JACKSONVILLE – A good weekend.
That’s how national analysts viewed the Jaguars’ 2018 NFL Draft – and if that’s not the giddy, over-the-top reaction as many analysts had to a lot of the Jaguars’ recent drafts, that’s OK. And it’s also to be expected.
The Jaguars were selecting a lot later – more than 20 spots later, actually – than they had in more than a half decade. Their No. 29 position in the first round was their first time selecting outside the Top 10 in 10 years.
When you’re selecting that late in Round 1, your selections might not be as flashy.
But this draft for the Jaguars was less about flash and more about value, and many analysts saw it that way. Not every analyst gushed as NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah did Saturday when he called the Jaguars’ ’18 draft “a home run,” but the consensus was that the Jaguars drafted well and got value with seven selections in the ’18 draft.
The Jaguars’ 18 draft class:
Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan (No. 29 overall, Round 1), Louisiana State wide receiver DJ Chark (No. 61 overall, Round 2), Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison (No. 93 overall, Round 3), North Carolina State offensive tackle Will Richardson (No. 129 overall, Round 4,) Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee (No. 203 overall, Round 6), Wisconsin linebacker Leon Jacobs (No. 230 overall, Round 7), Mississippi State punter Logan Cooke (No. 247 overall, Round 7).
Here’s a look at how 10 analysts saw the Jaguars’ ’18 draft:
*Andy Benoit, MMQB: *B-. “The Jags’ turn didn’t come until near the end of the first round this year, and like many teams that pick there, they entered the draft with few immediate needs,” Benoit wrote. “Congratulations to front office leaders [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Tom Coughlin and [General Manager] Dave Caldwell, because this is where every team aspires to be.”
Nate Davis, USA Today: A-. “First-round DT Taven Bryan, second-round WR DJ Chark and third-round S Ronnie Harrison might all make instant splashes as rookies if they played elsewhere,” Davis wrote. “But all will have to scrap for snaps here.”
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: B. “The Jaguars tripled down on Sacksonville with Bryan, Harrison and Jacobs,” Iyer wrote.
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: B. “Most thought the Jaguars would use their first-round pick on an interior offensive lineman, but defensive tackle Taven Bryan was too good to pass up at No. 29,” Kadar wrote. “His first step quickness is incredible.”
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com (first-round grade. B ): B. “Love this pick even with their quality players up front,” Prisco wrote of Bryan. “They can't pay them all, so a cheap option makes sense. Oh, he can play.”
Pro Football Focus: Average. “The Jaguars added more pieces to their defensive front and the Taven Bryan pick has an eye toward the future,” PFF wrote.
Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com: B . “All due respect to flashy running back Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville made it to the AFC Championship Game last season on the strength of their defense and that mentality showed again Thursday with the selection of twitchy three-technique defensive tackle Taven Bryan,” Rang wrote.
Chad Reuter, NFL.com: A-. “The Jaguars selected Bryan, even though they already have a load of talent on defensive line,” Reuter wrote. “But Philadelphia did win a Super Bowl with a strong rotation, and Bryan has some real potential that the Jags' coaches could tap into.”
Frank Schwab, Shutdown Corner: B-. “The Jaguars know what type of team they want to be,” Schwab wrote. “They already had a good defensive line but took Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan to make it even better.”
*Evan Silva, Rotoworld: *C-. Although Bryan is not a finished product, he is an excellent scheme fit in Jacksonville as a relentless up-field disruptor,” Silva wrote. “I think Bryan would have gone to the Chargers at No. 17 had Derwin James not fallen into L.A.’s lap.”