There were valuable lessons learned this weekend as the Jacksonville Jaguars added seven players in the NFL Draft. Here are a few thoughts.
As a child, I was one of those draftniks who would pretend they were picking for their favorite team, adding commentary like I knew what I was talking about. I faked being sick to watch the 1983 Draft. Now, as I sat and watched the Jacksonville Jaguars take players who will shape their roster this season and beyond, I can say a few lessons have been learned.
It’s still an exciting time for me as a fan. It’s an even bigger thing now that I get to write about it and live the dream. The Jaguars had a successful three days this past week. What the future holds for the seven men who heard their names selected is to be determined.
Add the 19 undrafted free agents the organization signed over the week and there is plenty of opportunities to make an immediate impact on this franchise.
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Remember, despite all the talent on defense and a few positives on offense, Jacksonville is still 5-11 from just a season ago. As the saying goes, you are what your record says you are.
Here is what I learned from this experience.
The team is really high on this class – As stated earlier, the front office believes there is enough talent on this roster to win the AFC South. Holes have been filled. Depth has been acquired. Except for the safety position, there isn’t a glaring hole to speak of if you look at numbers. I am a little leery of the tight end spot, but Josh Oliver of San Jose State is an impressive pass catcher.
I love the Ryquell Armstead pick and think he will push Alfred Blue to become the top backup to Leonard Fournette. I think drafting Gardner Minshew was a steal. No, he does not have a cannon arm, but his intelligence and his moxie already make him a fan favorite. How can you not love the 1970s mustache?
The Jaguars scouted well. After a ho-hum 2018 draft class, the picks were the right ones for the right time.
"Coughlin said, “Telvin Smith is a linebacker on our football team and we expect him to be here.”"
When the same topic was asked of Caldwell, he said “We’ll see” about whether Smith will be on the roster. He also said he would work on gathering information from Smith’s camp after the draft. There are plenty of ways to speculate on this, but the most important thing to note is Caldwell said he did not receive any calls about a trade for Smith while other media outlets may have eluded to the former FSU star could be on the trading block.
I suspect when all is said and done and Smith finally contacts the organization or a connection is made, No. 50 will be in a Jaguars uniform for camp.
The Jaguars have too many quarterbacks – With the selection of Minshew with the team’s sixth-round pick, Jacksonville now has five quarterbacks going into camp. That’s too many and there aren’t enough reps to go around. What happens now? How soon will one of them be cut?
It should happen soon.
Nick Foles, Cody Kessler, Tanner Lee, Alex McGough, and Minshew. It’s a crowded room for quarterbacks coach Scott Milanovich. Lee might be the odd man out. That’s just speculation. McGough has signed this offseason from Seattle. Minshew’s acumen gives him a leg up and his ability to read defenses on the fly sets him up nicely for a career in football as a head coach down the line.
Kessler comes to camp as the primary backup, but that too could change. If the Jaguars keep three signal callers, my guess right now is Foles, Kessler, and Minshew.