Jaguars select Stanford OT Walker Little with 45th overall pick in second round
Addressing a need to improve their depth on their offensive line, the Jaguars selected Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little with the 45th overall pick in the second round of Friday night's NFL Draft.
Little, 6-foot-7, 313 pounds, opted out from playing last season for the Cardinal because of COVID-19 precautions. In 2019, he missed all but the first game of the 2019 season because of a left knee injury.
The Jaguars targeted Little during the pre-draft process by having multiple meetings with him.
''I talked to them a good bit, probably as much or more than any other team,'' Little said in a virtual call after his selection. ''I had a few meetings with their offensive line coach (George Warhop). I met with coach (Urban) Meyer last week and I had some meetings with the personal department as well. I had them on my radar as a potential team but as far as the draft you really don't know.''
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It is the fifth consecutive year, the Jaguars have selected an offensive line among the first four rounds. They have selected an offensive lineman in the second round for the third time during the span.
Last year, the Jaguars selected guard/tackle Ben Bartch in the fourth round; tackle Jawaan Taylor went in the second round in 2019, tackle Will Richardson was a fourth-round pick in 2018 and Robinson went second round in 2017.
The Jaguars tendered Robinson with a $13.7 million franchise tag that he signed. Robinson could still become a free agent next season.
Robinson has had difficulty developing his foot and hand techniques, along with missing significant time due to injuries. In 2018, Robinson missed all but two games after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Will Richardson Jr., a backup left tackle remains a developing player. Little is not expected to step in to start right away but he could make a contribution this season as a backup swing tackle.
Little was a five-star recruit from Episcopal High School in Houston before becoming an honorable mention All-Pac 10 selection at Stanford and freshman co-offensive player of the year. He started all 12 games as a sophomore in 2018 and was a first-team All-Pac 10 selection.
Little has good lateral agility and balanced feet on drive blocks. One of his weaknesses is getting leverage.
''We were kind of hoping he would go play in the Senior Bowl, but we did a lot of intel,'' Meyer said. ''You watch his athleticism and bend for a big man. His position (in draft) was very thin this year. He's a backup left tackle and we'll try to develop him at some point to become a starter.''
Although the Jaguars didn't address adding a veteran offensive tackle in free agency outside of keeping Robinson, it's paramount for the Jaguars to provide adequate protection for franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick Thursday night.
Last season, the Jaguars allowed the eighth-most sacks (44) in the league and were 29th in rushing (94.9).
''They’ve talked to me about playing either side,'' Little said. ''I think I’m just an O-Line prospect for them to see that I can play either side and come in and compete. That’s what we’ve talked about and that’s what I’m here to do.”