JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars went defense early.
They capped months of speculation and pontification with a player many expected to be selected well before the Jaguars had a chance to select him.
Josh Allen, an edge player from the University of Kentucky, was the Jaguars’ first selection of the 2019 NFL Draft – the No. 7 overall selection of Round 1. The Jaguars made the selection around 9 p.m. on Thursday.
Allen (6-feet-5, 260 pounds), 21, was widely considered one of the best edge players in this year’s draft, and analysts routinely projected him in the Top 5 in the weeks leading to Thursday.
Allen, who attended Monclair (N.J.) High School, was a consensus All-America selection this past season and also won the Bednarik and Nagurski awards in 2018. He was a consensus first-team All-Southeastern Conference and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. He had 17 sacks this past season.
The Arizona Cardinals selected Oklahoma quarterback and 2018 Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray No. 1 overall Thursday, with the San Francisco 49ers selecting edge player Nick Bosa of Ohio State No. 2, the New York Jets selecting Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams No. 3, the Oakland Raiders selecting Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell No. 4 overall, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selecting Louisiana State linebacker Devin White No. 5 overall and the New York Giants selecting Duke quarterback Daniel Jones No. 6.
The first six selections featured no trades, with Ferrell to the Raiders and Jones to the Giants considered the most surprising early selections.
Allen was the fifth defensive linemen selected Thursday, and became the became the first Kentucky player selected by the Jaguars in Round 1.
The selection marked the second time in franchise history the Jaguars have selected a defensive end/edge player in the first round. They selected Derrick Harvey from Florida in 2008 and Dante Fowler Jr. from Florida in 2015.