The Jacksonville Jaguars used their first round pick on Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryan back in the 2018 NFL Draft, which was a big surprise to a lot of people. A lot of the surprise also stemmed from the position Bryan played in college, defensive tackle, where there seems to be a logjam for the Jaguars. Some people pointed out that it’s very possible and even likely the Jaguars viewed Bryan as a versatile lineman who can also play the defensive end role in the Jaguars defense, much like veteran Calais Campbell.
Turns out, that possibility seems to be the reality.
“Fortunately for the defensive line, it’s not a big learning curve. I know we moved Taven a little bit farther away from the football – playing [defensive] end,” Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said when asked about the learning curve for the Jaguars first round pick. “He will play some inside on third down rushing. He has picked it up extremely well. We drafted smart players, which is very important in our process and where we are at now. We can draft good and intelligent players.”
Making the transition to defensive end shouldn’t be too difficult for Bryan, who relied a lot on his athleticism in college to beat interior lineman to disrupt in the backfield. Bryan has the body type and athleticism to fit as a right end at the NFL level much like Campbell did early in his career.
As a rookie, his bread and butter is likely going to be as an interior pass rusher on third downs, but it will be fun to watch him settle into his role at defensive end during training camp and the in preseason.