Jacksonville Jaguars GM, Trent Baalke, has not refrained from suggesting that they are willing to listen to any trade offer for the No. 1 pick.
Although open to business in that regard, the Jaguars do not attract much interest from teams willing to swap with the NFL Draft two weeks away.
Last week, NFL Networks’ Ian Rapoport reported that the Jaguars are more likely to retain the No. 1 pick than to find an interested team looking to move in instead.
Unlike the 2021 draft when the Jaguars drafted Trevor Lawrence, no quarterback is rated as a generational talent in this year’s draft. The strength of this year’s draft is edge-rushers and offensive linemen, where the overall quarterback class is not considered strong.
Nevertheless, it’s the draft and anything can happen on the draft night when the teams are on the clock.
” Saying we will not act (the election) is probably not 100% correct, but saying we will is probably not either, ” Baalke said at last month’s NFL Combine in Indianapolis. ” So we’ll see what’s coming and if something comes our way and it makes sense to us, we’ll make that decision at that point.
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The last time a team swapped No. 1 was in 2016, when the Los Angeles Rams moved up from No. 15, sending the Tennessee Titans two first-round picks, two seconds and two third-round picks. The Rams also received fourth- and sixth-round picks from Tennessee and used No. 1 to select quarterback Jared Goff. The trade took place two weeks before the 2016 draft.
Here are four options for Jaguars to trade down and why.
Atlanta Falcons (Choice No. 8)
The Falcons are desperate for a quarterback after swapping veteran Matt Ryan for the Indianapolis Colts for a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. That desperation could cause the Falcons to try to move up to No. 1 spot because they have significant interest in Liberty quarterback Malik Willis, whose draft share has risen over the past month. The Falcons know that if they stay eighth, there is a high probability that Willis will disappear from the board. The Jaguars already have significant draft capital with 12 picks, but the Jaguars could be lured with the Falcons offering their first round pick in 2023 and their 43rd overall pick in the second round of the 2022 draft addition to the eighth total. It would also be wise for the Jaguars to see if the Falcons are desperate enough to include tight-end Kyle Pitts, the former Gators star, in a trade package. With the eighth overall pick instead of the No. 1 pick, the Jaguars would be in the best position to draft Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker if he’s still on the board, or pick the best-rated wide receiver, Ohio State’s Garrett Wilson. If Walker is off the board, the Jaguars should look to pick an edge rusher with the first pick in the second round as No. 33.
Detroit Lions (No. 2 and No. 32 picks)
Although there is speculation that the Jaguars are seriously considering Georgia edge rusher Travon Walker as the number 1 overall choice, it is likely to lure bait to the Lions and how much they want Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson. The Lions can interrupt the hunt and just lock themselves in position to pick Hutchinson without fear that the Jaguars may actually pick him. So moving up from No. 2 to No. 1 spot is a consideration. Both franchises would be in a win-win situation. The Jaguars could pick Walker as No. 2 or Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux, which could end up being the most productive edge-rusher in the 2022 class. And an added bonus for the Jaguars would be landing the Lions’ second first-round pick at 32 – a place they could land a high-quality wide receiver or meet a need for an offensive guard or center.
Seattle Seahawks (Choice No. 9)
The Seahawks are rebuilding after switching quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos and releasing linebacker Bobby Wagner. What would get the Jaguars fans excited is the Seahawks presenting a trade package for the Jaguars’ No. 1 pick, which includes wide receiver DK Metcalf. The Jaguars would have salary cap issues and it would be hard to justify the move as they extended Christian Kirk with a four-year $ 72 million contract to become the team’s No. 1 recipient. But NFL teams can maneuver around the salary cap from restructuring existing contracts to releasing players. Instead of pursuing a veteran quarterback like the Browns’ Baker Mayfield or sticking to the inconsistent Drew Lock they agreed to deal with the Broncos, they could choose to pursue Willis, a double-threat quarterback who could develop into the next Wilson. The advantage of the Jaguars moving down to nine is that they could fill a need at the edge rusher or wide receiver with a talented player.
Pittsburgh Steelers (20th Choice)
This is a stretch for a team where the 20th choice moves up to the No. 1 spot. It’s not the big advantage for the Jaguars to go from No. 1 and out of the top 10 to the last half of the first round, but the Steelers would have to sweeten the deal considerably and the only thing possible is to include one or two of their established stars, like edge rusher TJ Watt or defensive end Cameron Heyward, in the trade deal. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wants to draft Willis after personally scouting him at the Senior Bowl in February.