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Wrapping Day 2: "We checked the boxes …"


JACKSONVILLE – Dave Caldwell liked the first two days.

Caldwell, the Jaguars' general manager, said the idea entering the 2019 NFL Draft was to emerge from the first three rounds with the following positions of need addressed:

Edge rusher. Offensive tackle. Tight end. Linebacker.

Check. Check. Check. Check.

"We checked the boxes on all four of those and we were happy with how that happened," Caldwell said late Friday night after the third of the Jaguars' three Day 3 selections. "It worked out to where the need met the value – really for all four of them."

Here's how it happened:

Having selected University of Kentucky edge player Josh Allen (No. 7 overall) in Round 1 Thursday, the Jaguars opened Friday by selecting University of Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor with the third selection of Round 2 – the No. 35 selection overall.

The Jaguars then made two Round 3 selections, first selecting San Jose State University tight end Josh Oliver at No. 69 overall and capping a busy Day 2 by selecting Murray State University linebacker Quincy Williams No. 98 overall.

Williams, a comparatively unknown player in draft circles, was the major topic of Caldwell's post-Day 2 press conference.

"We had draft-able grades on him through the whole process," Caldwell said.

Williams (5-feet-11, 222 pounds), 22, registered a sack and two interceptions in 2018. He is the brother of Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, the No. 3 overall selection of the 2019 NFL Draft by the New York Jets. He visited the Jaguars during the pre-draft process.

Caldwell called Williams "a highly productive guy," noting Williams' performance at the NFLPA All-Star game in January. Williams also ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash at the Murray State Pro Day with a 39.5-inch vertical leap.

"He's a tremendous athlete with speed and explosion," Caldwell said. "It's kind of what our defense is built on."

Caldwell said Williams will play outside linebacker and special teams immediately – and said the selection had nothing to do with veteran outside linebacker Telvin Smith, who has not yet reported to the team's voluntary offseason program.

"The tape jumps out at you," Caldwell said, noting Williams' speed and "ability to strike people."

"You watch some of the tape: he's an explosive athlete, closes ground and makes plays on the ball," Caldwell said. "He's kind of everything we preach on defense."

The Jaguars have four selections Saturday: none in Round 4, one in Round 5 (No. 140), one in Round 6 (No. 178) and two in Round 7 (Nos. 235 and 236). Caldwell, who said the Jaguars considered trading out of the third round from No. 98 but found no viable options, said the absence of a fourth-round selection made it necessary to select Williams at the end of the third round.

"He may not have been at the combine, but he's visited quite a few teams for physicals – some of the teams that were picking in the fourth round," Caldwell said. "He was really one of our linebackers standing that had some starter traits and some really good special teams value."

Caldwell called Oliver a productive tight end with the ability to catch and be an efficient blocker. He also visited the Jaguars in the pre-draft process.

Oliver (6-feet-5, 249 pounds) caught 98 passes for 1,067 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons, catching 56 passes for 709 yards and four touchdowns as a senior.

"I know we've been looking for a pass-receiving tight end here for a couple years now and have gone in a couple different directions in the free agency market and it really hasn't worked out, so this is our first kind of dive at a guy in the draft," Caldwell said. "He's got the physical measurables and the production and the hands. He's also very savvy.

"A lot of tight ends, it's not just about the physical attributes. It's knowing how to get open, and he really understands that. He's a bright, bright young man."

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