Jaguars select TE Josh Oliver with first third round pick
By David Levin
The Jacksonville Jaguars finally answer the question at tight end. The team announced they have taken San Jose State’s Josh Oliver.
Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell told the media weeks ago the tight end position was one the team would look to improve. In the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft, the team addressed that need by selecting Josh Oliver of San Jose State.
Oliver, who stands 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds, could become an immediate starter in John DiFillippo’s offense.
The organization has had a big need for a pass catching tight end since 2010 when Marcedes Lewis made the Pro Bowl. The position was almost non-existent in the Jaguars offense last season. James O’Shaughnessy led the team in receptions for the unit with 24.
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O’Shaughnessy re-signed with the Jaguars in free agency.
Oliver’s size and speed offer the team a new element to use this coming season. DiFilippo used Zach Ertz in Philadelphia and Travis Kelce in Kansas City.
"According to Lance Zierlein of NFL.com, Oliver has “Above-average, mid-air athlete with plus ball skills who was forced to deal with coverages that were consistently shaded in his direction thanks to an excessive target count.”"
When quarterback Nick Foles met the media at the beginning of the team’s voluntary workout program, he said having a tight end is important to the success of the offense. Now, he has another target to work with.
"“Tight end in this league right now is so important. The big reason is you want a guy that can go out and catch the ball… You have to be able to run the ball with the tight end in the game, but they also have to be able to go out and catch the ball. It’s very hard to find guys that are good at both, but a key to a great offense is you really do need a good tight end.”"
The Jaguars also added Geoff Swaim from the Dallas Cowboys in free agency. Zeirlein wrote Oliver’s ability to block is a plus in his move to the NFL.
"“Oliver’s route-running and ball-tracking talent allow him to work beyond the first level and can help NFL team’s looking to push the ball downfield,” Zierlein wrote."
"“Oliver will flash as an in-line blocker at times but might need to enter the league as a TE2/3 who works from the slot until he becomes more skilled and consistent at the point of attack.”"