The Jaguars 2019 Draft has come and gone. The team added seven draft picks and acquired another pick in the 2020 draft via trade.
But you already knew all that. You're here for the grades, so let's get to it!
#7 Overall Pick: Josh Allen
The Jaguars added a dynamic edge rusher/outside linebacker with their first pick. While this wasn't necessarily a need, you can never have enough pass rushers. Allen has all the physical tools and work ethic to make an impact sooner rather than later. His addition should help the Jaguars defense return to their Sacksonville ways and could help this team get back into the playoff race in 2019. Allen provided fantastic value at a premium position. The only way the team could have gotten higher marks from me here is if they were able to acquire a premium talent and trade back to add more picks.
#35 Overall Pick: Jawaan Taylor
Taylor was a first round talent, so the value was there. So was the need. The Jaguars offensive line needed talent and depth, and with this pick, the team added both. Taylor will compete to start at right tackle in year one and has the versatility to kick inside if need be. He projects to be a solid starter with Pro Bowl upside. The Jaguars traded up to secure Taylor, but the trade was even. They gave up a fourth-round pick but added a fifth and a seventh rounder.
#69 Overall Pick: Josh Oliver
The Jaguars have desperately needed a real receiving threat at tight end since . . . well . . . let's just say it's been a long time. With Josh Oliver, they got an athletic, seam-stretching tight end with tremendous size. He should immediately become a safety valve for QB Nick Foles. Oliver needs to grow as a blocker, but the effort is there, which makes me think he'll improve in that area. This pick was a perfect combo of need and value.
#98 Overall Pick: Quincy Williams
This was the first surprise pick by Tom Coughlin and company. As a small school outside linebacker from Murray State, Williams wasn't on a lot of people's radar. But Williams has HUGE athletic upside and has bad intentions when he arrives at the ball. With the uncertainty of Telvin Smith's future with the team, the pick made a lot of sense. Still, in terms of value, the Jaguars could have done better here.
#140 Overall Pick: RyQuell Armstead
It's easy to see why the Jaguars selected Armstead at the top of the fifth round. A 220-pound wrecking ball with 4.4 speed? Sign me up. He's the perfect Leonard Fournette insurance policy. If Fournette struggles to stay healthy, the Jaguars shouldn't skip a beat with their power run game. Armstead is also well versed at running from the shotgun, which should help in John DeFillipo's offense.
#178 Overall Pick: Gardner Minshew
Minshew doesn't have the size or arm strength that teams are usually looking for in the draft. Still, he's as accurate as they come in the short to intermediate areas of the field and adds some playmaking ability with his feet. Minshew struggles to complete passes deep down the field due to his lack of an elite arm, but in what is expected to be a west-coast style offense, Minshew could find a role as a backup. He'll be able to execute most of Flip's offensive playbook with ease, and he's a film room junkie.
#235 Overall Pick: Dontavius Russell
It doesn't get much better than an athletic nose tackle with size and SEC experience in the seventh round. That's what the Jaguars are getting in Russell, who started 49 games at Auburn. At 6-foot-3 and 320 pounds, he's got surprising athleticism and above average strength, evidenced by his 24 bench press reps at the combine. Russell was a great value in round seven and provides some depth on the defensive line.
The Jaguars traded the 236th overall pick to the Seahawks for a 2020 sixth-round pick, which was a big win for the future stability of the team.
This draft was Dave Caldwell at his peak. He knew exactly what he wanted to get out of this class and was able to execute his plan to a tee. The team added premium talent at premium positions early on and added depth players with athletic upside later. The one "reach" was the Quincy Williams pick, and while the team could have found better value there, if Williams becomes a starter at any point in his career, then it was a solid selection.
OVERALL GRADE: A-
How do you think the Jaguars did with their 2019 draft class? Let us know in the comments below!
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