Why Jaguars TE Josh Oliver will be an X-Factor in 2019
The Jaguars selected San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver with the 69th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft with the hope of him becoming a talented star.
When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver in the 2019 NFL Draft, they envisioned him as a solid pass catcher in this new offense. Oliver will have the luxury of having a great quarterback who targets his tight ends, which will benefit his development.
Nick Foles is obviously known for his miraculous Super Bowl run, which earned him a Super Bowl MVP and a big contract with the Jaguars. Foles will make Oliver and the other tight ends on this roster better players in 2019.
Last season, Foles stepped in for Carson Wentz and almost led the Eagles on another deep playoff run if it wasn’t for an untimely turnover against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Round. The former Arizona Wildcats signal caller had the benefit of having multiple offensive weapons while in Philadelphia, one of them being Pro-Bowl tight end Zach Ertz.
In his seven total games – including the playoffs – Foles targeted Ertz 67 times, an average of a little over nine times per game. Foles targeted Ertz 25.2 percent of his throws.
There’s no doubting that Ertz is a great talent and one of the best – if not the best at his position — but it is also important to understand that Foles will surely look to the tight end position as a security blanket.
Oliver didn’t get much hype this draft process due to the stellar collegiate careers of Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant. But there is much to be excited about in Oliver’s game.
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Oliver might be more similar to Ertz than we might think, as both are 6’5 and 260lbs and ran similar 40 times – Ertz at 4.67 and Oliver at 4.63.
In his senior season with the Spartans, Oliver excelled, catching 56 passes for 709 yards and four touchdowns despite being over targeted and coverages focusing on him. While Ertz did outperform those collegiate stats, Oliver comes from a small school in the Mountain West Conference compared to Eagles star’s time at Stanford.
In the offense the Jaguars will run, Oliver, can work on all three levels of the field, making him a threat to either move the chains on a key third down or for a chunk yardage gain. He is also an excellent route runner and his speed will allow him to separate from defenders and have a chance for any ball coming his way.
I think Oliver can easily become an X-factor in the Jaguars’ offense with the threat of running back Leonard Fournette in the backfield.
Much isn’t certain about the Jaguars’ newest offense under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, but one can assume that Foles success using the RPO (run-pass-option) in Philadelphia will be brought down to Duval, which would be a welcome sight for Oliver assuming that role as he adjusts to playing in the NFL.
While Oliver is certainly not on the same level as Ertz at this point in his early career, playing under Nick Foles could speed up his development and earn the Jaguars a reliable target.