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Jaguars draft ’21: Handing out the grades for Urban Meyer’s first draft

A Jacksonville Jaguars fan celebrates after the Jacksonville Jaguars chose Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first pick in the NFL football draft Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer)
A Jacksonville Jaguars fan celebrates after the Jacksonville Jaguars chose Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence with the first pick in the NFL football draft Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Dermer) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The NFL draft is over and the Jaguars added nine players to their roster over the last three days. What were some of the better things to emerge from this draft for the Jaguars? Let’s take a look.

Overall: A-

The skinny: Jacksonville landed a franchise quarterback, a running back who coach Urban Meyer hopes can become a Percy Harvin Lite, and three Day 2 picks who all have starter-caliber potential. The final day added two pieces on the defensive line that should add some depth to that unit. Sixth-round receiver Jalen Camp is physical and fast.

Best pick

Any draft that includes Trevor Lawrence is a home run. Start there. He’s a franchise quarterback and the most visible player who has ever slipped on a Jaguars jersey.

What we liked

Lawrence, obviously. RB Travis Etienne was a hellacious player at Clemson and has big play ability. He’s a mismatch lining up wide. The Day 2 selections of OT Walker Little and S Andre Cisco are potential high yield moves. The thing that immediately jumps out is the time that both have missed. Cisco tore an ACL two games into his 2020 season. Little opted out of 2020 after missing almost all of his 2019 year with a knee injury. So, yes, those are relevant concerns. But Cisco said he’s ahead of schedule in returning, and Little is healthy and ready to go. Cisco was a wrecking ball in the secondary at Syracuse. He had 13 interceptions in 24 career games. Those two are going to see significant time for the team. Could Little be the long-term answer at either tackle spot? He was a legitimate first-round prospect early in his career.

Question marks

Cornerback Tyson Campbell at No. 33 felt like a bit of a reach. I know the Jaguars want depth in remaking the secondary, but was he worth that high of a draft spot? The knock on Campbell is that he was very inconsistent at Georgia. And he wasn’t a guy who created many turnovers (just one career pick). A second-round player is expected to start at some point. Will Campbell be in the mix for a starting corner role eventually, or is he cut out more for a nickel role? … Teams can get creative the later the draft goes, but a fifth-round pick on a blocking TE in Luke Farrell? Jacksonville signed a blocking TE in free agency (Chris Manhertz). Right now, James O’Shaughnessy is the best receiving TE on the roster. Brevin Jordan of Miami was on the board and is a far better pass catcher than Farrell. Are the Jaguars planning on keeping their TEs on the line more in Darrell Bevell offense? Confusing that Jacksonville hasn’t addressed this position more unless there’s a trade brewing, or it is legitimately expecting something out of possibly signing Tim Tebow. Realistically, the Jaguars can’t go into training camp without addressing that position. Meyer even said during his post-draft media availability that the Jaguars didn’t see the quantity of tight ends in the draft that they wanted, and that position is his biggest concern.

Jaguars 2021 draft class

Round 1

1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson

25. RB Travis Etienne, Clemson

Round 2

33. CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia

45. OT Walker Little, Stanford

Round 3

65. S Andre Cisco, Syracuse

Round 4

106. DT Jay Tufele, Southern Cal

(trade from Rams) 121. Edge Jordan Smith, UAB

Round 5

145. TE Luke Farrell, Ohio State

170. Traded to Rams

Round 6

(trade from Rams) 209. WR Jalen Camp, Georgia Tech

Round 7

249. Traded to Rams


About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.