Jaguars target Aidan Hutchinson in Todd McShay, Mel Kiper mini-mock

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With the offseason now underway for non-playoff teams like Jacksonville, it’s become time to turn our attention to the 2022 NFL draft, where the Jaguars have the first overall pick for the second year in a row. But with quarterback no longer a need, the decision is a lot less obvious than it was last year.

ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay joined the latest edition of the First Draft Podcast with Field Yates to discuss the upcoming draft, and in the episode, they worked together to make a mini-mock draft. They only discussed the first five picks, but that includes the Jaguars. They have the team selecting Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson.

1. Jaguars: DE Aidan Hutchinson

2. Lions: DE Kayvon Thibodeauk

3. Texans: LT Evan Neal

4. Jets: CB Derek Stingley, Jr.

5. Giants: LT Ikem Ekwonu

The debate between Hutchinson and Thibodeaux as the top edge rusher has intensified over the last couple of months, and that isn’t likely to change as we get closer to the draft. Entering the year, Thibodeaux (a former No. 1 recruit) was expected to be the pick at the top of the draft, but he was limited by injuries and Hutchinson came out of nowhere as a senior to have an dominant season with the Wolverines.

He finished with 14 sacks after entering the season with just 4.5 in his previous four years, and he was named a Heisman finalist for his efforts. Some now see him as the top edge rushing prospect in the draft.

The Jaguars are likely to take one of the two (though Alabama offensive tackle Evan Neal can’t be ruled out), and only time will tell which one they decide to pull the trigger on.