JACKSONVILLE – They got better over three days.
The Jaguars' decision-makers felt that way after this past weekend's 2020 NFL Draft – and so did many national "experts" as well.
The Jaguars in general drew praise for their early selections – Round 1 cornerback CJ Henderson, Round 1 edge rusher K'Lavon Chaisson and Round 2 wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. – and that praise was to be expected considering all three were highly regarded by many analysts entering the draft.
Analysts felt the same way about the final day of the draft, which included eight selections to bring the Jaguars' total selections to 12 – the most in franchise history.
The Jaguars' '20 draft class:
Florida cornerback CJ Henderson, Round 1 (No. 9 overall); Louisiana State defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson, Round 1 (No. 20 overall); Colorado wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., Round 2 (No. 42 overall); Ohio State defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, Round 3 (No. 73 overall); St. John's offensive lineman Ben Bartch, Round 4 (No. 116 overall); Michigan State cornerback Josiah Scott, Round 4 (No. 137 overall); Miami linebacker Shaq Quarterman, Round 4 (No. 140 overall); Auburn safety Daniel Thomas, Round 5 (No. 157 overall); Texas wide receiver Collin Johnson, Round 5 (No. 165 overall); Oregon State quarterback Jake Luton, Round 6 (No. 189 overall); Georgia Tech tight end Tyler Davis, Round 6 (No. 206 overall) and Memphis defensive back/return specialist Chris Claybrooks, Round 7 (No. 223 overall).
Here's a look at how 10 analysts saw the Jaguars' class:
*Dan Kadar, SB Nation: B+. "Cornerback CJ Henderson was the player the Jaguars needed in the first round after moving on from A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey," Kadar wrote. "Taking Henderson at No. 9 was a little high, but the Jaguars couldn't risk trading back and losing out on the draft's second-best cornerback. Like getting Josh Allen last year, the Jaguars were lucky to land an edge rusher in the first round with K'Lavon Chaisson at No. 20 overall."
*Pro Football Focus: A. "By trading away Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, the Jaguars had a hole at cornerback — and filling it with CJ Henderson was a great move," the site wrote. "Teams passed on Laviska Shenault due to his injury history, but that still wasn't a big concern for us at PFF — we still had him 18th on our big board and WR4."
*Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated: B-. "They drafted the man some see as the best corner in this year's class in CJ Henderson," Benoit wrote. "Offensively, the Jags added some depth in the later rounds, but the only headlining move was Laviska Shenault—a pick that makes sense."
*Chad Reuter, NFL Media Draft analyst: A. Day 1: A. Day 2: A. Day 3: A. "Jacksonville picked up two star SEC defenders (Henderson and Chaisson) to meet critical needs in the first round, then selected worthwhile prospects in the second (Shenault) and third rounds (Hamilton) to sew up a nice first two days of the draft," Reuter wrote.
*Mel Kiper Jr., ESPN: B. "Jacksonville isn't a playoff team in 2020, no matter whether [quarterback Gardner] Minshew [II] proves he's the guy or not," Kiper wrote. "But this is a solid haul as the team looks to get back on solid footing. This stays at a B because the Jaguars should have taken a running back late, particularly with the unrest around Leonard Fournette."
*Nate Davis, USA Today: C+. "Seems they're building toward 2021 – Trevor Lawrence? – but nevertheless picked reputable players, including first-round CB CJ Henderson, who should address a glaring need following Ramsey's departure," Davis wrote.
*Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com (Round 1 only): B+ for Henderson, B+ for Chaisson. "There are so many guys in the NFL that I talked to leading up to the draft that thought he was better than Okudah," Prisco wrote of Henderson, adding of Chaisson: "When he was on the field he was productive, but he had some injury issues. He has to show that he can hold up against the run at 254 pounds."
*Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: A-. "The Jaguars took advantage of impressive volume with a little bit of everything from [General Manager] Dave Caldwell," Iyer wrote.
*Hayden Winks, Rotoworld: B+. "If there was a team that needed to make 12 picks, it's Jacksonville; Henderson fills a massive need and has elite upside," Winks wrote.
*Luke Easterling, Draftwire: A. "Having multiple first-round picks doesn't always equal a high grade depending on what you do with them, but the Jags made the most of theirs with two instant-impact defenders in Florida cornerback CJ Henderson and LSU edge defender K'Lavon Chaisson," Easterling wrote.