Jaguars add several needed pieces on offense in the 2019 NFL Draft


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Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars finished with a 5-11 record last season after going 10-6 and a spot in the AFC Championship the previous season. However the 2017 campaign was an exception, rather than the rule as the Jaguars have had losing seasons 10 of the last 11 seasons. They were poor offensively ranked 31st in scoring at 15.3 points per game, but were 4th in fewest points allowed at 19.8 per game. The Jaguars used four of their top six picks on offense. Let’s examine those selections.

Round 1 (7th) {{playerID-602|Josh Allen}} (OLB) Kentucky

Allen played sparingly as a reserve in 2015 before exploding onto the scene as a sophomore. He registered 62 tackles, a conference best four forced fumbles and seven sacks, leading the team. Starting all 13 games as a junior in 2017, Allen had 65 tackles, seven sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss of yardage. Allen won numerous awards and honors last season when he paced Kentucky with 88 tackles, 17 sacks, five forced fumbles and 21.5 tackles for loss of yardage.

Although the needs on offense were great, the Jaguars couldn’t pass up on Allen considering they didn’t expect him to be available at number seven. The Jaguars feature a 4-3 scheme on defense and Allen played a 3-4 in college. However, Allen is versatile and can switch from defensive end to linebacker depending on the situation. Allen has the potential to be a star in the NFL for many years.

Round 2 (35th) Jawaan Taylor (OT) Florida

Taylor was a starter in all but one game he played as a freshman, earning Freshman All-SEC honors. Showing versatility as a sophomore, Taylor saw action at both tackle positions. Despite not earning any honors last season at right tackle, Taylor still ranked as one of the top offensive linemen coming out of the draft.

The Jaguars traded with the Raiders in order to move up and snatch Taylor. Some injury issues that were reported about Taylor’s back and knee could have been a concern, but the Jaguars medical report on Taylor didn’t list such issues. Perhaps not a starting right out of the gate, Taylor should work his way into that role sooner instead of later.

Round 3 (69th) Josh Oliver (TE) San Jose State

Taylor started in 13 games over his first two seasons, however was seldom used as a receiver, catching just seven passes and two touchdowns during that stretch. He emerged as a bigger target in 2017, hauling in 35 passes with a touchdown. Coming into his own as a senior, Taylor caught a team-best 56 passes with four touchdowns, earning first-team all-conference recognition.

The tight end position was definitely a need for the Jaguars, who had less receptions from the position over the past two season than all but the Miami Dolphins. The addition of Geoff Swaim, signed as a free agent, and now Oliver, should upgrade the position. Oliver an also line up as a wide receiver, given his 4.6 time in the 40 at the combine.

Round 3 (98th) Quincy Williams (LB) Murray State

Williams recorded 31 tackles as a redshirt freshman and 32 tackles in three starts of out 10 games the following season. Starting full-time as a junior, Williams nearly doubled his output to 57 tackles. As a senior, Williams was first-team All-Ohio Valley Conference after registering 111 tackles and two interceptions.

The Jaguars picked Williams higher than many ranked him, liking his physical, aggressive style of play and very good speed. Jacksonville had more pressing needs in the secondary and on offense, but the teams feels Williams can be a good fit at outside linebacker. We’ll see if the pick pays off in the long run.

Round 5 (140th) Ryquell Armstead (RB) Temple

Armstead ran for two touchdowns on 51 carries as a freshman and was nearly a 1000-yard rusher in 2016, averaging 5.9 yards per carry. He carried the ball the same number of times in 2017, although his rushing output dropped by 300 yards. Injury issues plagued Armstead last season, but he still ran for 1098 yards and 13 touchdowns, earning first-team All-American Athletic Conference honors.

With good size at 5’ 11” and 215 pounds, Armstead can gain the tough yardage inside and also be a competent pass blocker. He also have very good speed, as his 4.45 40 time indicates. The role for Armstead is uncertain at this point, but a situational, third-down type of back is not out of the question.

Round 6 (178th) Gardner Minshew (QB) Washington State

Minshew played at Northwest Mississippi Community College as a freshman, passing for 3288 yards and 28 touchdowns. He played at East Carolina for two seasons, but played in just seven games combined as a reserve. Transferring to Washington State, Minshew lead the country in completions, attempts and yards. He also completed nearly 71 percent of his passes for 38 touchdowns.

Nick Foles was signed as a free agent to be the starter, but the Jaguars feel that Minshew can compete with Cody Kessler for the number two role.  The position, in general, is clearly upgraded entirely from a season ago.

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