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2019 NFL Draft: Who meets the Jaguars offensive tackle thresholds?

Demetrius Harvey

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This table shows athletic testing updated as of 4/8/2019 -- Demetrius Harvey

The Jacksonville Jaguars entered the 2019 offseason with glaring needs along the right side of the offensive line, as well as some improved depth. After moving on from the oft-injured Jermey Parnell and his $6 million cap figure last month, the Jaguars are in a tight spot regarding what direction they want to take the right tackle position. Although the team may believe in 2018 fourth-round pick Will Richardson, he was not able to compete at all during his rookie season in 2018, and eventually landed on injured reserve with a knee injury.

Moving onto the NFL Draft, the Jaguars are very likely to select at least one or more offensive linemen to compete and/or start along the offensive line. Although the Jaguars have selected only six offensive linemen during the Dave Caldwell era, it would behoove them to double down in this area for both starting and depth purposes.

The 2019 NFL Draft class offers a ton of offensive tackles to choose from. However, the question is, what is the Jaguars “type” at offensive tackle, exactly? I broke down the Jaguars offensive line thresholds to figure that out.

Since the Jaguars seemingly do not prioritize the offensive line in the draft, I included the team’s free agent acquisitions and any relevant offensive linemen on the roster over the past six years since Dave Caldwell was named General Manager. I have also included the Buffalo Bills’ offensive tackle draft picks from when current Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone held the same position in Buffalo, with the assumption that his offensive line background and experise weighed heavily on all OL additions with the Bills as well as here in Jacksonville.

For the sake of as much brevity as possible, I will only be focusing on the offensive tackles in this article. Expect a post on interior offensive linemen to follow shortly after this publication.

Here are each of the Jaguars draft picks or relevant free agent acquisitions over the past six seasons:

The variables tracked: Official height, weight, arm length, hand size, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, 3-cone drill, 20-yard short shuttle, bench press, and how each player was acquired.

Note:
Kelvin Beachum was removed from the tracking table and was listed as an outlier particularly because of his arm-length – measuring a full inch shorter than any other tackle the Jaguars have signed/drafted in the past. His four-year contract option was not picked up after year one – the year Marrone took over as head coach and the offensive tackle “type” became a little more strict.  I assigned Josh Walker the guard role as that position is what he was originally signed to compete at.

The statistics I used to create a scale for the table below are as follows:

MIN = the lowest (or highest, depending on the metric) value an offensive tackle the Jaguars have brought in has achieved.

MAX = the highest (or lowest, depending on the metric) value an offensive tackle the Jaguars have brought in has achieved.

AVERAGE = the average score for each metric by offensive tackles the Jaguars have acquired

STDEV = Standard deviation of the sample set from the mean

%TILE RANGE = the NFL offensive tackle percentile range from the lowest – highest score

Players who are within these numbers in some way for those respective categories will be classified somewhere in a green spectrum. If any player’s category is below the minimum for that specific statistic, then they will be within a red spectrum which means they not as ideal for the Jaguars as they have never* brought in a player that has posted lower scores.

According to the table above, the Jaguars are seemingly very biased towards players who have longer arms. The shortest arm length beside Beachum’s and Walker’s (listed as a guard) is 34.3″, which still ranks in the 56th percentile among NFL offensive tackles dating back to 2000. Therefore, a lot of the players listed in the chart below for the offensive tackles in the 2019 NFL Draft will miss the mark when it comes to arm-length.

*according to the list of players I have examined with appropriate athletic testing scores and measurements.

2019 NFL Draft: Offensive tackle prospects

Using the Jaguars percentile ranges, I was able to determine roughly which metrics they cared about the most. The Jaguars appear to focus more on the size of the player rather than the athletic testing.

If the player has high marks (green) in the size department, but misses the mark a little on the athleticism, they have a greater chance of being high on the Jaguars board, thus placing them in the first tier (perfect match). If they miss the mark a bit (light red) on size, but nail it in the athleticism department, they fall in tier two (near perfect match). If they miss the mark on size completely (dark red), and athleticism they are in tier three (not a match).

Some players on the list are missing information, due to a lack of participation at the NFL Combine and/or their Pro Days. However, I used the information I had at my disposal from a variety of outlets including NFL.com, @MathBomb (relativeathleticscore.com), Mockdraftable.com, and our own Locked On Jaguars sources.

