After being selected in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft, Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor is set to be inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame May 8th, part of the 2020 class which is scheduled to take place at Cocoa Beach Country Club, the Space Coast Daily announced yesterday.
The recognition is for Taylor’s success at the high school, college and professional levels.
Taylor originally played football at Cocoa High School, only two ours from Jacksonville, before committing to the University of Florida after originally committing to the University of Miami. During his time in the NFL thus far, Taylor took the league by storm playing on all 1,091 for the team in 2019 and becoming the first rookie offensive lineman to play — and start —, all 16 games for the Jaguars since Maurice Williams in 2001.
In speaking with Space Coast Daily’s Juan Rodriguez, Taylor embraced the honor of being named to the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame saying “it’s a blessing” to be inducted along side fellow NFL players such as New Orleans Saints safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Jamel Dean. Gardner-Johnson played with Taylor at Florida and all three played flag football together growing up, Taylor told Rodriguez.
The Jaguars have a rare specimen of a tackle protecting the font side of the team’s quarterback for years to come in Taylor. After deciding to move on from tackle Jeremy Parnell following the 2018 season, the Jaguars made it a priority to find his replacement and traded up from the 38th selection in the 2019 NFL draft to the 35th selection in order to pounce on the falling Taylor — a player who perfectly matched what the team is looking for as far as size thresholds.
Taylor was originally mocked to go in the first round, however after a hamstring injury prevented him from testing at the NFL Combine and his Pro Day in Gainesville, Florida, Taylor fell right into the Jaguars lap. While he had lapses as far as penalties — 15, the highest total on the team last season —, Taylor made up for it in his pass and run blocking ability. According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor allowed only eight sacks including two in the final 10 games in the season.
One of Taylor’s best game came in the team’s week 15 matchup against the Oakland Raiders — the final game at the Coliseum. Taylor told Big Cat Country in December his game against the Raiders was by far his most complete game of the season at that point, earning him a grade of 92% from his position coach. According to Pro Football Focus, Taylor surrendered only two pressures during the matchup.
The Jaguars will enter the 2020 season with Taylor firmly set at their right tackle position as they work to return the offensive line to it’s 2017 form, or better.