Off a very disappointing 5-11 showing this past season, the Jacksonville Jaguars looks like they have struck gold twice in the early stages of the draft.
Back in 2017, the Jacksonville Jaguars were one quarter away from the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance. But the team’s heralded defense couldn’t stop New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady in the AFC Championship Game that year in Foxborough and Doug Marrone’s team went home 24-20 losers.
This past season, the team got off to a 2-0 start and won three of their first four games before falling apart to the tune of a 5-11 finish. The Jaguars were the only team in the AFC South to finish with a losing record. The team spent this offseason cutting loose some notable veterans but did sign former Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback Nick Foles in free agency.
And speaking of good starts, the organization appears to be off to one in terms of the 2019 NFL Draft. The club owned the seventh overall pick on Thursday night and more than one mock had Marrone’s team opting for University of Florida tackle Jawaan Taylor. Of course, general manager David Gettleman and executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin likely did not expect to see University of Kentucky edge defender Josh Allen to still be available. The Jaguars quickly scooped up the prize.
But wait, there’s more. With the third overall pick in the second round (35), a selection that belonged to the Oakland Raiders, Jacksonville orchestrated a deal to get that pick from the Silver and Black. And Caldwell wound up opting for Taylor, who at 6’5″ and 312 pounds should provide Foles with some added comfort and the Jaguars’ running game with some sound blocking.
It’s obviously very early in the process. But when a team is able to snare a player that wasn’t supposed to be around when they picked (Allen) and one round later is able to fill a need with one of the top performers at his position (Taylor), it adds up to a pretty decent start for a team looking to work its way out of the AFC South basement…again.