NOTE: Simply because a player is in tier three (not a match) does not mean the Jaguars will not pick the player. These rankings are strictly based on their athletic profiles, and the Jaguars could very well value a player’s talent more than they value their ideal fit athletically. This list also does not contain every single offensive tackle prospect, however, it does contain every offensive tackle prospect to participate the NFL Combine and a multiple others.

The tiers below are organized based strictly on their athletic testing numbers compared to the Jaguars scales I listed above:

TIER 1 (Perfect match)

Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida: Taylor is a highly sought-after prospect, and for good reason. He checks off every size requirement (6050, 312 pounds, and 35.13″ arms), and played well enough in 2018 to earn first round grades from most draft analysts. Zach Goodall of Locked On Jaguars will be posting his own official scouting report on Taylor tomorrow, April 10th.

Taylor is almost the consensus mock prospect for the Jaguars amongst NFL Draft communities, and there would be no shock if he were to be their pick at No. 7. During his time at Florida, he earned 2nd team All-SEC honors from Athlon Sports and garnered Freshman All-American honors by multiple outlets. Goodall recently sat down with the prospect to discuss his draft process and time at the University of Florida. The Jaguars hosted Taylor for a top 30 visit recently.

William Sweet, OT, North Carolina: Sweet is an interesting prospect due to not only his size (6060, 313 pounds, and 34.38″ arms) but also his ties to Jacksonville. Sweet is a local player from First Coast High School who went on to be a 4-star prospect, landing with the University of North Carolina. While at UNC, Sweet earned high marks as the offensive line unit accumulated a low .91 sacks per game, ranking 2nd in the ACC. He also posted 71 knockdowns in nine games. Although he is mainly a left tackle, the Jaguars may want to keep an eye on him for depth purposes.

Greg Little, OT, Mississippi: Little (6052, 310 pounds, and 35.25″ arms) earned 2018 2nd-Team All American honors from multiple outlets, 2018 All-SEC First Team honors from the Associated Press and Coaches Poll, and many more accolades. Little is probably one of the least talked about offensive tackles in this draft, yet his career atc  Ole Miss deserves high praise. Although he is likely to go in late round one, and is another player who started on the left side primarily, who could fall into the Jaguars laps during round two.

Matt Kauffman, OT, Towson: Kauffman is a little known prospect out of Towson who could pique the Jaguars interest. The Jaguars are always on the hunt for smaller school players who may not have gotten enough exposure. Especially a player of Kauffman’s size (6060, 310 pounds, and 35.38″ arms). A source told Locked On Jaguars that Jaguars scout Chris Snee – the son-in-law of Jaguars EVP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin – attended Kauffman’s Pro Day and met with Kauffman’s representation following his drills.

Oli Udoh, OT, Elon: Coined the “Jermey Parnell clone” by Zach Goodall, Udoh certainly lives up to the size (6054, 323 pounds, and 35.38″ arms). Another small school prospect who found his way to the senior bowl this offseason. Udoh took advantage of that opportunity and piqued the interest of many scouts in attendance, and possibly even the Jaguars. Goodall recently sat down with Udoh on the Locked On Jaguars podcast. It is well worth the listen.

Other Tier 1 prospects: Donnell Greene, Isaiah Prince, Joshua Miles, Martez Ivey

TIER 2 (Near perfect match)

Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State: Risner is a favorite prospect of ours here at Locked On Jaguars, and for good reason. Risner is an absolute mauler on the offensive line and in the run game, with positional versatility. Although he has a bit to improve upon regarding his pass protection, Risner nearly fits the Jaguars size profile (6045, 312 pounds, 34″ arms), and earned 2018 First Team All American honors. Risner is another player Goodall had the pleasure of talking with.

Tytus Howard, OT, Alabama State: Howard is another small-school Senior Bowl player who might find himself being drafted higher than some expect. Howard is a mammoth of a man (6050, 322 pounds, and 34″ arms), and has plenty of potentials to improve and eventually become a starting tackle in the NFL despite coming from an FCS program.

Michael Jordan, OL, Ohio State: Jordan barely missed the mark with 34.5″ arms. His 6057, 327-pound frame is plenty of reason to get excited about, though. Jordan earned First-Team All-American honors from multiple outlets and played and started in all 41 of his games at Ohio State. Jordan played center at Ohio State this past season, but did not appear as comfortable there as he has in the past at guard and yet has a great size profile to play tackle, so his transition to the NFL will be interesting to monitor.

And no, he isn’t to be confused with, or related to, *that* Michael Jordan.

