David Caldwell is in his fifth year as the general manager of the Jaguars after being named to the post on January 8, 2013. A veteran of more than 20 years in the NFL, Caldwell spent five seasons (2008-12) with the Atlanta Falcons before joining the Jaguars. Previously with the Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts, Caldwell was with teams that went to the playoffs in 13 of his first 17 NFL seasons in Carolina, Indianapolis and Atlanta. On January 10, 2017, Jaguars Owner Shad Khan announced that Caldwell had been given a two-year contract extension that runs through 2019.
In 2017, Caldwell acquired a free agency class that was highlighted by the additions of Pro Bowl DE Calais Campbell from Arizona, CB A.J. Bouye from Houston and SS Barry Church from Dallas. On March 9, Caldwell also orchestrated a trade with Miami to obtain former Pro Bowl LT Branden Albert and bring him to Jacksonville.
In the 2016 NFL Draft, Caldwell selected seven players (six defensive), including first-round selection CB Jalen Ramsey from Florida State with the fifth-overall selection, LB Myles Jack from UCLA in the second-round (36th overall) and DE Yannick Ngakoue from Maryland in the third-round (69th overall). On January 17, 2017, the Pro Football Writers of America announced that both Ramset and Ngakoue were named to their 2016 All-Rookie Team for their performance this season. Ramsey became the first rookie in franchise history to register a pick-six and was also the first rookie to register an INT in back-to-back games. Ngakoue broke the team’s rookie sack record with 8.0 in 2016, a mark that had stood for 20 seasons dating back to 1996 (Tony Brackens – 7.0). Ngakoue also became the fifth rookie in league history to register 8.0-plus sacks, four-plus forced fumbles and at least one INT in a season.
Caldwell’s 2015 draft class, which was highlighted by third-overall pick DE Dante Fowler Jr., who missed the season with a knee injury, combined to appear in 62 games with 27 starts. Second-round RB T.J. Yeldon started all 12 games in which he appeared and third-round OL A.J. Cann filled in at RG for the injured Brandon Linder and started 13 of 14 games in 2015.
In the first round of the 2014 draft, Caldwell selected his franchise QB with the third-overall selection in Blake Bortles from UCF. In the second round, the Jaguars drafted WRs Allen Robinson from Penn State and Marqise Lee from USC. Bortles has started 45 of 46 games over the past three seasons, including all 16 games in 2016 and 2015. In Week 17 of the 2016 season, Bortles completed his 1,000th career pass in his 46th career game and became the sixth-fastest player in league history to 1,000 career completions. Earlier in 2016, Bortles became the eighth-fastest player to 10,000 career passing yards, doing so in the third quarter of his 41st career game. Over the past two seasons, Bortles has broken many of the team’s single-season franchise records, including completions (368 in 2016), passing yards (4,428 in 2015) and passing TDs (35 in 2015). Bortles’ 35 passing TDs in 2015 were the second-most in the NFL that year, trailing only Tom Brady’s 36. Bortles became the third QB in NFL history to throw for 4,000 yards, 35 passing TDs and rush for 300 yards in a single season, joining Daunte Culpepper (2004) and Steve Young (1998). In 2015, Robinson was named to his first Pro Bowl, becoming the first player Caldwell has drafted to be selected to the Pro Bowl. Robinson started all 16 games in 2015 and finished the season with 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and a franchise-record 14 receiving TDs, which tied for the most in the NFL. Lee showed his potential in 2016, totaling 851 receiving yards and three TDs on 63 catches (13.5 rec. avg.) and also tied the franchise record for longest kickoff return for a TD when he scored on a 100-yard return in Week 15 at Houston. Lee’s 30.3-yard kickoff return avg. in 2016 was the second-highest in the NFL among players with at least 15 returns.
Caldwell reshaped the roster in his first season with the Jaguars with 68 different players appearing on the active roster during the regular season, the third-most in the NFL, and 31 players finishing the season with the club that were not on the roster the previous season. Caldwell and his staff made 151 transactions from the preseason to the conclusion of the 2013 regular season during their opening campaign. His first draft class included eight players who combined to play in 92 games as rookies with 44 starts, and 20 of the 53 players on the final roster were rookies or first-year players. Five of the eight draft picks saw action in at least 15 games. The group was led by offensive tackle Luke Joeckel who was selected with the second overall pick. Second-round pick Johnathan Cyprien started 15 games at safety and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles, the highest total among rookie defensive backs in the NFL. The Jaguars signed five unrestricted free agents in 2013 with four playing prominent roles in linebacker Geno Hayes (14 starts), cornerback Alan Ball (15 starts), defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (16 starts) and defensive tackle Roy Miller (14 starts).
Caldwell served the 2012 season as the Falcons’ director of player personnel where he was responsible for both college and pro scouting efforts under Falcons General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. Caldwell spent his first four seasons with the Falcons as the director of college scouting overseeing Atlanta’s college area and regional scouts. His primary role was evaluating the hundreds of draft-eligible college players on an annual basis.
In Caldwell’s five seasons in Atlanta, the Falcons advanced to the postseason four times and were the only NFC team to post five consecutive winning seasons. The Falcons had a 56-24 regular season record in Caldwell’s tenure. Several of the players responsible for the Falcons’ success were drafted during Caldwell’s time including wide receiver Harry Douglas (3rd round, 2008), DE Kroy Biermann (5th round, 2008), linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (1st round, 2010), wide receiver Julio Jones (1st round, 2011) and running back Jacquizz Rogers (5th round, 2011). Eight rookies from the five draft classes started on opening day in 2012.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Caldwell spent 10 seasons (1998-2007) with the Indianapolis Colts under General Manager Bill Polian, helping to build a roster that claimed a victory in Super Bowl XLI and consisted of multiple Pro Bowl players drafted by the club. Caldwell was the western regional scout in his final two seasons with the Colts where he covered major college football conferences, including the Pac-10, Big 10 and Big 12. He joined the Colts in 1998 as an area scout and remained in that role for seven seasons, covering the Midwest and West Coast regions.
In 1996, Caldwell broke into the NFL as a scouting assistant with the Carolina Panthers, where he spent two seasons. He served as the liaison between the college scouting director and multiple area scouts while focusing on draft preparations.
On September 24, 2016, Caldwell and his wife, Joelle, chaired the 18th Annual Toast to the Animals, an event to raise money for the Jacksonville Humane Society that attracted more than 500 influential residents of the First Coast, including philanthropists, business leaders and professionals.
Caldwell graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance/business administration in 1996 from John Carroll University where he was a two-year letterman at outside linebacker and played from 1992-96. A native of Buffalo, New York, he and his wife have one son, David Michael II.
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