The Jacksonville Jaguars could have an All-Pro linebacker on their roster.
Jaguars’ original 2018 pick: Defensive tackle Taven Bryan (28th overall, first round)
They missed on: Linebacker Darius Leonard
In 2018, the Jaguars were coming off an appearance in the AFC Championship game. Their defense was one of the top units in the NFL and their offense was solid. An old adage that says the difficult thing is not to get to the top but to stay in it. In retrospect, this Jacksonville team would’ve benefited from listening to this, as they quickly fell off the cliff.
Although there are many reasons why the ‘Jags’ weren’t able to recreate their 2017 magic, their failure to replenish their roster was one of them. The year after finishing second in points allowed, the team used a first-round pick on Taven Bryan.
So far, Bryan hasn’t had the impact the Jaguars expected, and heading into his fourth NFL season, there aren’t any indications things will change. What makes his selection even more disappointing is the fact there were plenty of talented prospects on the board when they made the pick. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was still there and so was Darius Leonard, who has gone on to become an All-Pro linebacker for the Indianapolis Colts.
In three years in ‘Indy’, Leonard has logged 416 total tackles (26 for a loss), 15 sacks, 22 passes defensed, nine forced fumbles, and seven interceptions. While the South Carolina state product wouldn’t fix the Jaguars’ woes on defense by himself, his presence would surely boost the unit.