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Previewing the draft: Khan will "pull that ticket"

Meyer Swap 1
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer watches during warm ups before the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game against Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars are almost completely ready for the 2021 NFL Draft.

As for finalizing what the team officially will do with the No. 1 overall selection, Head Coach Urban Meyer said that won't happen until later this week.

That's when Meyer and General Manager Trent Baalke will meet with Owner Shad Khan.

"Ultimately, the owner is going to pull that ticket on that one," Meyer said Wednesday afternoon during a media availability with Baalke to discuss next week's 2021 NFL Draft. "We're going to have a great meeting and I imagine we'll get closer to a decision."

Meyer, the Jaguars' head coach since mid-January, described he and Baalke as "knee deep" in the pre-draft process, with Baalke calling draft preparation "about 95 percent complete." The two discussed multiple topics during a 20-minute videoconference Wednesday, with Meyer saying the team will continue to focus on defensive and offensive line – and that adding speed will remain a priority.

"That's every year," Meyer said. "That will be a nonstop cycle. Speed wins."

As expected, a major topic Wednesday was Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence – who observers almost unanimously believe will be the No. 1 selection.

"No negatives," Baalke said when asked what he had learned in studying and investigating Lawrence in recent months. "You're always looking for the stars to align when you're looking at prospects – whether that be from a physical, mental, character … whatever the case may be. With his situation … like many others in this draft, the stars all align. And that's what you're looking for."

Meyer, who in late March told Peter King of Football Morning in America that the team was heading in the direction of selecting Lawrence No. 1, said Wednesday he has had several pre-draft videoconferences with Lawrence – adding that he has conducted such sessions with multiple quarterbacks and prospects at every position.

"Whatever the 'Zoom' bill is, we have worn it out the last couple of weeks," Meyer said.

Baalke was asked if the Jaguars had been offered trade opportunities for the No. 1 selection.

"We've fielded a couple of calls," Baalke said. "I think we're going to hold tight. That decision is made organizationally. Our ownership is definitely involved with that as well."

Baalke said when it comes to trading elsewhere in the draft, decisions are made during the draft based on how the process plays out.

"First and foremost, trust the board," Baalke said. "It all depends on what happens in front of you. You never know what's going to happen, so your plan has to be fluid. If we're in a situation at No. 25 where the board says, 'You know what? Let's trade back two or three spots' and that becomes available and it's an option, you pursue it. If not, you make the pick and you move onto the next pick."

The Jaguars enter the 2021 NFL Draft holding 10 selections – two in Round 1 (Nos. 1 and 25), two in Round 2 (Nos. 33 and 45), one in Round 3 (No. 65), two in Round 4 (Nos. 106 and 130), two in Round 5 (Nos. 145 and 170) and one in Round 7 (No. 249).

Meyer was asked about the importance of the early selections.

"I see that we not only have to make those picks; we have to add value immediate value to our team," Meyer said. "That's the way Trent, myself and the coaching staff look at it. That's how important these picks are. We're looking at these picks to make instant impact, especially those first four picks."

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