Jacksonville Jaguars 2018 draft class gets average grade once again

Fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY) Sports
Fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY) Sports /

Under general manager David Caldwell, the Jacksonville Jaguars weren’t very good at acquiring and keeping talent. A prime example of Caldwell’s less-than-stellar work while leading the Jags’ front office came in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Michael Renner of Pro Football Focus recently regraded the Jaguars’ 2018 draft class and gave them an average grade, which is the same they originally got. Renner mainly focuses on Jacksonville’s top three picks in 2018 and goes on to say that the results have been a mixed back so far.

"This was the only year since 2007 that the Jaguars didn’t have a top-10 pick, and the results have been a mixed bag. First-rounder Taven Bryan was always a project, but he took a step back in 2020 after an encouraging 75.5 overall grade in 2019. Second-rounder D.J. Chark cracked 1,000 yards in Year 2 before getting hurt this past season, and third-rounder Ronnie Harrison was traded to the Browns last fall."

In case you forgot whom the Jaguars drafted in 2018, here’s a list:

Round 1 – Taven Bryan, defensive tackle, Florida
Round 2 – DJ Chark Jr., wide receiver, LSU
Round 3 – Ronnie Harrison, safety, Alabama
Round 4 – Will Richardson Jr., offensive tackle, NC State
Round 6 – Tanner Lee, quarterback, Nebraska
Round 7 – Leon Jacobs, linebacker, Wisconsin
Round 7 – Logan Cooke, punter, Mississippi State

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ 2018 draft class leaves much to be desired.

Outside of Chark, the Jaguars haven’t gotten many contributions from their early 2018 draft picks. In fact, you could argue that Renner was lenient when regrading Jacksonville. It looks like the writing is on the wall for Taven Bryan. The team’s brass traded for defensive tackle Malcom Brown and also drafted Jay Tufele. At this point, it’s difficult to picture the Florida product making the 53-man roster.

The Jaguars made the unexpected decision to trade Ronnie Harrison last offseason. Meanwhile, Will Richardson was the team’s top backup offensive tackle last year but he is nothing more than a role player. He is set to become a free agent this offseason and he won’t likely return in 2022. Tanner Lee has never taken a snap in a regular-season game and has been out of the league for a while.

On the other hand, Leon Jacobs has started several games for the Jags over the last three years and is a solid reserve linebacker. A knee injury limited the Wisconsin product to just three games last season. He may need to compete for a roster spot in training camp but he won’t go down without a fight. Then, there’s Logan Cooke, who has been among the best punters in the league and played at an All-Pro level in 2020.

Looking back, the Jags could have drafted linebacker Darius Leonard or running back Nick Chubb instead of Bryan. Also, their inability to replenish the roster in 2018, one year after making the AFC Championship, explains why they won just seven games the last two seasons. Chark may or may not be part of the organization’s long-term plans but there’s no doubt he’s a playmaker. Also, Jacksonville got one of the best punters in the league, and that must account for something. Nevertheless, the Jacksonville Jaguars could have done a better job in 2018.

The Jaguars could feat on these 3 defenses in 2021. dark. Next