Other Tier 2 Prospects: Devon Johnson, Jackson Barton, Brandon Hitner, Mitch Hyatt, Ryan Pope, Trey Pipkins, Tyler Roemer, Tyree St. Louis, Yosh Nijman

Incomplete: Yodny Cajuste

TIER 3 (Not a match)

Jonah Williams, OT, Alabama: Here we go. Jonah Williams is probably the best offensive tackle prospect out of anyone on this list, yet he is here in tier three. Unfortunately, his size (6044, 302 pounds, and 33.63″ arms) simply does not match up at all with what the Jaguars look for in an offensive tackle. However, the Jaguars absolutely could still take him with the seventh overall pick based on talent alone.

If there is one player in this draft class where you should surrender most of your athletic/analytical thought to in return for pure film dominance and experience, it is Williams. Williams initially started at right tackle during his freshman year at Alabama, as Jaguars offensive lineman Cam Robinson was starting at the left tackle position. After Robinson left for the NFL, Williams moved to the left side for his final two years for the Crimson Tide. Williams has earned high honors in all three seasons he played at Alabama, including being an Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award finalist.

If the Jaguars want to go completely against the grain, you can bet Williams would be why. Although there is a possibility of Williams switching to guard as some outlets have predicted, I believe he will still make an excellent tackle in the NFL for years to come.

Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State: Another player who probably goes very high in the draft, yet does not fit what the Jaguars are looking for. Although he has the height (6050), and weight (315), he simply does not have probably their most important physical trait – arm length (33.50″ arms). Dillard is a great pass-protecting prospect by all accounts, and very likely will be going within the top 20 picks this spring.

Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington: The trend continues with Kaleb McGary, as he too will likely be selected somewhere in the early range of the draft. But due to his length, he does not fit what the Jaguars look for. 32.88″ arms simply do not cut it as the Jaguars have never drafted or signed a player specifically to play tackle with that length. McGary did complete a top 30 visit with the Jaguars recently, however, so it’s safe to wonder if they envision him as a guard in their offense.

Cody Ford, OT, Clemson: Ford is likely to enter the NFL as a guard, likely due to his height (6036). Although his arm length is not too bad (34″) compared to the Jaguars’ standards, his height will absolutely be the reason why they would pass on the prospect.

Other Tier 3 prospects: Andre James, Bobby Evans, Brandon Knight, Calvin Anderson, Chuma Edoga, David Edwards, Dennis Daley, Derwin Gray, Dru Samia, Ethan Greenidge, Iosua Opeta, Max Sharping, Paul Adams, Ryan Bates, Tyler Jones, Zack Bailey

Demetrius Harvey is the lead editor for the Locked on Jaguars website covering breaking news, breakdowns, and more. You can follow him at @Demetrius82 on twitter.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Texans: Five observations, red zone issues remain

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws under pressure from the Houston Texans defensive line men during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) will be left with a lot to work on during their bye week. There was plenty to gather from the team’s 26-3 loss against the Houston Texans (6-3) in London.

1. Jaguars red-zone woes are still prevalent and have no fix in sight

In the red zone this season, the Jaguars have completed 34.5% (10/29) of their opportunities for touchdowns.  This ranks only better than the Cincinnati Bengals (33.33%) in the entire NFL.

While quarterback play is an issue in this area, the Jaguars have not made the most of their play-call opportunities either. The Jaguars entered the Houston Texans’ red zone only twice in 11 drives on Sunday.

During the two drives in the red zone, the Jaguars completed 0 passes and ran the ball one other time with Leonard Fournette for three yards. Simply not good enough.

Jaguars’ offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has spoken about the team’s ineffectiveness on red zone opportunities. “We moved the football well, but we need to do a better job in the red zone,” DeFilippo said on Thursday following the team’s week seven victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. “I need to do a better job of helping our guys get open. We need to do a better job executing and being more detailed and throwing the ball on time and all of those things. Again, all of that starts with me, and I will do a better job with that.”

Two weeks later and the team’s struggles have continued.

2. Gardner Minshew might take a backseat

Already discussed, the Jaguars might be in for a quarterback change coming out of their week 10 bye week. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in Sunday’s game, and head coach Doug Marrone will have a tough decision to make.

Although Minshew was playing with a sore right shoulder, he was able to practice in full all week leading up to their matchup at Wimbley. Regardless, the Jaguars will have to make a decision, and everything points to Nick Foles being the team’s starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11.

Now completely Minshew’s fault, his struggles in the red zone have been evident for the past several weeks. Foles — during the 2017 and 2018 seasons when he started for the Philidelphia Eagles — was efficient in the red zone, which could point to his maturity as a passer more than anything.

