The Jaguars had targeted Hawaii's Chad Owens as a player who would address the team's need for a kick-returner. It was just a matter of waiting for the right time to take him, and after the Jaguars had gone five rounds without selecting a player who doubles as a kick-returner, the time was right to pick Owens.
"He's an electrifying returner. He's really exciting to watch. I don't know if any of our scouts have seen him fair-catch the ball," coach Jack Del Rio said of his team's first of two sixth-round picks.
Owens, 5-7, 183, won the Mosi Tatupu Award last year for being the nation's top kick-returner. He returned 36 punts for 531 yards and five touchdowns. He also caught 102 passes for 1,290 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Del Rio, however, said Owens' contribution to the Jaguars will be mainly as a return man. The Jaguars would seem to have all of the wide receivers they need, but the return game needed to be addressed.
"I'm fairly certain that in every instance we were able to match need and value," Del Rio said of his draft choices. He accentuated the need/value equation by explaining that the Jaguars were ready to take Owens in the fifth round, but held off one round to accommodate his grade.
Owens is not a straight-line speed guy. He was clocked at 4.65 at the scouting combine. He satisfied Jaguars scouts that he has kick-return quickness by testing well in the shuttle runs.
"We're going to score more points this year. We will be more efficient offensively," Del Rio said.
And if Owens is the player they think he is, the Jaguars might even return a kick for a touchdown.