Jaguars rookies ranked as 6th best class of 2022 by ESPN

The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t get a Defensive Rookie of the Year season out of No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker, but the collective performance of the team’s rookies was among the best in the league this season, according to ESPN.

In a ranking of all 32 NFL teams’ rookie classes, the Jaguars came in at sixth.

Walker was part of the reason, as were linebackers Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma, but it was Luke Fortner who was highlighted by ESPN as the most notable of the group.

No. 1 overall pick Travon Walker had all the attention, but he was not the Jaguars’ most valuable rookie. Instead, third-round pick Luke Fortner went directly into the starting lineup at center, played all 17 games and finished second among offensive linemen in SIS total points. He had a low 1.8% blown block rate and just one sack allowed.

Fortner, 24, was the 65th overall pick in April and beat out Tyler Shatley in training camp for the starting center role. He never missed a snap during the regular season and earned rave reviews from his coaches and teammates.

“The way he communicates and carries himself … if you told me he is a rookie, I would have told you you were crazy, because he’s one of the smartest rookies I’ve ever played with,” Jaguars veteran guard Brandon Scherff said earlier this month.

Walker finished the regular season with 3.5 sacks, five tackles for loss, one interception, and one forced fumble. Lloyd had three interceptions and Muma had 1.5 sacks and three tackles for loss.

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire