The Jacksonville Jaguars roster will take shape in training camp. Will defensive tackle Taven Bryan be on the team in Week 1?
When the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted defensive tackle Taven Bryan in 2018, they thought they were getting a playmaker that was going to wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage. Instead, the Florida product has been a non-factor throughout his three-year career and is probably on the roster bubble ahead of training camp. However, Ben Linsey of Pro Football Focus says he’s a player to keep an eye on in the 2021 regular season.
Linsey recently projected every NFL team’s starting lineup in Week 1. Although Bryan wasn’t part of Jacksonville’s defense, he was mentioned as a player to watch. Linsey sees Roy Robertson-Harris, Malcom Brown, and rookie Jay Tufele as the starting defensive linemen in the Jaguars’ 3-4 defense.
Regarding Bryan, Linsey believes 2021 is the last chance for the 2018 first-round pick to make an impact. He points out that the defensive tackle has been trending up and thinks that Bryan could have a chance to “bounce back if he can earn a role early in the season”.
Taven Bryan may not be on the Jaguars roster in Week 1.
The Jaguars, just like every other NFL team, are carrying 90 players on the roster ahead of training camp. They will have to cut it down to 53 before the season opener. Although there may be a few surprising cuts, you might be hard-pressed to find someone who will be shocked to see Jacksonville move on from Bryan.
The former Gator hasn’t missed a single game in the last three years but the positives end there. In that span, he’s logged 71 total tackles, 11 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. That’s not the kind of production you expect from a first-round selection, especially one that was drafted before quarterback Lamar Jackson and All-Pro linebacker Darius Leonard.
Head coach Urban Meyer said the team wants Bryan even though they declined the fifth-year option on his rookie deal. The defensive tackle also has a supporter in defensive line coach Tosh Lupou, who believes he can be a great contributor in 2021, via Jaguar Report:
"The guy’s got extreme explosive attributes to him from an athletic standpoint. That’s what we need to do is get him focused, confident of where he needs to align, assign, and execute. If we can put that together, he can be a great contributor this season."
Maybe Bryan turns the corner and becomes the player the Jaguars expected when they made him the 29th overall pick in 2018’s draft. However, it won’t be an easy task. Last season, he was outplayed by then-rookies DaVon Hamilton and Doug Costin. He will really need to take advantage of his last chance and show he can make an impact in defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s 3-4 scheme.
Last season, Jacksonville’s defensive front couldn’t stop opposing teams from running the ball at ease. Thus, the team’s brass made several changes this offseason. After all the additions they made, it’s uncertain if Bryan will be part of the Jaguars roster in Week 1. Training camp will give him the opportunity to make his case.