The Jacksonville Jaguars made the rumors official Thursday night and selected Georgia Bulldogs defensive end Travon Walker with the No. 1 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Walker is a 6-foot-5, 272-pound defensive end who played three seasons at Georgia and entered the team’s starting lineup for the 2021 season. He finished the year with six sacks and 7.5 tackled for loss. The Bulldogs’ defense allowed just 10.2 points per game, the fewest in the nation, and led the team to a 33-18 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship.
Michigan passing thrower Aidan Hutchinson finished the 2021 season with 14.0 sacks and was long expected to be Jacksonville’s pick until reports last week indicated the Jaguars were leaning towards Walker. At the 2022 NFL Combine, Walker ran a 4.51 40-yard dash with a 35.5-inch vertical jump. Hutchinson ran his 40-yard sprint in 4.74 seconds and recorded a vertical of 36 inches.
The Jaguars also picked first place overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and selected quarterback Trevor Lawrence. During his rookie season, Lawrence threw for a league-high 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions. The team went 3-14, finished last in runs scored, and allowed the fifth-most runs in the NFL. Former top-10 draft pick Josh Allen led the team in sacks with 7.5.
According to Pro Football Talk, the Jaguars made an effort to trade the first overall selection before choosing Walker, but struggled to find takers.
Jacksonville is expected to pick next with the first-round second-round selection, No. 33 overall.