Sacksonville managed to find one of the best defenders in the entire class with the 29th overall pick. Florida’s Taven Bryan joins a band of simply outstanding defensive linemen and will look to immediately improve the teams run defense and provide some extra interior pressure.
Taven Bryan Selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars
Whilst the Jacksonville Jaguars have an array of talent at defensive tackle already, the team may be looking with one step toward the future with this pick. Both Marcell Dareus and Malik Jackson are on bloated contracts for players well into their 30’s and so signing Bryan to an inexpensive five year contract allows the Jaguars to potentially manoeuvre some cap space around and maintain the production necessary to make a championship run.
Given the calibre of talent around him, Bryan will be able to elevate his game due to the mentoring of All-Pro lineman Calais Campbell who has the ability to sustain pressure from the edge and up the middle. During his final season at Florida, Bryan was able to record four sacks and six tackles for loss during his final 11 games.
Despite the fact Jacksonville arguably had some more pressing needs to address with the 29th pick, Tom Coughlin and Dave Caldwell stayed committed to taking the best player available. Philadelphia have shown that you can never have too many defensive linemen, adding more pressure from one of the league’s best pass rushing units should take the Jaguars closer to competing with the AFC’s best.
Whilst the Jaguars received national attention for their ability to get after opposing quarterbacks during the 2017 season, their run defense left much to be desired. Bryan will able to get penetration through the middle in order to shut down opposition backfields on a frequent basis as a part of such a talented defensive line.