JACKSONVILLE – The 2022 NFL Draft ended with Day 3 Saturday.
The Jaguars on Saturday selected Mississippi running back Snoop Conner No. 154 overall (Round 5), Ouachita Baptist cornerback Gregory Junior No. 197 overall (Round 6) and Arkansas cornerback Montaric Brown No. 122 overall (Round 7).
Members of Jaguars Media – senior writer John Oehser, senior correspondent Brian Sexton, senior reporter/editor J.P. Shadrick and team reporter Ashlyn Sullivan – shared an observation following each day of the draft. Day 3 observations:
- Oehser: The Jaguars' Day 3 had the same methodical tone as Day 2, with the team addressing an early need at running back and opting out of most of the final rounds while also adding depth to the secondary and special teams. Just as they addressed a need early on Day 2 with the selection of Kentucky interior offensive lineman Luke Fortner, they addressed the need for a third running back in that rotation by selecting Snoop Conner from Ole Miss. By that point, General Manager Trent Baalke decided equity in next year's draft trumped selections in this one – and he, therefore, traded fifth- and seventh-round selections in the '22 draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a fourth-rounder in '23. The thought among some in the league was that this draft dropped off about Round 5. Baalke getting out of a couple of later-round selections Saturday gave the Jaguars a more premium selection in a spot that should have greater value a year from now.
- Sexton: From this view, the Jaguars' 2022 Draft Class is five players deep. Some might say if the first four selections pan out, this is a terrific draft. Still, others might say if No. 1 overall selection/outside linebacker Travon Walker becomes the player the Jaguars believe him to be, this is an outstanding class. I think you must include Conner; if he is an effective goal-line back and provides quality depth as Travis Etienne Jr. and James Robinson work back to full health, then trading up a few spots was well worth it. Conner led the way for Mississippi last season with 13 touchdowns and the Jaguars were targeting him before the fifth round began. Cornerbacks Gregory Junior (Round 6) and Montaric Brown (Round 7) provide some impressive athleticism in the secondary, and Brown was a very dependable part of the Arkansas defensive backfield against a loaded Southeastern Conference in 2021. They're developmental guys who might find a way to contribute on special teams to stick around.
- Shadrick: The final day was about depth. Conner adds to the running back room with a physical style and could have a role no matter the health of Etienne and James Robinson. A 13-rushing-touchdown season is good in any league, certainly in the SEC. Junior from Ouachita Baptist and Brown add to the cornerback room – and to the special teams. Junior opened some eyes at the Senior Bowl, while Brown's five interceptions were tied for the most in the SEC. They both should developmental depth behind a strong starting trio of corners in Shaquill Griffin, Darious Williams and Tyson Campbell.
- Sullivan: The Jaguars ended up with three players on Day 3 thanks to a couple of trades. Baalke was particularly happy he was able to work out a trade with the Buccaneers and end up with a fourth-round pick next year and the running back he wanted, Conner. I was waiting for the Jaguars to address the need for more depth at running back, even if Robinson and Etienne return fully healthy. It makes sense to wait until Day 3 to address this need; the running back position is not the premier pick it used to be in the NFL. For the sixth and seventh-round selections, Baalke says this was the case of the board giving them the direction. They drafted two defensive backs with those picks, Junior and Brown. Both will play special teams and have the mindset that they are going to compete for a roster spot. All in all, the Jaguars checked off more needs on Day 3 of the draft. And after a long weekend, the Jaguars can say they are a much more talented and deeper team then