Jaguars GM Trent Baalke: ‘It’s a big man’s game’
There’s many different directions the Jacksonville Jaguars could go with the 24th pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but the safest bet is that the team will look for someone big.
“It’s a big man’s game, in our opinion,” Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke said Tuesday during an appearance of PFT Live. “That doesn’t mean we’re going to take every smaller guy off the board. But we’re trying to build a big, physical football team that can win those late season games. You look at the AFC right now, you’ve got to go into some tough climates late in the year to win football games.”
The three other division winners in the conference aside from the Jaguars were the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Cincinnati Bengals. Those same three teams were the champions of their respective divisions in 2021, as well.
But weather isn’t the only reason Baalke wants to stockpile large athletes on the Jaguars roster.
“We’re looking for length,” Baalke said. “I think length over time has proven to be successful in this league. We’re looking at the ability to hold up late season and go through a 17-game stretch in the season and into the playoffs. It’s a lot easier for big bodies to withstand that.”
The Jaguars were the least injured team in the NFL during the 2022 season, losing only a handful of players to season-ending injuries.
Baalke’s draft history reflects his philosophy about length and size. During his time as general manager of the Jaguars and San Francisco 49ers, he has never drafted an edge rusher with arms that measure less than 33 inches.
Arm length of EDGEs Trent Baalke has picked as a GM
Aldon Smith: 35 3/8 (!!!)
Cam Johnson: 33 1/2
Tank Carradine: 34 3/4
Corey Lemonier: 34 1/2
Aaron Lynch: 34
Ronald Blair: 34
Eli Harold: 33
Jordan Smith: 33 5/8
Travon Walker: 35 1/2 (!)
Nobody below 33".
— John Shipley (@_John_Shipley) March 2, 2023
If that trend continued in the 2023 NFL Draft, it’d rule out several players, including Clemson’s Bryan Bresee and Georgia’s Nolan Smith.
Even the four Jaguars defensive backs drafted by Baalke (Tyson Campbell, Andre Cisco, Gregory Junior, Montaric Brown) are all at least 6’0 tall.
Whatever position the Jaguars choose to target in April, the team will probably pick a player who’s a little taller, longer, and larger than his peers.
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