It took two straight wins by the New York Jets and 14 consecutive losses by the Jaguars but it’s official — the Jacksonville Jaguars own the first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Despite losing all season, they actually win. They do so because they can officially select Trevor Lawrence with the first overall pick and try to build the organization the right way. Obviously, Lawrence has to declare for the draft but at this point, it would be shocking if he didn’t. What might even be more shocking is that this is the first time the Jaguars have had the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
That being said, the Jaguars have become the most attractive job in the NFL for any general manager and head coach. They’ll be looking for both. To be honest, the combination of Robert Saleh (49ers defensive coordinator) as head coach and Ed Dodds (Colts assistant general manager) should be the leading candidates for the job. But their front office and coaching staff search will probably be a long process that stretches out weeks.
However, it shouldn’t be a hard sell to candidates for the job. I can talk about the weather but there’s plenty of perks aside from the sunshine and Lawrence. The Jaguars are predicted to have close to $100 million in cap space and they have 11 total picks in the 2021 NFL Draft. Plenty can be done with that type of money and draft capital. Best part for Jacksonville is that they can go in a variety of ways with much of their draft picks and where they want to spend their money. One thing is for certain, Lawrence is the franchise of the Jaguars. For now, this is the outline to their offseason.
2021 NFL Draft Picks (projections per Tankathon)
- 1st overall pick (1st round)
- 21st overall pick (1st round per Rams)
- 33rd overall pick (2nd round)
- 46th overall pick (2nd round per Vikings)
- 65th overall pick (3rd round)
- 97th overall pick (4th round)
- 117th overall pick (4th round per Rams)
- 129th overall pick (5th round)
- 152nd overall pick (5th round per Browns)
- 193rd overall pick (7th round)
- 219th overall pick (7th round per Titans)
By selecting Lawrence with that first pick, you put him in the middle of an offense that has skilled position players such as D.J. Chark and Laviska Shenault at wide receiver and James Robinson at running back. Meanwhile, his offensive line would be one of the more formidable units in the league with Jawaan Taylor at right tackle and Andrew Norwell at left guard.
In free agency, it wouldn’t be surprising if they target one of the top defensive players available such as Matthew Judon or Leonard Williams for their defensive line or Justin Simmons for the secondary. On the offensive side of the ball, they could consider interior offensive linemen such as Brandon Scherff or Joe Thuney despite having Andrew Norwell and A.J. Cann at both guard spots.
However the Jaguars decide to approach the offseason, they’ve easily become the most attractive job in the league. Even though they’ve had years of failure, the future looks bright in Jacksonville.
Congrats on losing to the Bears but you’ve become the biggest winner this season.