Jaguars NFL Draft: Lessons learned from Day 2
By David Levin
The second day of the NFL Draft proved both profitable and questionable for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Here are a few things we learned on Friday.
If you had Quincy Williams in your draft pool as a third round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars, you might have just won the lottery. The linebacker and older brother of Quinnen Williams, the third pick in the draft by the New York Jets, told the media on Friday night he was preparing to sign with a team as an undrafted free agent.
Oh, how things have changed. Now, the hard-hitting linebacker has a chance to make an impact on the team, which needed depth at the position. With the status of Telvin Smith unknown, this could be a boom or bust choice for the Jaguars, a team that hit home runs with their first three selections.
Coming from Murray State, Williams was a virtual unknown and left many of the local media puzzled as to the pick. Williams, looking at film, appears to be a heavy hitter who could make am impact on special teams as well.
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"“We had draft-able grades on him through the whole process,” Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said when asked about the selection. The Jaguars took Williams believing he was one of the few linebackers on the board who had the qualities of a starter."
The selection of Williams aside, it was another solid day for the organization and the Draft. With two picks prior to the late third-round selection, Jacksonville filled needs and found possible starters on the offensive side of the ball in tackle Jawaan Taylor and tight end Josh Oliver.
Here are three things we learned from Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
The Jaguars once again stuck to the script – Jacksonville went into Day 2 knowing it needed to continue to fill holes on the offensive side of the ball, especially at right tackle and tight end. Taylor slipped to the second round, where the Jaguars traded up from 38th to 35th (a deal with Oakland) to make the pick. Taylor was on most mock draft boards as the team’s first-round selection.
"“It’s a great, great excitement,” Taylor said in a teleconference with the media Friday night. “I have been dreaming about this since I was a kid. I’m only two hours away from home, so it’s a great big deal for me. I’m looking forward to coming in and competing right away.”"
Taylor’s presence means there is even more competition at the right tackle spot, where the Jaguars now have a logjam of players fighting for a spot on the roster.
Oliver is a player who could have an immediate impact – Oliver out of San Jose State was a player the Jaguars coveted as a pass catcher who could become a solid red zone threat. His size at 6-foot-5 and 249 pounds could present matchup nightmares for linebackers over the middle.
The tight end position has been one of the deepest in this Draft. As players came off the board, I was Jacksonville would miss an opportunity to get a quality player at the position. In John DiFilippo’s offense, the tight end is integral on passing downs.
"“They kind of laid it out,” Oliver said Friday night when asked by local media of his visit with the team. “They have big expectations for the tight ends in their offense and how they do things down there. I just hope to come in and contribute the best I can.”"
He could be a real steal for this organization.
The selection of Williams creates questions – Williams wasn’t expecting to be drafted and was thinking he would have to go the free agent route to make an NFL roster. Now, he could be a big part of the team’s plan in 2019.
The draft pick also stirs more of the pot concerning Smith and his status with the team. Smith was absent from the team’s voluntary workouts and has not had contact with the franchise.
Caldwell, when he met with the media on Friday night, said Williams is the kind of player who can come in and help this defense.
"“He was at the NFLPA game and the All-Star game that we scouted that next week there and had a tremendous workout,” Caldwell explained. “He runs a 4.51, is 232 pounds, 39.5 inch vertical, 10’4” broad jump, tremendous athlete with speed and explosion. It’s kind of what our defense is built on.”"