Grading the Draft - Jacksonville Jaguars

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Many thought the Jaguars would stay on offense during the draft after one of the top free-agent periods of any team in the league, but they fooled everyone in the first frame.

Round 1 (No. 29 overall): Taven Bryan, DT, Florida

Round 2 (No. 61): DJ Chark, WR, LSU

Round 3 (No. 93): Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

Round 4 (No. 129): Will Richardson, T, NC State

Round 6 (No. 203): Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska

Round 7 (No. 230): Leon Jacobs, EDGE, Wisconsin

Round 7 (No. 247): Logan Cooke, P, Mississippi State

UDFA: Mike Hughes, DT, UNLV; Reggie Hunter, LB, North Carolina Central; Darius Jackson, DE, Jacksonville State; Lyndon Johnson, DT, Cincinnati; Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State; KC McDermott, OT, Miami; Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford; Dorren Miller, WR, Carson-Newman; Andrew Motuapuaka, LB, Virginia Tech; C.J. Reavis, S, Marshall

Considering the depth and talent Jacksonville has at the defensive tackle spot, Taven Bryan was a bit of a surprise in Round 1, but he was good value. Bryan is definitely a Doug Marrone/Tom Coughlin type of defender and could offer insurance for Marcell Dareus and Abry Jones over the next few years.

The next two selections were great value.

DJ Chark slid a bit further than many expected, but he’s a guy I expect to quickly take hold as the team’s third receiver. Chark is a terrific receiver and comes with tremendous upside. Ronnie Harrison fell after poor 40 times in the lead-up to the draft. He’s an outstanding safety, and considering starter Barry Church will be 31 years old this season, Harrison could soon break in with the first team.

Will Richardson was a bit of a reach in Round 4 but is a good developmental prospect at right tackle. Tanner Lee was worth a sixth-round pick, and if Marrone can straighten him out they may have a player on their hands. Leon Jacobs is the type of undersized but fierce, explosive pass rusher the Jaguars like in their system.

The team hit big with its UDFA signings. Darius Jackson is like Jacobs in that he’s an undersized pass rusher who can get after the quarterback. Allen Lazard was a great signing and could make the Jags roster as the fifth receiver. Quenton Meeks could be the steal of the UDFA class from any team. The junior fell out of the draft due to concerns about his speed as he was “officially” timed from 4.55s to 4.57s during pro day (though some had him at 4.49s).  He’s a natural fit for the Jags cover-3 scheme and improves the depth in the Jacksonville secondary.

Analysis: The Jaguars got value and talent and were able to fill immediate needs as well as plug future holes. They also hit big after the draft, and while there are no knockout players in this collection, many of these players will be legitimately fighting for roster spots. Grade: B+