Entering his fourth draft as general manager of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Dave Caldwell has 25 draft picks to his name. And while that may not be much in comparison to a number of picks that other decision-makers around the league, such as Bill Belichick, Ozzie Newsome, or Ted Thompson, he still has enough of a draft history where we *may* be able to detect some trends.
Below you can check out a collection of possibly but "hey maybe not" useless facts about the 25 draft picks that Caldwell has made. From what conferences he has picked from the most, the average age of his draft picks... all that good stuff. You can toy around with all of the info below yourself, but there are a few things that stood out to me that I will touch on.
Caldwell has kept his word on big school players
Of Caldwell's 25 draft picks, seven have come from the SEC. That's 28% of his picks, and the next closest conference(s) come in at four picks each, which is 12% lower. This is interesting because when Caldwell was first hired in 2013 he made sure to make a point to emphasize that, unlike his predecessor Gene Smith, he said he'd focus on big schools and big competition.
This has shown up in his drafts in a clear way. Of his 25 picks, only four have come from schools that aren't in a "big" conference. One of those picks is from Notre Dame and all four of those picks have been taken in the seventh round.
Caldwell has taken players from powerhouses such as Florida State and Alabama and has several selections from Florida and South Carolina as well. He has stayed very true to his mantra of "big school, big competition".
What does that mean for 2016?
Well, all of the perceived top prospects such as Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, Joey Bosa, and Shaq Lawson come from "big" schools with a lot of history behind them. The earliest Caldwell has taken a player from a true non-powerhouse program is Blake Bortles and he is a quarterback so he is more an exception than anything.
First round picks have been youthful
The average age of Caldwell's three first round picks is 21 years old. Dante Fowler was only 20 when he was drafted, and Bortles had just turned 22 a week before the draft. Luke Joeckel was 21 years old.
None of the first rounders have been seniors either, with all being juniors. The highest rated senior in the entire 2016 NFL Draft seems to be DeForest Buckner and he is unlikely to be the pick at No. 5, so this trend looks like it is bound to continue.
I think this says more about the state of the NFL Draft in recent years than Dave Caldwell himself. Most truly elite NFL prospects simply do not stick around for four years or more in college. If they are good enough to leave, they normally do. And they normally have.
The age of top prospects this year?
Myles Jack: 20
Jalen Ramsey: 21
Joey Bosa: 20
Shaq Lawson: 21
He has swung and missed badly at defensive back
The position groups that Caldwell has invested in the most is defensive back, and it isn't close.
Despite that, the Jaguars have yet to field a great player out of the crop. Aaron Colvin if the best player of the seven taken and that is... a low bar.
|Year||Round||Name||Draft Age||Position||Year Declared||Senior Bowl||NFL Combine|
|2013||3||Dwayne Gratz||23||CB||RS Senior||Yes||Yes|
|2014||4||Aaron Colvin||22||CB||Senior||Yes||No (injured)|
At defensive back, Caldwell has seemed to place a high premium on experience. Every player he has picked except James Sample has been either a senior or a redshirt senior when they declared for the NFL draft.
But this has not exactly been an experiment that has worked. Correlation does not equal causation in this case but if experience is something that Caldwell covets in defensive backs, maybe he should rearrange his priorities at the position.
Most interesting age discrepancy
When looking at the ages of players when they were taken, the funniest thing that stuck out to me was the fact that Dwayne Gratz will be 26 when Week 1 rolls around while Allen Robinson will be only 23.
Gratz was selected just one year before Robinson.
Again, Allen Robinson is only 23 years old. And again, Dwayne Gratz will be 26. God bless Allen Robinson, and God bless America.
What does it all mean?
Again, how much does all of this information really mean? I am not sure if it means anything at all. If Caldwell had more than three drafts to go over, I am sure even more data could be found to find draft trends. But all of the info is there for you to take a look at and draw your own conclusions.
Personally, I hope Caldwell has a few more drafts in him for that alone because I do find this kind of stuff interesting.
If you have any suggestions on other things to track and monitor for future installments of this (if there is any) feel free to comment below.
And if you'd like to see even more information and draw your own conclusions about the Jaguars' draft trends since Dave Caldwell became general manager, click here.