JACKSONVILLE – He didn't name the name.
But what Jaguars Owner Shad Khan did do Tuesday morning was sum up the excitement and energy around what by any measure is the most significant – and most exciting – week around the franchise in a long time. A long, long time. Maybe ever.
"It's an overwhelming feeling, really," Khan said.
Khan, the Jaguars' owner since January 2012, spoke to selected media Tuesday in advance of the 2021 NFL Draft – which begins with Round 1 Thursday evening. With the Jaguars holding the No. 1 selection for the first time in franchise history, what Khan did not say during the 30-minute session was significant.
He did not say who the Jaguars are selecting No. 1 overall – despite most observers and fans believing the team will use that selection on Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a player considered the best quarterback prospect to enter the NFL in nearly a decade.
But Khan did say he had met via Zoom with multiple prospects before the draft. And he smiled when asked if he could perhaps provide specific names.
"We've been rounding up the usual suspects and those are the ones I've been on," he said, and after discussing the importance of the quarterback position added: "I would be focused on that one exact position that, from my viewpoint, I don't want to screw this up, OK. That is the one."
Khan also credited General Manager Trent Baalke and Head Coach Urban Meyer for not being "locked into any one" particular quarterback entering the pre-draft process.
Khan on Wednesday also discussed the energy around the franchise, talking of the "great upside" considering the circumstances around the Jaguars' offseason. The team not only holds the No. 1 overall selection this weekend, they hold 10 total selections – including five of the top 65.
They entered the offseason with the most salary-cap space in the league, signing free agents such as cornerback Shaquill Griffin and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. in addition to making other major personnel changes along the defensive line, secondary and receiver.
"It's been a great month – or really a great couple of months since the process started with Urban and Trent, seeing how they're approaching free agency, how you build the team," Khan said. "It's not quite out there what the vision is for the team, but really to be able to have that and see which players make sense, which don't, looking for the psyche of the players, how they're going to be a part of the team … all of that is certainly new to me.
"Not just talking about it, but just kind of see that in practice. Yeah, it's unbelievable. If this isn't a moment to enjoy for me to enjoy and for all the Jags fans, you need more coffee. Or you need something else.
"This is a great-to-be-alive kind of moment, frankly."
Khan on Tuesday also discussed in detail his impressions of Meyer in the head coach's first offseason in the NFL, emphasizing Meyer's attention to detail and his ability – and willingness – to learn the NFL quickly after 17 seasons as one of the most successful coaches in college football history.
"He walks the talk," Khan said of Meyer.
And while Khan on Tuesday opted not to share the name of the player he, the head coach and the general manager will select No. 1 Thursday, he made clear he appreciates the bigness – and the excitement – of the week not just for the men making the decision but for all who follow the franchise.
"I want to enjoy the moment," he said. "I want all the fans, all of us in Jacksonville, to enjoy this moment and our time in the national spotlight. If we have hope and we're winning, obviously, that's a lot better for the city and it's a lot better for the Jags."