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Taven Bryan is making some strides, but it’s not enough just yet

NFL: JUL 26 Jaguars Training Camp Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The last imagine for Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Taven Bryan so far in the 2019 preseason is him getting thrown out of the club on a run play against the Philadelphia Eagles last Thursday. No matter what else Bryan had done up to that point, the only thing people right now remember is him getting big-boy’d and pancaked on a run play.

Unfortunately, that’s how it works when you’re a raw football player still trying to learn the techniques of the position and how to translate your athleticism to actual football ability.

“I think it’s helped moving Taven just to one spot. He does move outside in our heavy package versus big people, but he’s staying at one spot,” Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said about Bryan when asked what he has seen from the former first round pick so far.

“I think you can start to see his skill development at that position being developed and it’s going to be a big game, this one and the next one, for Taven so we can continue to see him develop. But he’s making strides and I think it’s helped having him at the one position.”

In the first game of the preseason Bryan had a handful of nice plays where he disrupted the pocket, but at the end of the day he didn’t end up on the stat sheet. He took a ton of criticism from that game, a lot of it deserved, but there were still a few good things to see they were just sporadic. The game overall however, left a lot to be desired and that’s not exactly what you want to see from your second-year first round pick.

In Week 2 Bryan had a few more nice plays, including one he knifed into the backfield and turned the run play back inside so the linebacker could make the tackle. It was a good play, but it’s also one he should be finishing and making the tackle himself. He had another play later in the game where he was pushing back the guard but the running back was still able to get by him. He’s got to finish that play and get his hand on the runner.

The biggest step Bryan needs to take right now is to start finishing plays. He will flash every so often pushing the pocket or getting the backfield which is nice, but it doesn’t amount to much if he cannot get off the block and finish. It’s similar to some of the criticism of Dante Fowler when he was here. He had the tools to make a good player, but he didn’t quite now how to use them. Whether it’s getting better at hand fighting or getting a shed move or something, the biggest issue right now with Taven Bryan is he’s not finishing.

We knew when Bryan was drafted he was more on the project type of player who would need some time to learn and work on technique, so this isn’t too surprising, but it does kind of feel like he’s a little behind the pace you’d like to see.