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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Film Room – Breaking Down Taven Bryan’s Tape

Zach Goodall

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Nov 25, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; Florida Gators defensive lineman Taven Bryan (93) during the second quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have mastered the art of trench building.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better than 55 sacks from Yannick Ngakoue, Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson and Company, it did. The Jaguars selected Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan with the 29th overall pick, and he provides all the potential in the world to help continue Sacksonville’s dominance for years to come.

At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the pick. I knew of Bryan’s ability to rush the passer, and was in awe at the explosion in his game when I observed him at the UF Pro Day:

However, I didn’t believe in the idea of drafting someone to play in a limited role early in their career considering the Jaguars are currently in a Super Bowl window. Offensive guard was the ideal pick, in my opinion.

But there is a ton of logic in the Bryan selection. Defensive end Calais Campbell isn’t exactly what you’d call a spring chicken at the age of 31 years old, and he will turn 32 the week before the 2018 NFL season kicks off. On top of that, Campbell, as well as defensive tackles Malik Jackson and Marcell Dareus, have outs coming up in their contracts within the next two years. The Jaguars can create cap space by cutting Jackson and Dareus after the 2018 season, and the same can be said about Campbell after the 2019 season.

Considering these factors, looking to the future at the Jaguars strongest position group — defensive line — is always smart. The timing of the Bryan selection gives him the opportunity to grow under the players mentioned above, and eventually take over in their roles.

Let’s take a look at the film to get an idea as to what Bryan offers immediately to the Jaguars pass rush, and where he can grow as he ascends into the future of the Jaguars’ interior pass rush.

Strengths

  • Incredibly explosive athlete. Usually has a full step on his DL counterparts on the snap. Ran a 4.98 40 yard dash, 7.12 3 cone, 4.48 20 yard shuttle, and a 119 inch broad jump.
  • Doesn’t struggle to get off blocks. Displays good hand usage and pop on contact.
  • High motor that allows him to drive when he creates leverage. Walks offensive linemen yards back into the pocket with ease.
  • Crazy chase speed. No loafing. Wants to finish every play.
  • Arm bar, push-pull, and rip rush moves are very polished.

The first thing that stands out to me in Bryan’s film is his first step explosion. He isn’t a snap-jumper, and is rather disciplined on timing off of the line of scrimmage. The three other defensive linemen in this clip are barely out of their stances and Bryan has already initiated hand placement on the left guard. The ball is only half way to the quarterback. That’s insane.

His speed to contact gives Bryan leverage on most pass rushing snaps, and when he creates leverage against a block, he has no issue driving linemen back into the pocket and create easy pressure. His disengagement here is clean, but he also possesses a swift push-pull rush move to get off blocks:

Bryan gets his arms extended before you can blink your eyes, and the guard never has the time to set his feet. This is the pure explosion and strength that Bryan brings to the table.

Here’s an example of Bryan’s rip move, on an extended version of the clip used above to examine his first-step explosion. It’s near impossible for linemen to recovery-block Bryan when he beats them with his first step and low pad level, so they try to push him out by his shoulder. I’d assume that’s how he developed his rip, and it’s incredibly effective.

Bryan told me at his pro day that his rip-move is one of his favorite moves, as well as arm-barring:

Bryan doesn’t seem to struggle vs. double teams unless the opposing linemen match his athletic prowess, being able to react to his first step and even out pad level. That isn’t the case in the clip above, as Bryan bulldozes his way between the left tackle and guard to record the sack.

Weaknesses

  • Despite his polished arm bar, push-pull, and rip moves, Bryan’s pass rush moves arsenal is limited.
  • Awareness and recognition is a work in process. Needs to learn to trust what he sees ahead of him.
  • Pad level is inconsistent vs. athletic offensive linemen.

The biggest weakness I see in Bryan’s game is his play recognition and awareness of what he needs to do once he explodes through the line.

On the backside of the play, the Florida defensive end has the perfect set up to eliminate the option. Bryan needs to become aware of that and continue his aggression to where the play is going. This run went for 17 yards, when it could have ended in a loss of four yards.

                          

When an offensive lineman is athletic enough to challenge Bryan, he struggles to create leverage due to an inconsistent pad level. This, like his awareness issues, is coachable, and considering the group of pass rushers and that Jaguars DL coach Marion Hobby is pretty good at his job, I trust that Bryan will develop in these areas just fine.


