JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars’ 2018 NFL Draft was good. Really good.
That was a major point NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah made during an appearance Wednesday on Jaguars.com Live, and here was another:
The Jaguars’ overall roster is as good as its most recent draft.
“If it’s not the most talented roster in the NFL, I think it’s Top 3 – without question,” Jeremiah told Jaguars.com Live Wednesday.
Jeremiah noted the Jaguars’ rapid accumulation of talent in the last three offseasons.
They have signed defensive tackle Malik Jackson (2016), end Calais Campbell (2017), cornerback A.J. Bouye (2017) and safeties Barry Church (2017) and Tashaun Gipson Sr. (2016) as unrestricted free agents during that span, also acquiring defensive tackle Marcell Dareus in a midseason 2017 trade with Buffalo. Jackson, Campbell and Bouye made the Pro Bowl last season, and Church, Gipson and Dareus played key roles on the NFL’s second-ranked defense last season.
The Jaguars also selected two Pro Bowl players in the 2016 NFL Draft – cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue – in addition to selecting running back Leonard Fournette and offensive tackle Cam Robinson in ’17 and linebacker Myles Jack in ’16.
That’s 10 key players over two offseasons, with the team signing All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell as an unrestricted free agent earlier this offseason before selecting what Jeremiah considered a top class in the ’18 draft this past weekend.
“Especially defensively – the mammoth amount of talent they’ve accumulated – premier, blue chip players …” Jeremiah said. “Now, you look at what they’ve done on the offensive line and you have the running back. They have some talent in the receiving corps now.
“It’s an impressive group that they have in Jacksonville.”
Jeremiah discussed specifics of the Jaguars’ 2018 class, saying five of the players selected could develop into starters: Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan (Round 1), Louisiana State wide receiver DJ Chark (Round 2), Alabama safety Ronnie Harrison (Round 3), North Carolina State offensive tackle Will Richardson Jr. (Round 4) and Wisconsin linebacker Leon Jacobs (Round 7).
“Taven Bryan, to me, is a dominant impact player,” Jeremiah said. “He just has to work on finding the football and being a little bit more productive. But he’s going to create a mess with just how difficult he is to handle and how explosive he is.”
Jeremiah said he believed the Jaguars considered selecting Chark in Round 1, something both General Manager David Caldwell and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin said was the case during the draft.
“He’s a perfect complement to what they have in the run game,” Jeremiah said. “He’s a vertical, stretch receiver.”
Jeremiah also said Harrison could have been selected early in the second round.
“I thought their first three picks were home runs,” Jeremiah said.