Fourth round: Jaguars go defense early on final day of NFL draft

Gators LB Ventrell Miller, Oklahoma State edge Tyler Lacy are picks

Ventrell Miller of the Florida Gators reacts to a tackle during the first half of a game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on November 12, 2022 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) (James Gilbert, 2022 James Gilbert)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars opened the final day of the NFL draft with picks on the defensive side of the ball, selecting Gators linebacker Ventrell Miller and Oklahoma State edge rusher Tyler Lacy in the fourth round.

Miller (6-0, 232 pounds) played inside linebacker with the Gators and was one of the team’s top defensive players last season. He had 23.5 tackles for loss and 240 tackles in his career. Miller also had 7.5 sacks. He was the 121st pick overall. He is the 13th Gators player drafted all-time by the Jaguars, the most from a single college.

Miller will join a crowded linebacking room that includes high picks from last year’s draft in Travon Walker, Chad Muma and Devin Lloyd.

They finally added an edge rusher at pick No. 130 in Lacy, a highly productive player at Oklahoma State. Lacy (6-4, 279 pounds) had 113 career tackles, 11.5 sacks and 30 tackles for loss. At a position of need on the team, Lacy should be a rotational player early for Jacksonville.

Oklahoma State defensive end Tyler Lacy (89) celebrates after a tackle of Oklahoma running back Kennedy Brooks (26) during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021, in Stillwater, Okla. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The Jaguars traded their second fourth round pick (No. 127) to the Saints for a seventh rounder (No. 227) and a fourth-round pick in next year’s draft. It was general manager Trent Baalke’s fifth trade of the draft so far.

On Friday night, after trading down twice, the Jaguars picked Penn State tight end Brenton Strange, who will complement the unsigned — but franchise tagged — Evan Engram, at No. 61. They added Auburn running back Tank Bigsby in the following round at No. 88.

On Thursday, the Jaguars traded down twice and picked up three additional picks in the process. They eventually picked Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison at No. 27.

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.