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Night that was: 2017 NFL Draft, Round 1


JACKSONVILLE – The trade that wasn't not only didn't happen, it never came close.

"Radio silence," David Caldwell called it.

Caldwell, the Jaguars' general manager, said he had "a couple" of calls early in the week regarding a possible trade for the Jaguars' selection at No. 4 in Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft. But nothing came of the calls and there was no movement as the first night of the draft approached Thursday.

The Jaguars stayed at No. 4 and selected Louisiana State running back Leonard Fournette, making that selection approximately halfway through their allotted time.

"We waited three or four minutes," Caldwell said. "If somebody is going to call, they would have.  We get the picks before you guys [in the media and public] do. 

"Everyone knew that [Stanford defensive end] Solomon Thomas went prior to you guys. Ninety-nine percent of the time, if somebody is going to call they are going to call as soon as that pick goes up."

* *


The Jaguars have seven selections remaining in the draft, and currently hold two selections on Friday's Day 2. They hold the third selection of the second round, the No. 35 overall selection overall. They also hold the fourth selection of the third round, the No. 68 selection overall.

The Jaguars also hold five selections in Saturday's Day 3 – one selection in Round 3, Round 4, Round 5 and Round 6 and two selections in Round 7.


Caldwell on Thursday was asked about the notion that selecting Fournette was primarily about taking pressure off fourth-year quarterback Blake Bortles.

"It's about the team," Caldwell said. "It's about the defense. It's about, 'Hey, if we can control the ball on offense, then we can run the ball and win the time of possession and the defense is going to be better. If we can run the ball well, obviously it's going to help the quarterback out, too.'

"If we have a back that can help the offensive line out and pass-protect and catch the ball out of the backfield, that's good for everybody.'"


*Fournette has a working idea of the seriousness with Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin's approaches day-to-day. His source for that knowledge? Former LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who played for Coughlin with the New York Giants. "I know coach Coughlin don't play no games," Fournette said. "I know that from Odell." …

*Coughlin on Thursday talked extensively about Fournette's ability to score, saying "We need people to put the ball in the end zone." He also talked positively of Fournette's potential as a receiver, something many analysts questioned entering the draft. "At his Pro Day he did catch the ball and give the idea that he could certainly do that," Coughlin said. "I really don't have any question if he can play all three downs." …

*Coughlin said the idea of drafting a quarterback was "well-discussed" during the pre-draft process. "For us, we had other thoughts," he said. …

*Caldwell on pre-draft rumors and speculation that the Jaguars would take quarterback Deshaun Watson of Clemson at No. 4 overall: "I have no idea where that came from. I'm not going to be concerned about it. You guys [media] know, I don't believe in the whole smokescreen stuff. I think just being silent, people think there is something up.  Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn't, but we're not going to tip our hand to let people know." …


*Coughlin on Fournette: "I think he will learn and be able to do whatever we ask him to do. … There are really no limits to what he can do." … *Caldwell on Fournette: "I think that's what we like about him – he's a big, physical player.  I think this division [the AFC South] is going to be a division where it's going to be physical, and we have to match the intensity of the teams in this division with that." …

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