The Jaguars will want to see what they can get out of their veteran quarterback, and there is a reason to believe the Jaguars’ head coach is leaning in this direction. If Foles is not named the starting quarterback next Sunday, it is very likely the veteran will never start for this Jaguars team, at least not under the current staff.

3. Jaguars’ run-defense regressed

Without starting nickel corner D.J. Hayden and SAM linebacker Leon Jacobs, the Jaguars were forced to remain in their nickel package for much of the day. Rookie cornerback Breon Borders replaced Hayden in the starting lineup and while he was not the reason why the run defense suffered, not having a competent linebacker on the strong side of the ball impacted the team greatly.

Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde gashed the Jaguars’ defense 19 times for 160 yards during Sunday’s matchup. Part of the reason why the Jaguars were unable to stop the Texans’ running game late was the sheer amount of plays the Texans ran to begin the game.

In the first quarter, the Texans ran 20 total plays while the Jaguars offense was only able to produce nine total plays.

4. Jaguars cannot rely on penalties, but two changed the course of the game

While the Jaguars should not, and cannot rely on penalties, the team had two costly controversial calls in the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup.

With an opportunity to score, Minshew threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to Jaguars’ receiver DJ Chark Jr. who was able to haul in the pass but was called for offensive pass interference. A few plays later the Jaguars would botch a field goal attempt and give the Texans the football at the 50-yard line.

Following the change of possession, Jaguars’ defensive end Calais Campbell was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Specifically, Campbell was called for lowering his head to initiate contact with a defenseless rusher. The Texans would net only a field goal on this drive, but it was a potential 10-point swing as Chark’s interference call was questionable, and Campbell did not even touch Watson on the play.

5. Keelan Cole shines in Dede Westbrook’s absence

Although the Jaguars clearly missed their 1B receiver in Dede Westbrook, rarely-utilized receiver Keelan Cole was able to step up to the plate and put on his best performance of the season, and possibly since 2017.

While it was not sensational, Cole hauled in five out of six of his targets for 80 yards on the day. The Jaguars could not get anything going down the field, however, Cole was able to get open on routine crossing routes.

In the coming weeks, look for Cole to have a bigger role in the Jaguars offense, especially with veteran receiver Chris Conley playing so up-and-down (2 receptions on 7 targets for 32 yards).

DeFilippo recently spoke about Cole and understands the third-year receiver may be frustrated with his snap count.

“I am proud of the way he stayed in it and even though he has not gotten the playing time,” DeFilippo said after the Jaguars victory over Bengals. “Everyone wants to play every snap. I’m sure he wants [more playing time]. He has done a great job staying in it.”

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Jaguars to make tough decision next week, Minshew Mania over for now

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass in the first half against the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) were embarrassed early Sunday morning via a 26-3 loss to the rival Houston Texans (6-3). Minshew-Mania may be over for now, but it won’t be the last time the rookie sensation starts for the team.

To put it simply, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew did not play well at all yesterday. Completing 27/47 (57%) of his passes for 309 yards, two interceptions, and two fumbles lost, Minshew looked lost during the second half of the game on Sunday.

Minshew has been everything the team could have hoped for — and much more — out of a sixth-round quarterback, but between what transpired yesterday, and a few of his past performances — against winning teams –, the Jaguars will likely see what they can get out of veteran quarterback Nick Foles.

For three quarters, Minshew looked okay. While there was plenty that went wrong, the rookie was able to make key throws, during key situations. One play, in particular, stands out. With a little over five minutes left in the second quarter, the Jaguars could not seem to get anything going before Minshew scrambles around and eventually finds a wide-open Ryquell Armstead in the middle of the field. Armstead would take the ball 31 yards and set the team up for their only points of the game.

Minshew’s ability to improvise has been his bread and butter this season, and although he was not able to work his magic often against the Texans, these were the types of plays that gave pause in the Minshew/Foles debate.

During the fourth quarter, the Jaguars and Minshew were forced to take more shots downfield in a sort of desperation move while trailing 19-3. Although playcalling can certainly be questioned, the decision making of the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback was equally perplexing. Throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles, Minshew had no chance at making a little magic to lead the team to another come-from-behind victory.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be forced to make a decision on his quarterback, but not right now. After the game, Marrone indicated he will wait until the Sunday before the team returns from their week 10 bye week to talk to both quarterbacks.

