Bears

Jaguars land No. 1 draft pick for second straight year

Bears

The Jacksonville Jaguars are on the clock again.

The franchise locked up the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft with the Detroit Lions’ upset victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Heading into the day, a Jaguars loss to the Colts or a Lions win over the Packers was needed to secure Jacksonville the top selection.

Jacksonville shocked the Colts 26-11 on Sunday in a game that could have clinched Indy a playoff berth. Instead, Trevor Lawrence tossed two touchdown passes while Carson Wentz turned the ball over twice.

With the win, the Jaguars needed a Lions loss to clinch the top pick. Detroit was up 24-13 early in the third quarter before Green Bay went on a 17-3 run. D’Andre Swift then came through with a go-ahead touchdown for the Lions with 1:54 left in the game as they wound up winning 37-30.

Sunday marks a joyous ending to a tumultuous season for the Jaguars. The team went just 3-14 on the year, with their first win coming against the Miami Dolphins in a Week 6 London contest and the second coming at home against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9. 

 

Outside of that, their season was an utter disaster.

Urban Meyer put together one of the worst coaching stints in NFL history. Off the field, Meyer was at the center of several disreputable stories: a video scandal at an Ohio bar after he did not take the team plane back to Jacksonville, reported beratement of his assistant coaches and former Jags kicker Josh Lambo telling the Tampa Bay Times that Meyer kicked him prior to a game. 

The on-field problems were abundant for Meyer and the Jaguars, as well, in his first year as head coach. The team went just 2-11 under Meyer before he was fired on Dec. 16. Meyer lost his final game 20-0 to the Tennessee Titans in Week 14, a game that officially ended the team’s playoff chances.

Jacksonville went 1-3 to end the year after firing Meyer. Lawrence, who the team took with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, finished the season with just 12 touchdown passes – only four over his final 10 games – and 17 interceptions. Overall, the Jags entered Week 18 ranked 27th in total offense, 22nd in total defense and dead last in turnover differential.

With Lawrence set up to be the face of the franchise, the Jaguars will look to add a talented non-quarterback at the start of the 2022 draft. Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and Oregon’s Kayvon Thibodeaux are the top contenders to be selected with the No. 1 pick and could help a Jacksonville pass rush that finished bottom five in sacks this season.

The No. 2 and No. 3 draft slots were also secured on Sunday. The Lions will pick second after finishing the year 3-13-1, while the Houston Texans will have the third pick after going 4-13.