JACKSONVILLE – His emotions were clear and simple.
"All I can say is I'm just excited for it," JaVon Hamilton said Friday. "Honestly, I'm just excited to be there. It's been a dream come true.
"I can't wait to get to work."
Hamilton, a nose tackle from Ohio State University, repeated that sentiment multiple times after the Jaguars made him their third-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft – No. 73 overall.
"I want to be able to learn, be able to play in the NFL and be able to contribute to my team," Hamilton said.
Hamilton (6-feet-4, 320 pounds), a redshirt senior, did that in college by developing from a little-used player early in his career to a key player on a national power this past season when he earned third-team All-Big 10 honors in his first season as a full-time starter.
"He got better and better as the season went on," Jaguars Director of College Scouting Mark Ellenz said. "He really came on his senior season. He had a good Senior Bowl week and we think he'll be a good interior defensive player for us."
Hamilton's 33 reps in the bench press at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine was the best of all defensive linemen at the event this year.
"It's not just the amount of reps, but he has functional strength; that's really important," Ellenz said.
He started three games as a junior with 3.5 tackles for loss and had 28 tackles, 10.5 for loss, and also had six sacks as a senior this past season.
"I feel like I always have," Hamilton said when asked if he always had a knack for big plays. "I'm just trying to create as much disruption in the backfield as possible – even without the tackle, or sack or anything. That was my role at Ohio State and hopefully I can continue that in the league.
"I'm doing whatever the team needs for me to do. Honestly, I really could care less what I'm supposed to do as long as I add value to the team."
Ellenz said the Jaguars see him as more than a run-stuffer, but that that's unquestionably his strongest attribute. The Jaguars entered the offseason and draft focused on improving a run defense that struggled much of last season.
"He's able to get upfield and penetrate," Ellenz said. "He can also push the pocket. We don't see him as a one-dimensional guy, but the run-stuffing part of his game is primary."