For the second straight year, the Jacksonville Jaguars have secured the first overall pick in the NFL draft.
The Jaguars improved to 3-14 with Sunday's stunning upset of the Colts, while the team with the second-worst record in the league, the Lions (3-13-1), closed out the regular season by locking up the No. 2 overall pick with an upset of its own, knocking off the Packers 37-30. This would be the sixth time in the common draft era (since 1967) that a team has selected No. 1 overall in consecutive drafts. The Browns are the last team to do so (2017-2018, when they picked Myles Garrett and Baker Mayfield).
Much like last season, there was a late-year switch at the top of the draft board. Detroit had been positioned at No. 1 until Dec. 19, but its improvement in the second half of the season, coupled with a Jaguars losing streak that stood at eight games prior to Sunday, put Jacksonville in the driver's seat. A year ago, the Jets slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 in the order by winning two of their final three games.
There was little doubt about whom the Jaguars would choose once they clinched the first pick in the 2021 draft. The QB-needy team found its match in Trevor Lawrence, who struggled mightily in a chaotic and disappointing season for the franchise, which is currently in the process of interviewing candidates to replace former head coach Urban Meyer. With four months of prospect evaluations still ahead, the pick at No. 1 is less certain this time around, although Michigan edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson has emerged as a candidate with a sensational senior season for the Wolverines. Oregon edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux is among the top underclassmen who have declared their intent to enter the 2022 draft ahead of the Jan. 17 deadline.
The 2022 NFL Draft is scheduled to held April 28-30 in Las Vegas.