The Jacksonville Jaguars have selected University of Florida offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor with the No. 35 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft after trading up with the Oakland Raiders. The Jaguars were expected to bolster their offensive line in the draft and decided to address it in second round with the player many mocked the Jaguars to take with the No. 7 overall pick.
The Jaguars actually gained a pick in the deal for Taylor, giving up their 2nd round pick and fourth round pick, but got back the Raiders second round pick, fifth round pick and seventh round pick.
The Jaguars currently have a logjam of guys to compete for the starting right tackle position and Taylor should slot right into the competition and be the likely favorite. Offensive line was a big issue for the Jaguars last season, in large part because the team was starting backups of backups of backups of guys just signed the week prior by the end of the season.
Taylor played predominantly right tackle for Florida since he was a freshman, having a cup of coffee as a left tackle for the final two games of his Sophomore season, but outside of that was always on the right side. That’s exactly where he will slot in with the Jaguars and should be their Week 1 starter at right tackle.
Our own Filip Prius gives his quick scouting report:
Despite reported medical red flags with concerns about Taylor’s knee and back, Taylor was one of the most durable offensive lineman in the SEC over the last three years, never missing a game. Although predominantly a right tackle, Taylor had a few spot starts at left tackle as injuries required. After attending University of Florida’s summer camp as a three-star guard recruit out of Cocoa High School, a then-383-pound Taylor “labored and limped” through his workout and knew he had to lose a substantial amount of weight to earn a spot on the Gators roster. Through a serious diet regimen where he cut out chips and hostess cakes and three daily workouts, he dropped 50 pounds and got down to 335 his senior year at Coca, earning an offer from Florida in late November.
Taylor is an impressive physical specimen with extremely long, strong 35”+ arms and explosive lower body that affords him tremendous leg drive off the snap as a run blocker. Taylor’s athletic profile is incomplete as he was unable to compete in the NFL draft process.
Taylor has a reputation of being a mauler in the run game and was one of the highest-rated run blockers in the country per Pro Football Focus. Taylor shows expedient footwork for his size and does a good job of mirroring in space but will suffer from balance issues, especially against rushers that are gifted at converting speed to power. Taylor needs more mental refinement and discipline in his game as early movement/false starts could be a potential issue, and with that being one of Cam Robinson’s issues as a rookie, this could be a less than an ideal pairing in this regard. Teams have discussed moving Taylor to guard, and the Ravens were reportedly split 50/50 on Taylor and Marquise Brown, with Ravens beat reporter Jeff Zrebiec revealing the Ravens would have moved Taylor inside. In Jacksonville, Taylor would likely compete with Will Richardson at right tackle with the loser being kicked inside to right guard after the sun sets on A.J. Cann’s tenure in Jacksonville. Outside of medical, the concern for Taylor would be whether he would fall back to his old eating habits after having life-changing money and becoming too comfortable as a professional.