JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser unpacks Thursday's first round of the 2019 NFL Draft – when the Jaguars selected Josh Allen, an edge rusher from the University of Kentucky
1.Josh Allen won't lack for motivation. And that might make him a good fit for his new team. Allen, selected No. 7 overall by the Jaguars Thursday, was a two-star recruit who received just two scholarship offers out of Montclair (N.J.) High School – Kentucky of the Southeastern Conference and Monmouth of the Big South Conference in FCS. "I walk the world with a chip on my shoulder," Allen said. "You never know when someone's going to try you or something." Jaguars fourth-year veteran defensive end Yannick Ngakoue is well-known for a similar attitude, having been selected in Round 3 from Maryland in the 2016 NFL Draft. "I feel for him, but look: 'We're here now,''' said Allen, who said he has followed Ngakoue since Ngakoue was at Maryland. "We're trying to win Super Bowls. I know he is. I know I am. We're trying to be great."
2.With the Jaguars selecting Allen – and not trading back into the bottom of Round 1 later Thursday evening – they enter Day 2 with three selections: One in Round 2 (No. 38 overall) and two in Round 3 (Nos. 69 and No. 98 overall). Possible target positions include tight end, right tackle, running back and safety. Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin and General Manager David Caldwell said the Jaguars liked Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson in Round 1, but Caldwell said that doesn't mean the Jaguars must draft the position in Round 2. "Not as dire of a need as some people think it is – and you can win without a dominant guy there, too," Caldwell said of tight end.
3.Allen is a comparative Top 10 rarity, having played four seasons in college – and he was the only player in this year's Top 10 not to forego his senior year of eligibility to enter the NFL. He said he considered declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft, but opted against it because of the January 2018 birth of his son, Wesley. "If I didn't have my son, I probably would have come out early," Allen said. "My son was born, we had him, and I had to come back. I had to become a better person, I had to become a better man – a football player on top of that. I'm so glad he came. He is a blessing in disguise, and I thank him every day." Allen said he thinks about the decision "every day. I would have never been in this situation last year. I decided I am glad I came back to further myself as a person and as a player, as well." Said Caldwell: "He's the type of character guy we want – not only in our team, but in our community."
4.Caldwell on Thursday night was asked about a report from Monday Morning Quarterback's Albert Breer that teams are monitoring Jaguars weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith as a potential trade target. Smith has not reported for the Jaguars' voluntary offseason program. "I haven't talked to anybody," Caldwell said. Caldwell said he doesn't know where Smith is or why he not attending the offseason program. "I'm trying to collect some information from his agent," Caldwell said. "When the time is right, we'll talk about it – probably after this weekend. But the time is not right, right now."
5.Consider Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey a fan of Allen. Shortly after the selection, Ramsey posted on Twitter a screen shot of a direct message exchange between he and Allen this month in which Ramsey told Allen "Ain't nobody betta in this draft!" Allen: "It's crazy because I watched Jalen Ramsey throughout college. I was a fan of his. When he messaged me, it was like a dream come true. I looked up to this dude. Now, it's like I am his teammate. Now it is more fuel to my fire. Now I have to prove him why I'm the best player in the draft. Plus, I have to earn the respect of him. I am coming in ready to work, ready to work and ready to keep the culture going."
The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected Kentucky DE Josh Allen in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.