The Jacksonville Jaguars own the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. They’ve owned that pick unofficially since the New York Jets defeated the Cleveland Browns in Week 16, giving the Jets their second win and the Jags the first pick.
The Jaguars have officially owned the pick since the draft order was set by the NFL in mid-March.
And as the roulette wheel has continued to spin for teams ahead of next week’s draft, the Jaguars have remained firmly at the top. The Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Miami Dolphins put together a blockbuster trade that had the three teams swapping everything but the family cat. If you need a recap—or a flow chart—the 49ers first sent their No. 12 overall pick, a 2022 first-rounder, a 2022 third-rounder and a 2023 first-rounder to Miami in trade for the Dolphins pick at No. 3 overall. Miami then sent that 12th pick, a fourth-round pick and a 2022 first-rounder to the Eagles in exchange for a fifth-round pick at the No. 6 overall pick in the first round.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars have been fielding calls according to General Manager Trent Baalke…and are not doing any budging.
“We fielded a couple of calls,” Baalke admitted to local media on Wednesday, during a pre-draft press conference with him and head coach Urban Meyer, before reinforcing the Jags decision to keep the pick.
“But you know I think, I think we're gonna hold tight. You know that, again, that decision’s made organizationally and our ownership is definitely involved with that as well.”
Owner Shad Khan has been positively giddy the past few months about the potential of the No. 1 pick becoming a franchise quarterback.
Back in early January, after firing former general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone, Khan told reporters, “What’s evaded the history of the Jags, really, has been a franchise quarterback. And I think what’s unique, certainly, is that we have the ability now to make a choice and it’s going to define the franchise moving forward.”
That definition will be inked by Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The presumed No. 1 pick since almost high school, Lawrence has been linked to the Jaguars from the moment the franchise took possession of the No. 1 pick. Oftentimes, coaches and front office staff hedge their bets in naming draft prospects, not wanting to commit themselves to someone that won’t pan out come draft night.
When it comes to Lawrence and the Jaguars though, the club is no longer shy about uttering the quarterback’s name. On Wednesday when discussing the draft, Baalke was asked what his research had returned on Lawrence. His response was short yet all-encompassing.
“Well, the easiest way to answer that is no negatives. In all the research we've done, you know, you're always looking for the stars to align when you're looking at prospects, whether that be from a physical, mental, character—whatever the case may be and with this situation, like many others in this draft, the stars all aligned and that’s what you’re looking for.”
Trevor Lawrence is what the Jacksonville Jaguars have been looking for, and no matter what is offered on the other end of any phone call in the next week, the club isn’t letting him go.