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NFL Draft

Jacksonville Jaguars 2021 NFL Draft Class Breakdown

  • The Draft Network
  • May 10, 2021
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After a 1-0 start to the 2020 regular season, there were some that remained optimistic about the Jaguars. Soon thereafter, the team would experience a 15-game slide that resulted in the organization cleaning house. Going with a true outside-of-the-box hire, the team opted to hire Trent Baalke and Urban Meyer—two individuals that had a previous working relationship, but neither to this magnitude on this level.

Meyer enters the NFL as a first-time head coach on the professional level, but his first draft class was indicative of what he knows on the college level. Early on, his philosophy was to collect many players that were former highly-touted recruits. Coming from the college ranks, it was a clear tendency that was revealed through the first few selections. In order to build what will be known as the foundation of his new team, he elected to go that route as that’s what he knows best from his previous days as a successful college evaluator.

Let’s take a look at the Jaguars' 2021 NFL Draft class:

Round 1: Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson

A pick that could’ve been made as soon as the team secured the No. 1 overall selection, the Jaguars selected their new face of the franchise. An organization that has previously seen the likes of franchise standouts such as Byron Leftwich, Mark Brunell, and David Garrard, the team has never had a decade-long option under center. With a 34-2 career record and resume that includes few stains, the franchise is hoping that Lawrence can be the transcendent prospect that he’s been billed to be. An organization that needs a jumpstart in energy, the former Clemson star is hoping to bring his winning ways to Duval. 

Round 1: Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson

Continuing on the Clemson train, the team selected the backfield mate of Lawrence in Etienne. A QB-RB tandem that has a strong case as being the best in program history, Etienne sits atop nearly every rushing record. After the success of undrafted free agent rusher James Robinson a season ago, the selection of Etienne caught many by surprise, but with a new scheme, coach, and wanting potential star power at the position, Meyer surprisingly invested high draft capital on the position. Etienne brings explosiveness to a backfield that lacked a home-run hitting option. 

Round 2: Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia

This was another pick that came as a bit of a surprise, but Meyer stayed true to his early-round philosophy of selecting former highly-touted recruits. Campbell is a physical and twitchy athlete that’s still working to become the sum of his parts. Showing flashes throughout his career of what he eventually could turn into, he wasn’t able to consistently piece it all together. All of the ingredients are there to become a starter-level player, but they have yet to be blended all together into their final state. The team is hoping that they can help him tap into the latter stages of his development early on during his career. The most interesting dynamic about the selection will be to watch how a crowded outside cornerback room will unfold. After signing Shaquill Griffin to a three-year, $40 million deal and already having C.J. Henderson, the pathway to early playing time for Campbell on the outside is unclear.

Round 2: Walker Little, OT, Stanford

Prior to the draft, many teams were very complimentary of Little during his pre-draft interview. Having only played in one game over the past two seasons, durability and consistency question marks were the biggest concerns with him. Still a relatively young player at the position, Little still had plenty of fans within the league. Meyer once again revealed his hand with taking highly-ranked high school recruits. A pick that provides Cam Robinson insurance in a sense as he plays the 2021 season on the franchise tag, Little could likely treat the upcoming season as a redshirt year in order to continue to regain his health while also becoming stronger to eventually become the replacement for Robinson. 

Round 3: Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse

A ball-hawking safety on the backend, a free-flowing and rangy player on the third level of the defense was a clear area of need. Collecting 13 interceptions during his career at Syracuse, Cisco was quickly headed toward being one of the best safeties in the draft class until tearing his ACL during the early portions of the season. An injury that forced him to miss 11 games and a majority of the pre-draft process, Cisco is aiming to return to his pre-injury form as one of the best centerfield options.

Round 4: Jay Tufele, IDL, USC

Opting out of the 2020 season particularly due to family reasons and the risk associated with contracting COVID-19, Tufele was considered to be one of the best options along a weak interior defensive tackle class. An explosive and up-the-field 3-technique, the team wanted to continue to overhaul a room that left a lot to be desired a season ago. Wanting to provide more competition and alleviate a miss in former first-round pick in Taven Bryan, Tufele possibly provides the team with a more reliable and urgent player at the position.

Round 4: Jordan Smith, EDGE, UAB

After an early career issue that forced him to transfer from Florida, Smith helped himself tremendously during a second chance while at UAB following a brief stint at Butler Community College. A slinky, but explosive edge rusher, Smith is an ideal option as a 3-4 outside linebacker that can stand up and become effective as both a rusher and in coverage. With the team already heavily invested in Josh Allen and K’Lavon Chaisson, he could provide depth at either spot on the depth chart. A consistent pressure generator, Smith will need to continue to add strength and various hand techniques as a pass rusher.

Round 5: Luke Farrell, TE, Ohio State

Everyone knew that there wasn’t any way that Meyer would exit the draft without selecting a player with Ohio State ties. Even though it didn’t come until the final day of the draft, Farrell had a bit of hard hat mentality in the Buckeyes offense. He was low on the totem pole of options on the passing game as he only recorded 34 catches in 44 career games, but his acceptance of doing the dirty work as a blocker is notable. In need of added bodies at the spot on the depth chart, he will firmly be in the mix in heavy personnel or formational sets as a run blocker. 

Round 6: Jalen Camp, WR, Georgia Tech

An intriguing late-round option, Camp helped himself after a standout pro day performance. Running a 4.43s 40-yard dash and repping 225 pounds 30 times gave him a chance as a late-round flyer for teams looking for athletes at the position that they possibly could mold into what they want him to become. Only recording 48 catches during his career, the team is hoping that there’s more to uncover. In a crowded and talented receiver room, Camp will likely have to earn his keep and roster spot on special teams prior to seeing snaps at receiver.

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