With the news that Taven Bryan has signed his rookie deal on Tuesday, all seven members of the Jacksonville Jaguars Draft Class is now under contract. Rookies report to TIAA Bank Field on Wednesday for training camp, ahead of veterans who report next week.
Taven Bryan, who gives the Jaguars a big end/tackle to use in their defensive line rotation. The former Florida Gator is expected to get 25-30 snaps a game, per head coach Doug Marrone. The plan is for Bryan to play the end position, allowing Calais Campbell more rest during the 2018 season.
Like I said in an earlier post, Bryan’s ability to spell veterans and maintain a high level of performance is more important to the success of this defense this coming season.
Per NFL.com, the deal is four years at $10.2 million with a $5.5 million signing bonus.
Bryan was considered a surprise pick by the Jaguars when the selection was made, especially since there were other “need” players still on the board. His quickness off the snap was evident in both OTAs and minicamp and the rookie continues to learn defensive coordinator Todd Wash’s system.
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Bryan isn’t the only Jaguars rookie who will be counted on to make an impact this season. Here is a look at the other six players drafted and their how they should help this team in 2018.
DJ Chark, Wide Receiver, LSU (Round 2) – He gives the Jaguars something they did not have before this draft, which was a tall, speedy wide receiver. DJ Chark will be a nightmare matchup for defensive backs in the red zone at 6-foot-4 and 198 pounds.
Chark may be the fourth option on the depth chart right now, but that might change with a solid camp and his ability to pick up the system quickly. He may also help the team in the return game.
Ronnie Harrison, Safety, Alabama (Round 3) – I really loved this pick and after seeing him on the field, I love it even more. Ronnie Harrison is a big-time player who surprisingly fell to the third round.
Harrison has the ability to play both free and strong safety with his size and 6-foot-2 and 207. He will provide depth in the secondary, with Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church. Harrison gives the Jaguars a future star who will eventually replace one of the starters.
Will Richardson, Tackle, North Carolina State (Round 4) – Richardson had off-field issues in college, which may have been a reason he fell to the fourth round. I think he might be a steal, especially if he can play inside at right guard and challenge AJ Cann.
Will Richardson has mammoth size (6-foot-6, 303 pounds) and solid footwork. He was drafted to play right tackle, which could mean he starts in 2019 in place of veteran Jermey Parnell.
The former Nebraska signal caller who transferred from Tulane will more than likely be assigned to the practice squad. I would be shocked if he made the 53-man roster.
Leon Jacobs, Linebacker, Wisconsin, (Round 7) – Like Harrison, I am a bit surprised Leon Jacobs lasted this long. He is built like he is ready to run through a brick wall. If Harrison has the same kind motor in the pros as he did for the Badgers, he could be a starter for this defense.
Jacobs is in a battler with Blair Brown, Donald Payne, and Brooks Ellis to win the starting outside linebacker spot. Marrone said during OTAs that the starter for that position is already in the building. Jacobs has as good a shot as anyone.
Logan Cooke, Punter, Mississippi State (Round 7) – The first thing I noticed about Logan Cooke was his size. At 6-foot-5, he is built like a linebacker ready to hit someone. He has a strong leg and should help the Jaguars with field position.
Once Cooke was drafted, the team released veteran Brad Nortman.