The dust is now settling from the 2019 NFL Draft, and again opinions this time of year should be “taken with a grain of salt.” No one has seen these players in live-fire of the preseason, much less the regular season, to know what kind of impact they will actually make? However that didn’t stop a prominent NFL analyst from backing the Jaguars playoff hopes coming off this year’s selections.
On the Tuesday night NFL Network “Total Access” show, former Giants pro bowler and Super Bowl champion offensive lineman Sean O’Hara touted the Jaguars draft and specifically, their first two picks:
Which non-playoff team last season had a draft class that will boost them to the playoffs in 2019? (via @NFLTotalAccess)@joethomas73 ➡️@packers @RealMikeRob ➡️@Redskins @ShaunOHara60 ➡️@Jaguars pic.twitter.com/k4SOUrIVkb
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) May 8, 2019
In grabbing Kentucky’s outstanding pass rusher Josh Allen with their first-round selection, Jacksonville drew the praise of many including O’Hara,
“When you look at the fact that that man was there at 7, they did not think Josh Allen was going to be there and yet he fell into their lap. He’s a stud. I think he’s going to be a great addition to that defensive line, who two years ago took over the league.”
Allen led the SEC in sacks a year ago and as O’Hara mentioned, pairing him with the likes of Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue should make Jacksonville more fearsome upfront in 2019.
Next, O’Hara liked what the Jags did by trading up in round two:
“And then they also got Jawaan Taylor, who a lot of people had going sixth overall or seventh overall to them in the first round.”
Taylor may end up being one of the better value picks of the first two nights of the draft, and the Jaguars definitely had a need to trade up to draft Florida offensive tackle. Many believed all along that Taylor was a top 15, if not top ten selection, however, he dropped all the way out of the first round.
Jacksonville obviously, has a void at right tackle, and that’s the position Taylor has locked down for the last three seasons in Gainesville.
Taylor started 12 games a year ago on a Gator squad that ended up 10 – 3 after their Peach Bowl victory over Michigan.
The 6’5, 335 pound Taylor obviously stood out coming out of Cocoa High School, where he was 4A First-team All-state offensive lineman. And, previous Gators coach Jim McElwain and staff we’re so impressed with Taylor in 2016 that he started, as a true freshman, for 12 games gaining valuable experience.
He further showed versatility in his sophomore season starting 9 times at right tackle, but playing the final two games that season at left tackle.
That versatility and value are both on Taylor’s side, when the Jags (and everyone else) crank up training camps starting in July.
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