JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars will be making the first pick in the NFL draft for the second consecutive year.
The Jaguars upset 14-point favorite Indianapolis 26-11 at TIAA Bank Field to pick up their third victory of the season, but the Lions’ upset of Green Bay on Sunday ensured that Jacksonville would have the top overall pick in the 2022 draft.
The Jaguars are now the fifth franchise to have back-to-back No. 1 picks and the first since Cleveland in 2017-18.
The Jaguars had lost eight straight games dating to the biggest upset in franchise history: a 9-6 victory over visiting Buffalo on Nov. 7. The Jaguars have won just three of their past 32 games.
The Jaguars (3-14) went 1-15 in 2020 — losing their last 15 games — to earn the top pick in the 2021 draft, which they used on quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
Lawrence had a rough rookie season, though he did play one of his best games of the season against the Colts (23-of-32, 223 yards, two TDs). He also led the Jaguars to a pair of field goals in the final four minutes to beat Miami 23-20 in Week 6 to snap a 20-game losing streak that was the second longest in NFL history.
This will be the 14th time in the past 15 years the Jaguars will have a top-10 selection. It also marks the eighth time in the past 11 years they will have a top-five pick.
Of the 10 players the Jaguars drafted in the top 10 from 2008 to ’17, only defensive lineman Tyson Alualu and quarterback Blake Bortles earned second contracts with the Jaguars. Offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, quarterback Blaine Gabbert, defensive end Dante Fowler and cornerback Jalen Ramsey were traded, defensive end Derrick Harvey and running back Leonard Fournette were cut, receiver Justin Blackmon was suspended indefinitely before the end of their rookie contracts. Luke Joeckel finished his rookie contract but was not re-signed.
The Jaguars aren’t likely to re-sign defensive tackle Taven Bryan, the only non-top-10 first-round pick the team has had since drafting safety Reggie Nelson 21st overall in 2007, when his rookie contract expires in March.
In addition to the Jaguars and Bengals, the Chicago Cardinals had back-to-back No. 1 picks in 1939 and ’40. Tampa Bay (1976 and 1977, and 1986 and 1987) and Cleveland (1999 and 2000, and 2017 and 2018) each did it twice.