Jaguars: 5 biggest draft busts of the Dave Caldwell era
The Jacksonville Jaguars have steadily replenished their roster over the last two seasons and if Trevor Lawrence and Travon Walker turn out to live up to their draft billing, they will have a young building core on both sides of the ball. Meanwhile, the man responsible for leaving the cupboard bare has recently resurfaced.
That’s right, former Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell was promoted to senior personnel director/advisor to the general manager of the Philadelphia Eagles after joining their front office last year. While this is great news for Caldwell, it’s important to remember that he left Jacksonville’s roster in shambles, which ultimately cost him his job. In fact, his inability to draft and evaluate talent played a big role in the Jags going 12-36 from 2018 to 2020.
And while it’s been more than a year since Caldwell was given the boot, it’s a good time to revisit some of his biggest blunders. After all, teams that don’t learn from their mistakes are doomed to pick in the top 5 of the draft.
No. 5 Jaguars biggest bust of the Dave Caldwell era – Taven Bryan, DT
Defensive tackle Taven Bryan is one of Dave Caldwell’s most recent blunders. The Jaguars got good grades for his selection with the 29th overall pick in the 2018 draft and it’s easy to see why. At the time, Jacksonville was coming off an AFC Championship appearance and the former Florida Gator was expected to improve an already dominant defense.
Alas, Bryan failed to live up to expectations throughout his tenure in Jacksonville. His playing time progressively decreased and was benched in favor of then-rookie Doug Costin in 2020. The defensive tackle had a few solid performances every now and then and he did have an outstanding performance against the Buffalo Bills in Week 9 of the 2021 season. However, he didn’t do much to justify keeping him around after his rookie contract expired.
The Jags didn’t make an effort to bring back Bryan this past offseason and he went on to sign a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, where he’ll get a fresh start.