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"He Rises to the Challenge All the Time" | Coaches Corner on Javon Foster

0507 Javon Foster Coaches Corner

JACKSONVILLE – The desire was strong, the work ethic was impressive.

Those traits aren't the only reason the Jaguars selected offensive tackle Javon Foster in Round 4 of the 2024 NFL Draft. But as University of Missouri offensive line coach Brandon Jones sees it, the traits were critical to Foster's collegiate success.

The traits should prove critical moving forward, too.

"He rises to the challenge all the time," Jones said.

Foster, selected by the Jaguars No. 114 overall in the ’24 draft, figures to compete for a swing tackle position as a rookie and provide needed depth on the offensive line. He's a versatile player who earned his way into a strong, consistent college career – and Jones said his path reflects his approach.

"He's a hard worker – and just his approach made him really unique for me," Jones said. "He always came ready to work, day in, day out. He was just eager to learn. That's a good characteristic to have."

Foster (6-feet-5, 313 pounds), a three-year starter at Missouri, was a third-team All-America and third-team All-Southeastern Conference selection as a senior this past season.

"I really thought he played lights out this year," Jones said. "He rose to the challenge all the time. He obviously he graded out fairly high, but he is never complacent. He played in the best conference in college football, so you're facing those types of players in the NFL. But just his week-in, week-out approach really benefited him."

Foster's collegiate accolades were impressive, as was his development throughout his time at Missouri. But Jones was impressed by more about Foster than post-season honors last season in their lone season working together.

"He saw the things he needed to improve on; that's what one of the deals that he wanted me to really be transparent about," Jones said. "He wanted to get better, improve his game and whatever I said he took that and got better and better."

Jones started 13 games in 2023 at left tackle, and primarily started at that position throughout college. He is considered a strong zone-run blocker by analysts – and Jones said he is capable of playing either tackle spot with the ability to play inside if needed.

"I think his position flexibility is going to continue to help him make a name for himself," Jones said. "He's just dependable. He's going to be consistent, but he's going to also be dependable and do exactly what you tell him to do. Being able to play left or right, and just being an athlete on top of all that stuff, is going to give him a chance to contribute.

"It may not be this year, but he's going to have an opportunity to contribute in some form or fashion."

Jones added with a laugh, "He was the least of my worries.

Rapid improvement keyed Foster's NFL journey long before his final collegiate season. He focused on basketball through his junior year in high school, with his father – Jerome – having played defensive line in the NFL from 1983-1987 for the Houston Oilers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets. Jerome was a fifth-round selection by the Oilers in 1983.

Foster shortly after his fourth-round selection said while his football career began relatively late, he also believed that late start was "what got me here."

"I feel like I'm always playing with a chip on my shoulder, I feel like I have some catching up to do and always got to do something extra, do some extra work, just so I can be up to the standard," he said.

Jones agreed, and said Foster's development may indicate a player still in the process of ascending – and a player capable of continued improvement early in an NFL career that will begin this weekend at the Jaguars' 2024 rookie minicamp.

"He's just reaching his levels, and his eagerness to improve is impressive," he said. "I think for the Jaguars he's going to be just lights out, to be honest. They got a good one. I can't say enough good things about him."

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