Jacksonville Jaguars 2018 NFL Draft: Taven Bryan selection garners high grades

A video board displays an image of Taven Bryan, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
A video board displays an image of Taven Bryan, Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Despite not addressing a real position of need, the Jacksonville Jaguars are receiving praise for their selection of defensive lineman Taven Bryan.

The Jacksonville Jaguars surprised many last night by foregoing offense and instead selecting a defender in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Taven Bryan is an intriguing prospect for many reasons – he’s an athletic freak who’s drawn comparisons to J.J. Watt – but the curiosity in the selection is how much he’ll contribute this year. the Jaguars are absolutely stacked along the defensive line, so it’ll be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Todd Wash incorporates Bryan into an already crowded rotation.

The Jaguars clearly went best available players, the grades around the web seem to reflect a similar opinion.

Here’s a small collection of grades:

Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft:

"29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Taven Bryan, DL, FloridaAfter everyone expected the Jaguars to take an interior offensive lineman, they were probably surprised to see Bryan still available. With Marcell Dareus and Malik Jackson, taking Bryan was something of a luxury choice. But if they’re looking for a player to eventually replace Calais Campbell on the outside, Bryan could get looked at there. The Jaguars added talent to arguably their biggest strength area.Grade: B-"

Chad Reuter of NFL.com:

"Jacksonville JaguarsDraft picks: Florida DT Taven Bryan (No. 29 overall).Day 1 grade: A-The skinny: The Jaguars selected Bryan, even though they already have a load of talent on defensive line. But Philadelphia did win a Super Bowl with a strong rotation, and Bryan has some real potential that the Jags’ coaches could tap into. They have a need for an inside linebacker, but the players of value at the position in the first round were already gone."

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports:

"29. Taven Bryan, DT, Florida"

"Grade: B+Love this pick even with their quality players up front. They can’t pay them all, so a cheap option makes sense. Oh, he can play."

Kadar’s analysis is the most interesting, as he seems to think Bryan can eventually take over for Calais Campbell as an edge defender. Bryan was primarily an interior disruptor at the University of Florida, but his strength and athleticism could be an asset as an outside pass rusher.

The allusions to the Philadelphia Eagles are apt, but some of this selection can probably be attributed to the final minutes of the AFC championship game. As the Jaguars choked away a ten point lead to the New England Patriots, some of the blame can fall on an injured and fatigued defensive line. Even if Bryan doesn’t play a ton of snaps his presence adds much needed depth.

My grade is an A-minus.