JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars were comparatively quiet on Day 2 of the 2022 NFL Draft.
They had no Round 2 selections after trading No. 33 overall on Thursday, then they selected Kentucky offensive lineman Luke Fortner No. 65 overall and Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma No. 70 overall with their two Round 3 selections.
As might be expected, Day 2 didn't cause quite the stir in the O-Zone as Day 1 – outside linebacker Travon Walker (No. 1 overall) and inside linebacker Devin Lloyd (No. 27 overall).
That's not to say there was no stirring at all. This is the draft, after all.
There must be a little stirring.
Let's get to it …
Cameron from Orange Park, FL
Can you explain who you think the starting seven are in a 3-4 defense after Day 2 of the draft? Is there a good way to fit Muma in, or is he considered a backup as of now?
When considering NFL player acquisitions these days, it's necessary to look beyond a traditional "depth chart." It's particularly important when thinking about the Jaguars' defense under defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, because Caldwell likes to play multiple packages and schemes – a la the Tampa Bay Buccaneers under former coordinator/current head coach Todd Bowles, for whom Caldwell worked the last decade. Lloyd and Foye Oluokun likely will be the "starters" at inside linebacker when the Jaguars are in base formations next season – i.e., first downs and many second downs. But Muma has ability to play multiple third-down packages, and likely will be involved in a lot of those. Because of the need to play multiple packages, teams realistically have 14 or 15 "starters" on both sides of the ball. Muma likely will be in that group on defense.
David from Ada, OK
Travon Walker was always in the running for the first pick of the draft in a draft with no consensus No. 1 player. The story the national media reports is the Jaguars didn't pick the safe pick. They also reported there was no consensus safe pick. Wait. I guess we forgot that. I wonder if the national media plays this Travon Walker pick like, "Look at those lousy Jags. Looks like they picked the worst choice because they are a bad team and our readers enjoy reading about conflict more than success." Something about conflict driving the narrative.
In an effort to move onto discussing Day 2, we'll try not to devote this entire O-Zone to the apparent Jaguars Topic of the Week – i.e., why the Jaguars supposedly "reached" for Walker No. 1 overall. And enough fans feel strongly enough about this that these words won't change minds. But what's fascinating about this topic is the point you make – that the overriding theme entering this draft was that there wasn't a consensus slam-dunk selection. If there had been, the Jaguars' selection at No. 1 would have been easy. If there had been, it's likely that at least one team might have phoned them wanting to trade for the selection. That wasn't the case. Instead, the four players – Walker, Michigan edge defender Aidan Hutchinson, Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal and North Carolina State offensive tackle Ickey Ekwonu – most linked with No. 1 all had questions. They were all sort of considered even, and none stood out. Neal was sort of the consensus No. 1 selection in January and there was some Ekwonu talk for a while. Then, there was a time when Hutchinson was the choice. But you never heard that any of those players was a generational player. The Jaguars selected Walker – and yes, there is risk involved with the selection. Perhaps a bit more than the others. But to paint this as the Jaguars taking a "Workout Warrior" over a player that analysts/football people see as a slam-dunk player? That's misrepresenting it. Or at the very least it's a big exaggeration.
Dan from Charlotte, NC
I know people are mad about Round 1 being all about defense, but if you can't stop the run in this division with the elite backs we have to deal with, you not gonna win enough for anyone to give a damn anyway.
Charles from Savannah, GA
Who the H...E... double Hockey Sticks is Mel Kiper Jr. anyway?
I like Kiper, and you have to give him credit. He created an industry – NFL Draft Expert – where there previously wasn't one and has made a career of it. He also in my experience is a decent, classy guy who is generous as possible with his time. One fer Kiper.
Diego from South of Tierra del Fuego
Why not trade each year your fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round draft picks for another fourth-round pick? I am sure there is another team out there who would love to get extra picks. Fifth- and sixth-rounders are useless unless you get lucky. Trade our fourth for their fourth to sweeten the pot. This way you have four solid picks instead of three solid picks and three mediocre picks. Diego for GM.
Shad Khan … hire this man!
KC from Orlando, FL
KOAF, I like our Day 2 picks. Do you think we'll get a kicker with a big leg on Day 3, or do you think we'll just wait for undrafted free agents? What are the Jags looking for on Day 3?
Kicker is a possibility Day 3. A lot of positions are possibilities. You're looking for depth on Day 3, and you're looking for players with traits that make you think they can contribute as depth and special teams as rookies and perhaps develop into starters after that. Those traits often trump specific positions on Day 3.
Sierra from Jacksonville
What are the odds that the Jags traded up to snatch Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum, realized he was taken, then decided to draft Lloyd? Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about Lloyd and it seems he'll fit in well here, but it seems that a lot of attention was on center and for us to get a pick just around the time he was drafted ….
The Jaguars wanted Lloyd. That's why they traded for him at No. 27 overall.
Sam from Sacramento, CA
With all the money we spent on defense in free agency, and the massive amount of draft capital we spent on the defense, if this isn't a top 10 unit thus year would you consider it a blown off-season?
Not necessarily. The Jaguars could be a lot better defensively next season and not be in the Top 10. The idea in 2022 is to improve offensively and defensively, and the Jaguars absolutely have put pieces in place defensively this offseason to do just that.
Steve from Nashville, TN
Since the No. 44 on the Jags is available, can we assume Travon Walker will get that number if he is listed as a linebacker? If he is listed as a D-lineman, that number will not be available to him?
Walker will wear No. 44. He will play outside linebacker and listed as such.
Nick from Southside
Per ESPN Stats & Info, new Jaguars outside linebacker Travon Walker is the first player selected first overall in the common draft era (since 1967) that never made an All-Conference or All-American team in college. Care to comment?
Honors and accolades are often based on reputation and statistics. Walker started one college season and didn't have huge statistics in his one season, so that perhaps helps explain the lack of accolades. If you go only off college statistics, then you don't make the selection. Jaguars General Manager Trent Baalke said Walker was productive in ways beyond sacks. That's why they made the selection.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man, I hope Walker and anyone else we draft goes on to have amazing careers in Jacksonville. What's the point of complaining given they haven't yet played a single NFL play?
Fans gonna fan. It's what they do.
Robert from Middleburg, FL
Maybe Walker will be a star. I certainly will hope for that outcome. But when I read "...it's not as if he represents that much more of a risk than the other top players in this draft" I almost fell out of my chair. There is no QUESTION Travon Walker was a much bigger risk than multiple other options at No. 1. He is literally the only player selected first overall in the history of the draft who never made an All-Conference or All-America team in college. Maybe he will shine. But you can't deny the enormous gamble in picking him No. 1.
All the top players in this draft held some risk. That's why there was no consensus. Maybe Walker is a little more. To say he's "enormously" riskier than the others. Nah. And I'm glad you didn't fall out of your chair. According to injuryfacts.com, an estimated 156,000 preventable injury-related deaths occurred in homes or communities – or about 78 percent of all preventable injury-related deaths – in 2020. For goodness' sake … let's be careful out there.