Jacksonville Jaguars: GM is sticking to the game plan and winning

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell speaks to the media during the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Can the Jacksonville Jaguars maintain the momentum on the final day of the NFL Draft?

The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2020 NFL Draft with numerous questions surrounding the team in 2020.

“Who’s going to replace Jalen Ramsey and Yannick Ngakoue?” “What weapons will Gardner Minshew have to work with?” “Will the Jaguars finally be able to stop the run?”

After 106 players joined the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell *nearly* finished his jar of M&Ms the Jacksonville Jaguars and Dave Caldwell answered those questions with authority and positively killed the draft through Days 1 and 2.

More from Jacksonville Jaguars News

While the Arizona Cardinals may have taken fan favorites LB/S Isaiah Simmons and OT Josh Jones before the Jaguars were on the clock, it is crystal clear that Caldwell, Tony, and Shad Khan, and Doug Marrone went into the draft with a plan and they are executing it flawlessly. Caldwell appears to have approached this draft with a strategy of prioritizing needs while executing selections that match up with the best player available and with a team with many holes this isn’t a total surprise.

When C.J. Henderson was selected, some (including myself) saw it as a reach, but looking back it was evident that getting a top cornerback who could cover opposing teams’ top wide receivers was a high priority. When factoring in that only Jeffrey Okudah and Henderson are probably the only players with the potential to be shutdown corners come Week One of the NFL season this selection looks that much better. Ramsey is gone and the Jacksonville Jaguars now have a new team-first cornerback.

With the departure of Yannick Ngakoue looming on the horizon, Caldwell was able to stay patient and land K’Lavon Chaisson with pick 20 in Round 1, a player who they valued at No. 9 if the Cardinals had selected Henderson. Chaisson provides the team with another young edge rusher with positional versatility as the team looks to add more 3-4 looks to the defense.

The bottom line of Round One: Caldwell created a plan and was able to stick to it and select two players who they viewed as top 10 selections. The Jaguars did not have to use any of their other 10 additional draft picks in order to position themselves in the first round to do so. It’s also worth mentioning that this “renovation” plan has set a high priority on obtaining high-quality team-first players as the Jaguars look to “renovate” their locker room and culture (no thanks to Nick Foles).

Following the defense-heavy Round 1, where the Jaguars had their pick of the litter at wide receiver and chose to pass, many wondered what weapons the Jaguars would give quarterback Gardner Minshew as he heads into arguably one of the most important seasons in Jacksonville Jaguars history.

The answer for that is Laviska Shenault Jr. the triple-threat wide receiver who runs like a running back after the catch and was also used as a wildcat quarterback during his time at Colorado. The final selection of Day 2 for the Jaguars was Davon Hamilton, a nose tackle from Ohio State. The massive lineman (6’4″, 320 lbs) should complete the renovation to the Jags defensive line aimed at stopping the run.

Seen by many as the No. 2 nose tackle in this class (behind Derrick Brown) Hamilton was selected 66 picks after Brown so his value alone is enough to write home about. Hamilton is seen as young Al Woods type of player that gives the Jaguars a young and fresh look (never playing more than 357 snaps in a season) that will start his career in Jacksonville in the defensive line rotation and could start over center following the departure of Marcell Dareus.

Caldwell and Marrone now have a young and versatile defensive core that should right the wrongs of seasons past and finally stop the run and create turnovers.

At the conclusion of Day 2 of the draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars have added an influx of young defensive playmakers that will contribute on Day 1, in addition to a certified lethal offensive weapon that is Shenault Jr. that will be catnip for Jay Gruden and Minshew as they make this offense their own.

Caldwell entered this draft with questions swirling around the state of the organization and he has been able to execute his plan so far and provide a clear vision as to who this team will be heading into the 2020 season. Heading into the final day of the Draft the Jaguars will have eight picks to make. Caldwell looks to keep this “renovation” chugging along.

Next. Can Todd Wash fix the Jaguars defense?. dark