NFL Draft 2022. Watt clone, pure potential

NFL Draft 2022 begins the night from Thursday to Friday. The Jacksonville Jaguars are eligible for first-round pick – but it should not be a quarterback this time. SPOX takes a closer look at the five most likely options for the Jags: which pass rusher should it be? Or does anyone need to protect QB Trevor Lawrence?

Big Board: These are the 80 best players in the 2022 draft!

Following the draft of the new franchise quarterback exactly a year ago, Jacksonville must choose first again. So the biggest gap in the guard is already closed, but after a season with a record of 3-14 GM, Trent Baalke still has a lot of work to do, even though the team is already in free agency with calibers as guard Brandon Scherff or receiver Christian Kirk has strengthened .

Bitter for the Jags: As for quarterbacks, it looks pretty thin this time. That means: So far, no team has skipped several first-round picks to secure a potential QB franchise. So it looks like you’re sitting for election ‘, even though you’re reportedly not averse to a trade.

You can watch the entire NFL Draft 2022 with all seven rounds live on DAZN for three days from Friday (02:00). Get a subscription now!

But it also means he gets the player Baalke wants. He himself limited the candidates to four a week before the start of the draft, although of course he did not mention any names.

The biggest holes in the squad are the tackle position (protection for Trevor Lawrence!) And the other edge-rusher position against Josh Allen, the election in the first round in 2019. Fortunately, the draft offers more blue-chip material in these positions. The only question is: does Baalke play it safe – or, as before, does he reach for the player with the greatest potential so often (see Aldon Smith 2012 or Arik Armstead 2015)?

SPOX take a closer look at the best leads in both of these positions and check: what speaks for them – and what does not?

Mock Draft 3.0: Who’s going to catch the top quarterback?

Aidan Hutchinson, Edge Rusher, Michigan

  • 21 years, 1.98 m, 120 kg
  • 4 years with Wolverines, 2021 Heisman finalist

What speaks for Hutchinson: not much can go wrong

For many experts, the blonde boy is the surest number in this draft: you know what you’ll get with him! 14 sacks, 15.5 tackles for losses and 64 pressures in the most recent collegiate season – Hutchinson appears to be ready for the NFL. It is not for nothing that he entered the top 3 as a defender in the Heisman election, which does not happen so often. To paraphrase our expert Adrian Franke: “What he has with him is an extremely high floor.”

Hutchinson can score in the pass rush with speed and power, plus a tireless engine. Fast and efficient with his hands, his football IQ is undeniable. In addition, he has recently developed inside movements to counter linemen who have adapted to his corner kick. He also scores against the run with a lot of physique, can hold the edge and distributes hard blows. And with his fiery temperament reminiscent of the Watt brothers, he would be an instant leader in Jacksonville’s defense. You really do not have to worry about him stumbling in the NFL jump.

What speaks against Hutchinson: weaknesses in coverage

You need a magnifying glass to say something against Hutchinson. His arms are relatively short, in terms of speed and flexibility, he does not belong to the absolute elite in the pasrus as a Von Miller. In November 2020, a broken ankle put him out of the game for the rest of the season – maybe that’s worrying?

Hutchinson definitely has weaknesses when it comes to falling in cover and defending against the pass in space. There he – still – lacks the ultimate security. Is that a concern given where the NFL is headed?

If Baalke decides against Hutchinson, it’s probably primarily because of the hope of finding even more upside from other candidates. In other words, the Michigan edge rusher is a sure fiver, but what if you can hit a six with another customer? The question is: is it worth the risk?

Evan Neal, offensive tackle, Alabama

  • 21 years, 2.01 m, 153 kg
  • 3 years at Crimson Tide, 2020 National Champion

Benefits of Neal: A versatile monster

Over two meters tall, a real pound – but at the same time huge agile, almost lively: Neal is a “freak athlete” in the true sense of the word. Technically good, because of his speed with good recovery skills, and you still have to pass his mass. Anyone who chooses him can already plan with him starting in week 1.

Another real plus: Neal has been allowed to play left guard, left tackle and right tackle in Alabama in recent years – and only allowed a total of 24 pressures on tackle positions in the past two seasons. Flexibility in O-Line is a pound that coaches can leverage and is worth gold in the event of failure.

What speaks against Neal: At times a little shaky

Where Neal can still improve: When it comes to balance, it’s not always right, especially against pull or swim movements you can get him off balance. He can still improve when he blocks in space, and especially against the small, lightning-fast edge rushers he can have problems with his enormous size. That was it already.

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