Who’s the best Jags first-round pick of the last decade?

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Tyler Nettuno
·2 min read
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Despite Jacksonville’s struggles since 2010 (the team has only had one winning season in that span), it has actually drafted fairly well. Under former general manager Dave Caldwell, the team landed some great value picks in the middle rounds like receiver Allen Robinson and center Brandon Linder. However, when it came to first-round picks, the team was not very consistent.

Obviously, the pre-Caldwell picks of Blaine Gabbert and Justin Blackmon were regrettable, but Caldwell also used first-rounders on Luke Joeckel, Blake Bortles and Taven Bryan. None of those players panned out (though Bryan still has time to turn things around).

And unfortunately for the Jaguars, their best first-round pick since 2010, according to Bleacher Report, is no longer on the roster. Cornerback Jalen Ramsey was a home run draft pick by the Jags, and his first three seasons with the team were quite exciting. But his relationship with the front office soured in 2019, and it culminated in him being traded to the Los Angeles Rams for two first-round picks.

It’s tempting to give edge-rusher Josh Allen the nod here. The seventh pick in last year’s draft had a fine rookie season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, tallying 10.5 sacks.

That rookie year was a big part of why the Jaguars traded Calais Campbell—his replacement is already on the team.

But even though cornerback Jalen Ramsey is no longer with the Jags after they traded him during the 2019 season, the 25-year-old has to be the guy here.

After being drafted fifth overall in 2016, Ramsey rapidly developed a reputation as one of the NFL’s best cornerbacks. He’s the epitome of a player whose stats don’t tell the whole story, because his numbers are depressed by the fact that opposing quarterbacks often just avoid throwing toward him.

On some level the Jaguars are no doubt bummed that both corners from the team’s “Pick-Fil-A” secondary have been traded, but in Ramsey’s case, at least the pair of first-rounders Jacksonville received from the Los Angeles Rams softened the blow.

Jacksonville certainly got good value in return for Ramsey, but whether the trade was worth it depends on how K’Lavon Chaisson (who they used one of the Rams’ picks on last season) and whoever the team selects at No. 25 this year pan out.

Regardless, it’s not a great sign when your best first-round pick from the last decade moved on to a different team so early in his career. Jags fans will hope this new regime can hold onto talented players better than the last one.