For the second consecutive season the Jacksonville Jaguars received their just reward for being terrible, the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. They also fired Urban Meyer after a disastrous, ridiculous and shockingly violent stint as their head coach.

No team, literally, did any worse than Jacksonville this season, so there’s a lot of work to do to get this franchise on track.


2021-22 Record: 3-14, fourth place AFC South

Playoffs: N/A


After flirting with multiple coaches and burning plenty of NFL insiders in the process, the Jaguars settled on Super Bowl champion head coach Doug Pederson. It’s a good hire, not just for the championship bonafides that Pederson brings with him to Jacksonville, but it’s his QB whispering, specifically how he got the most of out Carson Wentz, Nick Foles and even Jalen Hurts in his time with the Philadelphia Eagles. Trevor Lawrence is just one year into the league, but the damage can pile up on a young signal caller in a hurry. The Jags had to go with a steady, offensive hand here and Pederson is a solid choice.


The Jags, as of this writing, have the third most available cap space ($56.801 million) heading into next season and they have no excuse not to use it. Only two of their own free agents are high atop the re-sign list — OT Cam Robinson and OG Andrew Norwell. They should probably look at bringing back Laquon Treadwell, who had his best season as a pro with Jacksonville last season. Treadwell, Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. are a solid trio and Dan Arnold is one of the more underrated pass catching tight ends in the NFL.

They need to lean in on spending money on the offensive line. It’s time to bring in some veteran leadership and a guys like Nate Solder and Brandon Scherff, likely looking at their final contracts, could be an attractive add. The Jaguars aren’t going to get any of the higher end free agents without overpaying, so focusing on some older, less expensive veterans could be the way to go. Pederson’s former center, Jason Kelce, is a free agent if he doesn’t choose to retire. Adding Solder and Kelce alone would make the Jacksonville O-line significantly more formidable.

With that much cap space and draft capital, it could be a great time to make a splash trade to a team with some real cap troubles. A guy like Michael Thomas from the New Orleans Saints would immediately flip the script in the WR room and give Lawrence a real WR1.


While the compensatory picks have yet to be doled out, as of this writing Jacksonville has 12 selections in April’s draft including the top pick in the first three rounds. Picks from rounds 1-3 should be starters, and Jacksonville controls the entire draft based on who they take first.

In my first Mock Draft, I have them selecting Kayvon Thibodeaux out of Oregon. Since they’re already OK at the offensive skill positions, I’d stick with the defense in the draft and bring in a DeMarvin Leal, defensive lineman out of Texas A&M or Quay Walker, linebacker from Georgia with their second rounder. In the third round, again I’m grabbing a starter out the game with a guy like Lewis Cline, safety out of Georgia or going back to the offensive line by taking Luke Goedeke from Central Michigan.


The AFC South is probably the weakest division in the NFL and certainly the Tennessee Titans are the only team you can count on being competitive next year. As such, it’s there for the taking and a Jaguars team, with a rebuilt defense and “saved” Trevor Lawrence could make some magic happen. I’m not sure they can be a playoff team, but the fire they showed by knocking out the Indianapolis Colts out of the playoffs to end the 2021-22 season is something that can be harnessed with a fourth place schedule.

Follow Adam Greene on Twitter @TheFirstMan.

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