Back in 2018, the Jacksonville Jaguars were fresh off an appearance in the AFC Championship and seemed poised to become a perennial contender. However, they ended up winning just finishing 5-11 and moving on from quarterback Blake Bortles less than a year after giving him a big contract extension. Looking back, it's easy to see what went wrong.
The Jags shouldn't have given Bortles a new deal. Also, Tom Coughlin wasn't a good fit to be the club's vice president of player personnel. On top of that, then-general manager Dave Caldwell failed to replenish the roster, often making questionable decisions.
One of his biggest blunders was drafting defensive tackle Taven Bryan in 2018 instead of taking one of many playmakers still on the board at No. 29, including quarterback Lamar Jackson.
And that's the thing, even if you leave Jackson aside, there were many players still on the board that could have helped the Jaguars, including the next five:
Player 5 the Jaguars should've drafted instead of Taven Bryan: Braden Smith, RT
Right tackle wasn't at the top of the Jaguars' needs in 2018 and Braden Smith had mostly lined up at guard in college but the Indianapolis Colts are surely glad they drafted the former Auburn Tiger 37th overall, as he's become a mainstay of their offensive line.
Smith has been highly consistent for Indy, allowing just 21 sacks in 72 career games and posting a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 73.0 in each of the last five years. Not surprisingly, the Colts rewarded him with a four-year deal worth $72.4 million in 2021.
Had the Jaguars drafted Smith in 2018, they wouldn't have needed to take Jawan Taylor the following year. Taylor had a breakout season in 2022 but it took him a bit to put it all together. Meanwhile, Smith hit his stride right off the bat.