2018 was a monster regressive season for this team that made it all the way to the AFC Championship Game the previous season. All hands on deck. Clear the decks this off-season for TOM COUGHLIN’S minions. Gone is former “franchise QB” BLAKE BORTLES, who is now in L.A. In comes NICK FOLES, who had been somewhat of a savior for the EAGLES the last two seasons. His presence brings new hope to a turned-over roster. A recent printout showed that 43 players, out of the current 90-man roster, were newcomers to the JAGS roster. Let’s take a look at the 7 draftees who are coming to Duval County this summer.
Round 1, Pick 7
JOSH ALLEN OB/ER KENTUCKY
6’5/262 4.65/40 PP#1
Need I say more than to point out that ALLEN was my top ranked player in this Draft? I luv this guy’s athleticism. He reminds of CHANDLER JONES/CARDS, in that he is a natural pass rusher, but can also stand up and drop into coverage. He should be able to post double-digit sacks in every season he stays reasonably healthy. His role versatility will just add to his value. It would also behoove the JAGS to line him up in multiple slots from down to down. Make the Offense play “where’s Waldo” with him. Excellent value for a team that relies on its D to control games.
Round 2, Pick 35
JAWAAN TAYLOR OT FLORIDA
6’5/312 5.25/40 PP#17
In my books, TAYLOR has the talent value of another first rounder. JAGS fans, in general, were also delighted to have the “local boy” join their team’s ranks. Expect him to be the replacement for JEREMY PARNELL out at RT as a Rookie. If he is not, then it will be a setback in their attempts to retool that OL on the fly. TAYLOR was originally a big 350-pounder in Gainesville, but has slimmed down to improve his mobility. Any OL Coach has to luv those 35 1/8″ arms, and 10″ hands. He needs to use his natural knee-bend with more confidence, and reduce his tendency to lunge and reach for defenders. He is a top end talent at a position of need. The caveat to getting this stud in Round 2 may be that more than a few NFL teams had worrisome medical reports on him. But their team doctors appear to be OK with his health.
Round 3, Pick 69
JOSH OLIVER TE SAN JOSE STATE
6’5/249 4.63/40 PP#88
The TE position is in total rebuild for this team. They currently have 7 TE’s on their roster, and 3 of them are new to the team. OLIVER is a late bloomer, from a sorry looking SJSU football program, these days. OLIVER caught 56 balls for 709 yards, and 4 TD’s. His 10 3/4″ hands, on 33 1/2″ arms, really excited pro scouts. He excelled with his work in Mobile last January. I would not yet label him as an immediate starter for them, but he has the talent to really upgrade their position group. Look for him to emerge in the second half of the 2019 season. Quite a few talent evaluators felt Oliver had the tools to make a better pro talent then collegiate career might indicate.
Round 3, Pick 98
QUINCY WILLIAMS IB/SS MURRAY STATE
5’11/225 4.55/40 PP#NR
I gotta admit, that this guy had not 1 notation in my scouting notebook this year. He did flash at the NFLPA Game, and is the brother of ALABAMA’s QUINNEN WILLIAMS. It is also a proven fact that his numbers do indicate some serious Special Teams attributes. It is also well known that TOM COUGHLIN has always put heavy emphasis on Special Teamers on his rosters. But Top 100? We shall see. My guess is that they see the potential to develop him into a hybrid IB/SS type, given his size and speed. This looks like a reach but with his athleticism, and genes, let’s give this player a couple of years to show he belongs in the NFL.
Round 5, Pick 140
RYQUELL ARMSTEAD RB TEMPLE
5’11/220 4.46/40 PP#131
TEMPLE TOUGH is an understatement in the case of this bulldozing runner. Though he was limited at times because of injuries, he played hurt, which is more than can be said of many guys who have played RB for the JAGS in recent seasons. He topped 1,000 yards rushing last season, and most of it came between the tackles. Many at the Combine were pleasantly surprised by his 40-time. He is punishing, both as a runner and a blocker. He and VFA ALFRED BLUE could be the new backups for LEONARD FOURNETTE. Maybe he can help motivate FOURNETTE to bigger and better things. Someone needs too.
Round 6, Pick 177
GARDNER MINSHEW QB WASHINGTON STATE
6’1/225 4.97/50 PP#199
Yeah, yeah, I know all about his limitations, but I am telling you that there is something about this guy that intrigues me. Anyone who can transfer into the WASHINGTON STATE program, and learn the MIKE LEACH offense in a few months, certainly has a pro caliber FBI. He also seems to have the kind of personality that teammates respond to. You can call him a product of the LEACH system, but a completion percentage of 70.7% is impressive in any system. His 10 1/2″ hands are also a plus. I don’t know that he will ever win a pro starting job, but he might just make a solid career backup. Good gamble in Round 6, for a team that cleaned out its QB room after last season.
Round 7, Pick 235
DONTAVIUS RUSSELL DT AUBURN
6’3/319 5.15/40 PP#177
Anyone who can anchor an SEC DL, has to be given some consideration for his pro potential. I will also note that I was very impressed with the effort and production he displayed during Senior Bowl week. He caught my eye from the first practice session in Mobile. Talent-wise, he could have been drafted several rounds earlier, but his overall production at AUBURN left a bit to be desired. He moves pretty well for a big man, and he will plug up the middle against the run game. In a DL rotation, there could be Sundays when he stands out. NFL coaches will want to see him flash in every game.
I like this Draft effort, as well as the group of URFA’s who will also join the Training Camp roster. I can foresee over a dozen Rookies possibly earning jobs on their 53-man roster come September. That’s important, after a couple of years when the incoming draftees left a bit to be desired, and some vets had to be let go to get the team under the Salary Cap.