Breaking down the Jacksonville Jaguars' 2019 draft class.
Round 1, No. 7 overall: Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
My take: This was a dream scenario for the Jaguars. They went through several practice runs with various scenarios, and in very few was Allen available. When he was Thursday night, executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin said Allen was "too good a player to possibly pass up." Allen was the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 17 sacks, and he gives the Jaguars another threat off the edge opposite Yannick Ngakoue. Pass rush was a sneaky need because the Jaguars have only Ngakoue and Calais Campbell, who turns 33 in September and at some point will slip from the high level at which he has played since joining the team two years ago.
Scheme fit: Allen played linebacker in Kentucky's 3-4 scheme, but general manager Dave Caldwell said he'll have no trouble fitting into the Jaguars' 4-3 look. Allen can play outside linebacker on some downs and spell Ngakoue at defensive end on early downs. Where he'll make the most impact is in rush packages, where the Jaguars will put Allen and Ngakoue outside and Campbell and Marcell Dareus inside. "They get after the quarterback. That's all I need to hear," Allen said. "I don't care about the defense. They can run a 5-12. I don't care. They said they get after the quarterback. That's what I do best, and I love getting after the quarterback."
Offensive roots: Allen was strictly a wide receiver until his senior season at Montclair (New Jersey) High School. All he did in his first year as a defensive end was lead the state of New Jersey with 22.5 sacks (he also caught five TD passes on offense), which got him one scholarship offer from Monmouth. Kentucky came in really late in the process and he jumped at the chance to play in the SEC.
Round 2, No. 35 overall: Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida
My take: The Jaguars gave up their fourth-round pick to the Raiders to move up three spots to No. 35 to take a player that many draft analysts had going to the Jaguars in their mock drafts with the seventh overall pick. In addition, the Jaguars got a fifth- and seventh-round pick. GM Dave Caldwell said the team actually tried to trade back into the bottom of the first round on Thursday night to get Taylor but were unable to work out a deal. There have been reports of medical issues -- specifically with his knee and back -- but Caldwell said the team's medical report didn't show anything. Caldwell said Taylor will compete at right tackle with Will Richardson, Josh Wells and Cedric Ogbuehi, but he should quickly emerge as the starter the same way Cam Robinson did at left tackle in 2017.
Round 3, No. 69 overall: Josh Oliver, TE, San Jose State
My take: The Jaguars needed to address tight end because the position has pretty much been a non-factor the past two seasons. Jaguars tight ends totaled 102 catches the past two seasons, fewer than all by one one team (Miami), and they signed free agent Geoff Swaim in March and now add Oliver. He's primarily a pass catcher (98 catches, 1,067 yards, seven TDs in three seasons at San Jose State), who can line up in the slot as well as out wide. He's got good speed (4.63 40 at the combine, third-fastest among all TEs).
Round 3, No. 98 overall: Quincy Williams, LB, Murray State
My take: This is a puzzling pick because Williams -- the older brother of No. 3 overall pick DT Quinnen Williams -- isn't exactly high on a lot of rankings. GM Dave Caldwell said the Jaguars liked his speed and his aggressiveness and feared that he wouldn't be available in the fifth round (the Jaguars don't have a fourth-round pick), so they took him in the third. He defended it as a reach, though, because he had 111 tackles and two interceptions last season at Murray State. Caldwell said this pick doesn't have anything to do with the situation around LB Telvin Smith, who is not attending the offseason conditioning program and has not been in touch with the team, but Williams is an outside linebacker who can really run. If the Jaguars do decide to move on from Smith they have a replacement in place. Still, the Jaguars had a bigger need at safety.
Round 5, No. 140 overall: Ryquell Armstead, RB, Temple
My take: The Jaguars' continued a makeover of the running back room with the 5-foot-11, 215-pound Armstead, who ran for 2,812 yards and 34 touchdowns in four seasons at Temple. He has very good speed (4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash), and the Jaguars say he's good in pass protection, so he could spend some time in a third-down role.
Round 6, No. 178 overall: Gardner Minshew, QB, Washington State
My take: The Jaguars need an upgrade behind Nick Foles and Minshew will battle Cody Kessler for that role. His greatest attribute might be his ability to quickly assimilate offenses. He led Northwest Mississippi Community College to a national title as a freshman, spent two years at East Carolina before graduating early, then picked up Washington State coach Mike Leach's offense so quickly that he was named the starter within weeks of enrolling in January 2018 as a graduate transfer and became the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year.
Round 7, No. 235 overall: Dontavius Russell, DT, Auburn
My take: Russell is a huge (6-foot-3, 320 pounds) body that can be a depth player behind Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones. Russell started 49 of the 52 games in which he played at Auburn and recorded 154 tackles. That's pretty good durability at a position that is often double-teamed.