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Draft-ervations: Day 1


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got offensive on Day 1 of the 2023 NFL Draft.

The Jaguars, after twice trading back to obtain three additional 2023 selections, selected University of Oklahoma offensive tackle Anton Harrison with the No. 27 overall selection of the 2023 draft late Thursday.

The Jaguars traded their original 2023 Round 1 selection, No. 24 overall, to the New York Giants for the No. 25 selection. They also received the Nos. 160 (Round 5) and 240 selection (Round 7) in that trade. They then traded the No. 25 selection to the Buffalo Bills for the No. 27 selection and the No. 130 selection (Round 4).

Members of Jaguars Media – senior writer John Oehser, senior reporter/editor J.P. Shadrick and team reporter Kainani Stevens – will share an observation following each day of the draft. Day 1 observations:

John Oehser, Senior Writer:

  • Day 1 for the Jaguars was about the short- and long-term – and it was also about making the rest of the '23 draft intriguing. While many observers may assume that this week's news that starting left tackle Cam Robinson may be suspended to start the '23 season influenced the selection of Harrison, General Manager Trent Baalke said "our board was set strictly on ability and value of the player." The Jaguars, remember, benefitted greatly from having three front-line tackles last season. They likely wouldn't have made the playoffs had Walker Little not played at a high level after a season-ending injury to Robinson. Harrison's addition gives the Jaguars the short-term benefit of a possible early-season starting tackle who can be a strong swing tackle or guard when Robinson returns. He then gives them the long-term benefit of a starter for the foreseeable future. Here's why the rest of the draft is intriguing for the Jaguars:
  • With three additional selections, the Jaguars now have 11 selections remaining over the final two days.
  • Will Baalke be uber-aggressive and try to move up in the middle rounds of what is considered a weak draft in the later rounds? Stay tuned.

J.P. Shadrick, Senior Reporter/Editor:

  • The selection of Harrison fills what could be both an immediate and long-term need. Robinson could miss time early in the 2023 season as he enters Year Two of a three-year contract extension, but he will turn only 28 years old in October. Little has two seasons remaining on his rookie deal. Josh Wells is on a one-year deal as a veteran addition this offseason. Harrison could see tackle time early, then maybe even move inside to guard if needed once Robinson returns. It is never a bad policy to have extra offensive linemen, as the Jaguars learned last season when they utilized veteran swing interior lineman Tyler Shatley and Little for extended stretches. As for the rest of the division Thursday …. CHAOS – as the three teams chase the AFC South-defending champion Jaguars. The Texans selected Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud with the No. 2 pick, then traded up again to No. 3 overall to select Alabama edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. It was a stunning development, as the Texans gave up the 12th pick, the 33rd pick (2nd round), a 2024 first-round pick and a 2024 third round pick. The Colts at No. 4 overall took Florida quarterback Anthony Richardson, a player whom some feel could be a bit of a project at the position. The Titans at No. 11 selected Northwestern tackle Peter Skoronski. As for Friday, get ready for moves. Baalke has day three ammunition and isn't afraid to use it to move up if the value is there in Rounds Two or Three. Credit him for the two moves back to add picks while still staying in range of a player they liked.
Oklahoma offensive lineman Anton Harrison runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Sunday, March 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Kainani Stevens, Team Reporter:

  • The Jaguars' front office saw all the pieces fall into place for them as they picked late in the first round for the first time in several years. With the flurry of quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers taken early it became clear that the Jags would be able to get their "guy" at No. 24. Doubling down and trading back twice allowed the team to picked up three extra draft picks. Additional bodies to compete in training camp will help add depth to a team that returns its core on both sides of the ball. Harrison has significant upside and will see playing time right away after the loss of right tackle Jawaan Taylor to free agency and the upcoming suspension of Robinson. Above all else, the goal remains to protect quarterback Trevor Lawrence at all costs.

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