NFL Draft 1st Round Preview
Updated: Apr 27, 2022
A preview of the 1st Round of the NFL Draft for all 3 teams in the state. Will Miami keep adding offensive pieces? Who helps the Bucs win now? And what exactly ARE the Jags doing?
The NFL Draft is here and football fans unite! Between the beginning of the MLB season, the first round of the NBA playoffs, and the NHL reaching the end of their season, the NFL just loves to remind everyone they are the top dog. Last season, the first round of the draft pulled 12.6 million viewers according to Nielsen. For reference, Game 6 of the 2021 NBA Finals, the clinching game, averaged 12.5 million viewers with the 2021 NBA Draft averaging 2.26 million viewers. A show of future NFL players chest bumping Roger Goodell in suits for 3 hours got a higher rating than the best the NBA had to offer game wise last season. It just goes to show, the NFL reigns supreme in this space and dominates in this state as well. With 3 NFL teams, the state of Florida gets a lot of airtime during this event especially when one of those teams has the #1 overall pick like the Jaguars this year.
photo via: SportsTalkFlorida
Wait, the Jaguars have the first pick again!?
After drafting Trevor Lawrence with the #1 overall pick last season, yes the Jaguars stayed bad enough to secure the first pick in the draft for the second year in a row. The last team to do that, the 2017-2018 Browns, didn't exactly turn everything around but they still have both of those picks on the team, Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield respectively, and are competing year in and year out for the playoffs. Something Jaguars fans long for and if the they can hit here, and Lawrence develop in year 2, they might just get there. It also helps that they fired that loser of a head coach they hired last season. Who picks on the kicker?!
Projected Pick: Travon Walker, DL Georgia
MySports Florida Pick: Aidan Hutchinson, DL Michigan
Either way, it looks like the Jaguars are going D-Line here with the #1 overall pick. Reports are saying the Jaguars are high on Travon Walker after personal workouts and the combine where he was a standout and shot up draft boards. The biggest concern, he didn't put up impressive numbers with Georgia last season. But do numbers always translate from college to the pros? Definitely not. This Jags front office seems sold on Walker hitting his high upside, but I am not as sold.
I like to see some kind of production as well as visible talent and Hutchinson checks both of these boxes. After winning the Lombardi Award for the nations best lineman, Hutchinson has the resume of a #1 overall pick and plays a complimentary style to current Jags pass rusher and former 1st rounder Josh Allen. Hutchinson is my pick here.
What about the Dolphins? They made quite the *splash* this offseason......
Bad pun aside, the Dolphins have made a lot of major moves this offseason both coaching and players. New Head Coach Mike McDaniels has already thrown his support behind current starting QB Tua Tagovailoa and GM Chris Grier brought in plenty of offensive talent in WR Tyreek Hill, RBs Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert, and T Terron Armstead. And all of that is why with the first round in this draft the Dolphins will target......oh wait. They don't have a 1st rounder? They aren't on the clock until the 3rd round? Why did I even write anything about them then? It's almost like they are my favorite team and I just wanted to brag about how good that offense is going to be.....
Alright, whatever homer. Let's get to the Bucs, the only team that has a shot at winning anything in this state anyway.....Champa......Bay.......
Ugghhhh, I hate that chant so much. But you are right, with Tom Brady staying retired for less than a month, the Bucs are amongst league favorites again to make the Super Bowl. But that kind of expectation, and keeping building block players like WR Chris Godwin, the Bucs hitting on their 27th overall pick is maybe even more important than the Jaguars getting their pick right because of how short of a window they still have to win another Super Bowl. GM Jason Licht has had a pretty solid track record over the last few seasons when it comes to first rounders. 3 of the last 4 first rounders have made the Pro Bowl, but the pressure is on with Tom Brady already showing his hand and a roster of aging stars. But where can the Bucs find an instant starter this late in the round?
Projected Pick: George Karlaftis, DL Purdue
MySports Florida Pick: Kenyon Green, OG Texas A&M
Sure, the Bucs could certainly use some help on the D-Line. Ndamukong Suh has not been resigned, even though he has asked for it, and outside of Pro Bowler Vita Vea it is an aging front that could use some juice. If you are a Bucs fan, Karlaftis is not a bad pick here.
But if you want to maintain an offense going forward that has been a league leader, build up an already good O-Line to be great. Brady won't last forever, but picking a guy like Green will keep him upright longer and keep building on a running game lead by Leonard Fournette. The Bucs QB of the future might be on the team, in an upcoming draft, or a free agent/trade but a great way to develop a QB is to have the best O-Line possible, that's why I make this the pick. Solidifies today, and keeps the future buildable. The real question is will Green make it to the 27th pick.
There you have it, my projections for this years first round. But what do you think about the upcoming draft? Will all those moves be worth it for Miami to miss the first 2 rounds of the draft this year? Will this be the offseason and picks that move the Jags into being contenders? And do the Bucs have another run left in them? Let me know in the comments below. Make sure to be one of the 12.5 million and watch the draft on April 28th starting at 8pm and if you don't already, please subscribe for updates when we publish new blogs and check us out on social media @MySportsFlorida on Twitter and Instagram!