“I think after those 48 hours are over, I’m going to step away a little bit, take a break because I don’t have to make a decision and have time,” Marrone said shortly after the game when asked about making the quarterback decision. “That’s what I’m going to talk to the quarterbacks about, and then I’ll tell them probably right before we come back on Sunday, we’ll be able to discuss where we’re going to go. That’s pretty much my plan.”

While Minshew did not have a great game yesterday, the decision will be made on more than just one game, Marrone said.

The Jaguars’ head coach is stuck with an incredibly tough decision. At 4-5, the team needs a spark. The Jaguars need to win down the stretch and having to rely on a rookie — still going through ups and downs — is exhausting. While Foles may not be “the answer”, he is the only other option at this moment, and the Jaguars absolutely believe in the veteran.

Although this may be the end of Minshew starting in Jacksonville this season, his achievements — 188/307 (61%) completions for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions — should not go unnoticed. The team absolutely still believes in the rookie quarterback, and he has a golden opportunity — if not this season — next year to prove everyone wrong.

One of the best, most fun performances out of a Jaguars’ quarterback over the first half of the season ever, is nothing to get upset about. Minshew provided spectators with Minshew-Mania, Minshew-Magic, and any other Minshew-ism one can think of.

For now, it is very likely Foles will make his Jaguars’ debut once again after breaking his left clavicle during the opening game of the season. In 11 plays this season Foles completed five out of eight of his passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

It may be over for now, but this is just the beginning, and having the problem of deciding between a former Superbowl MVP and a rookie sensation at quarterback is a good thing. Depending on how Foles plays — if he is to be named the starter next Sunday –, Minshew could get yet another opportunity as the Jaguars progress from their 4-5 record.

Bonus clip:

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Jaguars fail to seize opportunity in London, falling 26-3 to Houston Texans

Demetrius Harvey

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Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rushes for a first down during the first half of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) fell to Houston Texans (6-3) in a disappointing pre-bye week game in London, England. The Jaguars absolutely did not have home-field advantage on the day. 

The Jaguars took to their annual London voyage with a lot of optimism, however, all of that optimism was quickly quieted by the Houston Texans (6-3) as they were able to bottle up Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars, holding the team to just three points on the day.  The Texans would win 26-3 and kill any chances the Jaguars may have had at earning the division title in a few weeks.

To begin the game, the Jaguars opted to start out on defense with the Texans struggling early on in games this season. Holding the Texans to just three points to start the game, the Jaguars defense showed up big, especially as Jaguars’ cornerback A.J. Bouye shadowed Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who finished with just eight receptions for 48 yards. The Jaguars seemed to find a groove early on during the first half of the game, but their inability to score in the red zone reared it’s head yet again.

In what is likely his last game starting for the Jaguars this season — at least for now — Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew completed just 27 out of 47 of his passes for 309 yards and two interceptions. Minshew also fumbled the football two times near the end of the game, which would ultimately end it at Wembley stadium.

While the Jaguars defense played well early on, they stood no chance against Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson who completed 22 out of 28 of his passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Extremely elusive, Watson was able to escape from the Jaguars pass rushers all day long. The Texans effectively ended any chance of the Jaguars coming back after Watson completed a long throw to Hopkins for 21 yards to the Jaguars’ one-yard line. The Texans would score on a one-yard run by Duke Johnson putting the team up 19-3 late in the third quarter.

All four of Minshew’s turnovers would come in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars attempted to climb back in the game. Missing their second-most targetted wide receiver in Dede Westbrook, the Jaguars and Minshew couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game.

The Jaguars’ run game was equally disappointing today as running back Leonard Fournette could only edge out 40 yards on 11 rushes.

Perhaps the best play of the game by the Jaguars’ defense, near the end of the game Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde sprinted free and was looking to go into the endzone when Jaguars’ safety Jarrod Wilson showed incredible hustle to force a fumble at the last second, turning the ball over to the Jaguars’ offense.

The good fortune wouldn’t last long, however, as Minshew would go on to throw his final interception of the game to completely seal the game for the Texans offense.

The Jaguars’ offense simply did not get anything going today, similar to their game against the New Orleans Saints in week six earlier this year. Minshew was sacked only four times on the day as the Texans did not want him to escape the pocket.

The team will have a very tough decision to make during their week 10 bye week. Ultimately, the team will need to decide between veteran quarterback Nick Foles or the rookie quarterback in Minshew.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be making the decision, and after falling 26-3 today largely due to the play of the team’s quarterback, it may be a no-brainer.

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