Jaguars eyeing 4 players with top overall pick, but remain undecided as draft looms

Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke, left, and coach Doug Pederson speak at the team's pre-draft meeting on Friday. (Justin Barney, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The countdown to the NFL draft is on and the Jaguars are on the clock.

Who will be the No. 1 overall pick? It will be one of four players, general manager Trent Baalke said Friday in the team’s pre-draft luncheon.

What positions? Baalke joked running back, quarterback and kicker were three of them.

Who will those players be? Many expect Jacksonville is targeting an upgrade at edge rusher or to solidify the offensive line. Edge rushers Aidan Hutchinson and Travon Walker, or offensive tackles Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal are the players many expect Jacksonville to be targeting.

Jacksonville went 3-14 last season and overhauled its coaching staff. Owner Shad Khan hired Doug Pederson to replace the toxic and disgraced Urban Meyer and held on to Baalke in the GM role.

Pederson said that if the staff has done its work, then picking first overall again isn’t something that he ever wants to be apart of going forward. When the team does decide on who that pick is at No. 1, no one outside of the coaching and front office will know who that is.

“I don’t tell my family anything when it comes to picks. I have three boys and they’re all athletic boys. [I] love them to death, but they don’t even know,” Pederson said. “We don’t know, how do they know? I’ll say this, from a coaching perspective, I don’t want to put words in Trent’s mouth, but hopefully this is the last time we pick one overall.”

Baalke, who has overseen the last two top draft choices, joked that he wouldn’t be around to make a third.

“I’m pretty confident that this will be the last time that I’ll be making the first pick,” Baalke joked.

Baalke said during the NFL scouting combine that the team was open to offers for the No. 1 overall pick. But with lack of an elite quarterback this year, there hasn’t been much activity.

“We’ve let people know for over a month ago I think we’ve talked about that, and we let people know we were open to discussions,” Baalke said. “You always are, you never say never. Maybe last year when you’re sitting there with the first pick and the quarterback’s there that you’re going to take, that’s not negotiable. Most of the time, that is negotiable so we’re willing to listen. To answer your question, no, nobody has called directly.”

Baalke did say that Jacksonville’s second pick, No. 33, could carry a significant trade value as teams reset their draft boards after the opening round.

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.