2022 NFL Draft Rumors: Are the Jacksonville Jaguars targeting Georgia’s Travon Walker with the first pick?

The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft -- are rumors suggesting they'll target Georgia's Travon Walker at No. 1?

The Jacksonville Jaguars hold the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft and are apparently interested in a player not commonly spotted on recent 2022 NFL mock drafts. Georgia EDGE Travon Walker could sneak up on the consensus and become the first player selected in April’s draft. Here’s the latest on this 2022 NFL Draft rumor that could send ripple effects throughout the first round.

Surprise at the top of the 2022 NFL Draft

Rewind to one year ago just before the 2021 NFL Draft — there was a discussion about taking Mac Jones out of the third spot in NFL mock drafts and instead, replacing him with Trey Lance. It’s now 2022, and with little more than a month to go before this year’s NFL Draft, there are rumblings of another big surprise at the top.

Is it time to readjust 2022 NFL mock drafts?

For months now, people have speculated on who the Jaguars will select at the top of the draft. The initial names thrown out included the top offensive tackles — Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu — based on the need to protect QB Trevor Lawrence.

This, despite the fact that neither graded as the top player on the board. But the mood started to shift once the Jaguars placed the franchise tag on starting left tackle Cam Robinson. It was then everyone placed Michigan EDGE Aidan Hutchinson in the top spot.

Yet, within league circles, a new name has come forth as a real possibility to be the top pick of the 2022 NFL Draft: Travon Walker of Georgia.

Sources have confirmed that the Jaguars have targeted Walker as a player they could take with the first pick. Sources have also confirmed that Walker will be sitting down with the front office and top brass of the organization in the coming weeks. The team will do its due diligence on Georgia’s defensive lineman.

Travon Walker’s scouting report

Walker comes off a sensational 2021 season and shook the world with a dominant Combine performance in Indianapolis earlier in March. His rise up draft boards has been meteoric but justified. It is reminiscent of the way Solomon Thomas and Dante Fowler shot up boards, though Walker is a much better, much more complete prospect.

The junior is a three-down defender with potential in a variety of schemes. He’s a prospective 4-3 defensive end but has the growth potential to eventually occupy the same spot in a 3-4. What is great about Walker’s game is the way he regularly did the little things on Saturdays — setting the edge, dropping into coverage, chasing in pursuit, and making plays in space. Those are skills most defensive end prospects don’t possess entering the league.

His upside is enormous, and his ceiling is higher than Hutchinson’s. And at this point, he’s a safer bet than Kayvon Thibodeaux.

So, will Walker be the first pick of the 2022 NFL Draft? It’s still too early to tell, but the Jaguars like him and have made him part of that conversation for the top overall selection.

Tony Pauline is the Chief Draft Analyst for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Tony’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter: @TonyPauline