JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got better over three days.
That was the assessment of the Jaguars’ decision-makers in the wake of this past weekend’s 2019 NFL Draft – and that was the assessment of many national “experts” analyzing the draft as well.
The Jaguars in general drew praise for their early selections – Round 1 edge defender Josh Allen of Kentucky and Round 2 right tackle Jawaan Taylor of Florida – and that praise was to be expected considering both were highly regarded by many analysts entering the draft.
The analysts expectedly cooled on the later rounds, when the Jaguars had just three Day 3 selections and also selected lesser-known players such as Murray State linebacker Quincy Williams. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell on Saturday showed the same disregard for that analysis as the analysts had for the selection when he laughed and said, “I can’t help it if you don’t do your homework.”
The Jaguars’ 19 draft class:
Allen (Round 1, No. 7 overall), Taylor (Round 2, No. 35 overall), San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver (Round 3, No. 69), Murray State linebacker Quincy Williams (Round 3, No. 98), Temple running back RyQuell Armstead (Round 5, No. 140), Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew (Round 6, No. 178) and Auburn defensive tackle Dontavius Russell (Round 7, No. 235).
Here’s a look at how nine analysts saw the Jaguars’ ’19 draft:
Andy Benoit, Monday Morning Quarterback: B. *“His mauling style fits the run-first profile that this team’s brass insists on having,” Benoit wrote of Taylor. “Taylor puts them closer in that direction.”
*Pro Football Focus: Excellent.“ Allen is a freakishly athletic specimen that can win on outside moves, with pure speed, and with his hands,” PFF wrote. “He’ll need to develop a better inside counter at the next level to maximize potential, but he’s already so talented and should be an impact player early for the Jags as a result.”
Dan Kadar, SB Nation: A-. *“Jacksonville won by letting the draft come to them,” Kadar wrote. “No one thought the Jaguars would take Kentucky’s Josh Allen at No. 7, because no one thought he’d be there. He can help fix a defense that took a step back last season.”
Chad Reuter, NFL Draft Analyst: A-. *“The Jaguars got great value in Allen, a top-three talent, at No. 7 overall,” Reuter wrote. “They can play him all over the place to wreak havoc as a pass rusher.”
Steve Silverman, Bleacher Report: B+. “The Jaguars know how to bide their time as they waited patiently at the No. 7 spot and were able to select Josh Allen from Kentucky,” Silverman wrote.
Mel Kiper, ESPN: B. *“Getting Allen and Taylor makes this a rock-solid ‘B,’ ” Kiper wrote.
Nate Davis, USA Today: A-. “Josh Allen was sitting there at No. 7, and the Jags didn't flinch even though they probably had more pressing needs elsewhere,” Daviswrote.
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports (on Round 1): A. *“The Jaguars didn't think he would be here,” Priscowroteof Allen. “They thought he would go at 3 or 4 or 5. I love this pick.”
Connor Orr, SI.com: “Winners.” *I had the Jaguars taking [Iowa tight end] T.J. Hockenson in my mock draft, but when Josh Allen falls in your lap you can’t say no,” Orr wrote. “A round of applause for GM Dave Caldwell, who has managed to keep this roster mostly together and under the cap.”