Hays Carlyon's Jaguars Blog

My Jaguars 7-round mock draft: Take Hutchinson, please

todayApril 28, 2022


By Hays Carlyon

I’m in the opinion business.

The Jaguars make a big decision and I react to it.

I have a strong feeling I will react negatively to what Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke is going to do tonight with the first pick in the NFL Draft.

But it’s easy to criticize when you don’t put yourself out there. So, I am doing a seven-round Jaguars mock draft. This is what I would do.

There is one trade. The Jaguars have 12 picks. When we projected the 53-man roster leading into the draft last week, it was clear a dozen draft picks probably won’t make the team with six selections coming in the final two rounds. Ten seems reasonable.

I don’t have the Jaguars trading back into the first round tonight. I think the move comes Saturday. There is a 51-pick wait between the fourth-round selection (No. 106) and the fifth-rounder (157). I think the Jaguars should trade two of their four sixth-round picks to Miami, who only enters the draft with four selections, to move up 32 spots to No. 125.

Here we go.


No. 1: Aidan Hutchinson, OLB, Michigan

Why: Let me be clear. I don’t believe the Jaguars are taking Hutchinson. Baalke appears to have fallen for the traits of Georgia defensive end Travon Walker and is ignoring the lack of production. I think this is a massive risk and one that I’m frankly stunned the franchise is taking after so many misfires. The 21-year-old Hutchinson (6’6, 260 pounds) is ready now. He can be a reliable pass rusher now. That’s what his film tells us (18.5 career sacks, including 14 last season). We don’t have to imagine what he might be.

You play him opposite Josh Allen and get to work. Should’ve been an easy call.


No. 33: George Pickens, WR, Georgia

Why: I think he’ll be there and he’s worth the gamble. The 21-year-old Pickens (6’3, 195) is a better version of DJ Chark. He is recovered from his knee injury, finishing his collegiate career with 90 catches for 1,347 yards (a 15-yard average) and 14 touchdowns. The Jaguars still need a receiver with size, speed and catch radius. Free agent additions Christian Kirk and Zay Jones don’t give you all of that. Adding Pickens gives quarterback Trevor Lawrence a good mix of receivers with Marvin Jones still here. Laviska Shenault and Laquon Treadwell can fight for the final spot behind Jamal Agnew.


No. 65: Leo Chanel, ILB, Wisconsin

Why: The ultimate enforcer in college. The 21-year-old Chanel (6’3, 250) was a monster last season with 115 tackles (18.5 for loss) with eight sacks and two forced fumbles. He’d be a perfect fit inside with free-agent addition Foye Oluokun. An instant starter.

No. 70: Luke Fortner, C, Kentucky

Why: Kentucky always seems to win street fights in the trenches and Fortner (6’4, 307) is a big reason why. He’s a grown man. Literally. Fortner turns 24 in May. He started 13 games at center last season, after making 20 starts at right guard and three at left guard earlier in his career. Fortner would battle Tyler Shatley for starting center honors as the team replaces retired center Brandon Linder.


No. 106: Marquis Hayes, LG, Oklahoma

Why: I’m encouraged by Ben Bartch but I want a battle at left guard to replace Andrew Norwell. The 23-year-old Hayes (6’5, 318) started 37 games at left guard for the Sooners. Adding Fortner and Hayes gives the line depth and competition across the board: Cam Robinson (left tackle), Bartch, Shatley, Brandon Scherff (right guard), Jawaan Taylor (right tackle), with Walker Little (swing tackle) and Will Richardson (guard).

No. 125 (trade with Miami): Daniel Bellinger, TE, San Diego State

Why: I loved adding Evan Engram in free agency, but that’s a one-year deal. Dan Arnold is entering a contract year. Who knows how long Chris Manhertz will be here? Is Luke Farrell going to improve in his second year? The tight end position needs more investment. I would trade up to add Bellinger, who is a rare all-around player at the position. The 21-year-old Bellinger (6’5, 253) is a good blocker, who caught 68 passes for 771 yards with five touchdowns in his career.


No. 180: Jayden Peevy, DT, Texas A&M

Why: We’re throwing darts at this point hoping to find a hidden gem. I’d add to the interior defensive line group. The 22-year-old Peevy (6’5, 308) had 137 career tackles (19 for loss) with 7.5 sacks. He also blocked four kicks.

No. 197: Chris Steele, CB, USC

Why: Steele, who enrolled at Florida before a quick transfer, was a major recruit who never lived up to the hype. Still, the 21-year-old Steele (6’0, 187) has good traits (4.48-second 40-yard dash time) to take a flyer on despite having three interceptions in 23 starts.


No. 222: Hassan Haskins, RB, Michigan

Why: Haskins (6’2, 228) is a power back with little explosiveness, but he’d be a worthy pick as the team works James Robinson back from the Achilles injury. The 22-year-old Haskins ran for 1,327 yards and 20 touchdowns last season but isn’t close to a home-run threat in the NFL. Still, he’s a sound, physical and dependable runner.

No. 235: Bubba Bolden, S, Miami

Why: The 22-year-old Bolden (6’2, 209) has been injury prone but he ran a 4.47 at the combine. In 17 collegiate starts, Bolden picked off two passes.

Now, we wait. Who will be right: Baalke or me?

(You can email Hays at haysc@1010xl.com and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon).

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todayApril 28, 2022