We’re three days away from the NFL Draft and nothing is certain, but the tea leaves are settling to reveal the Jaguars taking a huge risk with the No. 1 overall pick. There’s no need for subterfuge and smokescreen when you’re selecting first overall, and at this point it’s really feeling like they’re going to take Travon Walker. His odds to go No. 1 overall in the 2022 NFL Draft are now tops at DraftKings Sportsbook.
It’s a complicated, weird draft. The 2022 class is exceptionally deep, with few truly standout players. There’s a very real chance a team selecting at No. 9 or No. 10 could get a player with talent equal to anyone in the Top 5. That would be the internal justification for taking Walker, because his athletic upside is so pronounced, so rare, that he really could become a force like we haven’t seen in the NFL.
Or he’s dealt for peanuts in four years, and out of the league in six.
If you’re looking for a solid, Pro Bowl player who will start for a decade, 2022 is your year. If you’re wanting a league-defining All-Pro, that’s when this all gets more difficult. The Jaguars seem intent on trying to find that high upside guy, overlooking potential issues and gambling on promise. It’s something we’ve seen before in the draft, but never with the No. 1 overall pick, and of course it would be GM Trent Baalke and the Jaguars to take this risk.
Baalke loves taking risks on draft picks. It’s his favorite pastime, and he is actively terrible at making selections. Honestly, it’s unclear who needs to shoulder the blame when it comes to Baalke’s selections, but whether it’s the scouting departments under him, or if he likes to go rogue and pick with his gut, there is an established history of him missing in almost every round. In 2018 when Niners Nation looked at Baalke’s selections it was astonishing how bad the team’s drafts were under his watch. We’re not talking about players just not living up to their potential, it’s them being so bad they were either traded, or out of the league. An unreal 41 percent of his selections didn’t last seven years on the team,…