need must take a backseat in the talent acquisition process in the National Football League.
“As a coach, I find myself looking at need and that’s where you have to be cautious,” Meyer said. “This whole process of value is new to me. I’m a quick learner. The last three to four weeks, this has been our entire life. Trusting the board is key. I’m almost there.”
While most of the attention paid to the Jaguars draft this year has centered around Lawrence and the top pick, Meyer took time to underline his operating philosophy of needing to be strong in the trenches.
“How good is your team? How good is you defensive line? It’s the first piece of the puzzle,” Meyer said. “Then you ask, ‘How’s your offensive line?’”
The other characteristic that Meyer values in a roster is speed. He has talked about needing to add speed since his first press conference as head coach in Jacksonville. The Jaguars added some players in free agency that added speed to the roster, and it would be a surprise if they didn’t do the same in the draft.
“That’s every year. That will be a nonstop cycle of speed,” Meyer said. “Speed wins. We’ve addressed it with (Phillip Dorsett), Marvin Jones, (Jamal) Agnew. That will be a cycle of the Jaguars always looking for speed. Big plays were absent from our offense last year.”
The Jaguars have 10 selections in the draft, including five of the first 65 picks. Assuming Lawrence will go at No. 1, it would make sense that if a top interior defensive lineman was available at 25, that’s where Meyer’s eye would go. However, the pick isn’t just up to Meyer.
“The amount of time we’ve spent organizationally from a scouting perspective, the personnel staff, the coaching staff … the amount of time we’ve spent together to build this board, I think it becomes very easy,” Baalke said. “On Sunday, it’s easy to call plays when the preparation is right. The same can be said of the draft. I think we feel very good about where we’re at. So, trusting that board, that’s how you make a living. When you don’t trust it, that’s when you make mistakes. We’ll be very trusting of the board come Thursday, Friday, Saturday.”