The best way to sum up what Taven Bryan offers is incredible athleticism and explosion for a man of his size (6-5, 291 lbs), with upside to turn into a dominant pass rusher. There are aspects of his game that need to be developed at the next level, but Jacksonville offers him the perfect situation to groom himself into being the next great NFL defensive lineman.

I’d expect Bryan to be a sub-package tackle and end throughout his rookie year, and that his role will grow into full-time starter at either of those positions within the next two years.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Locked On Jaguars Podcast and on BigCatCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Eric

    May 10, 2018 at 8:14 am

    This is the best, most well written and detailed site on the Jaguars. I just found this sure today, but I will be telling my friends about you folks for sure, keep up the analysis!
    I especially like this article and the DJ Hayden analysis, great stuff

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Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets Call Jaguars About Dante Fowler Jr.

Zach Goodall

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The New York Jets appear to be interested in trading for a pass rusher, and have reportedly called the Jacksonville Jaguars about fourth year DE Dante Fowler Jr.’s availability, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.

Fowler Jr. offers potential as a full-time EDGE, as he has accumulated 12 sacks (14, including postseason) as a rotational pass rusher over the past two years. The Jaguars selected Fowler Jr. with the third

However, Fowler Jr. has a history of drama. He was most recently suspended for a week for fighting in practice, and will miss Week 1 due to a suspension for a misdemeanor battery charge from 2017.

We wrote last week that the Jets would be a team that’d make most sense if Fowler Jr. was on the trade block, which you can read here.

We will update this story as details emerge.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Victorious Over Vikings Despite Penalties, Lack of Offense

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) reacts to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during the first quarter against Jacksonville Jaguars at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Game recap

The Jacksonville Jaguars took their talents to Minnesota this week, facing the Vikings in their second preseason game after a week of joint practices.

Before the game, several Jaguars starters were ruled out including TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Jalen Ramsey (suspension), FS Tashaun Gipson, LG Andrew Norwell, RT Jeremy Parnell, and DT Marcel Dareus. DE Taven Bryan, FS Cody Davis, DE Dante Fowler Jr. (suspension), LB Brooks Ellis, DE Dawuane Smoot, and DT Eli Ankou would also not play.

The game started off quickly as the Jags defense was able to get an instant three and out against Kirk Cousins’ Vikings. The defensive line has never looked better, and although Dareus was out, they still stood up strong against the Vikings offensive line creating penetration all game, sacks, and forced fumbles. At the end of it all Kirk Cousins ended his day going just 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards.

It is fair to say, however, both first team offenses struggled mightily during the game.

The Jaguars first two offensive drives went about as poor as they could have. Following a three and out, Blake Bortles threw his first interception of the preseason. He seemingly did not see Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith right in front of the receiver on the play. Nevertheless, the Jaguars offense was finally able to piece together a decent drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Leonard Fournette later on.

Blake Bortles and most of the Jaguars starting players would play the entire first half. Even still, besides the early touchdown by Fournette, the Jaguars could not get anything done. A lot of the Jaguars struggles were due to penalties. 10 penalties for 100 yards in the first half alone and a key holding call on a Dede Westbrook would-be 51-yard punt return was nullified. Blake and the Jaguars offense could not get much of anything going all day long and that would be the theme for the day, for both teams.

The play of the game came very late in the 4th quarter when wide receiver Rashad Greene took a punt 51-yards to the Vikings 4-yard line, setting up a game-winning touchdown by Brandon Wilds. After the Vikings got the ball back, the Jaguars backups needed a stop on defense to win the game. On the Vikings last drive of the game, the Jaguars defense got yet another stop, this time on 4th down to win the game.

Three plays of the game

  • DE Yannick Ngakoue does his best Key and Peele impersonation after his sack. He should know better than to do 3-pumps, but this was pretty funny.

  • After the Blake Bortles interception, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson was able to force a fumble on the Vikings running back Latavius Murray. The Jaguars defensive line came to play.
  • Logan Cooke made one of the most beautiful punts I have seen a Jaguars punter make in years. From around the Jaguars 45-yard line, the rookie punter punted 56 yards to the Minnesota 5 and the Jaguars special teams unit only allowed a 7-yard return from there. The Jaguars finally have a “weapon” in their punter.

Player of the Game

The player of the day is by far Yannick Ngakoue. This man came into this season on a clear mission: To seek and destroy. Ngakoue started the game off strong with a sack, although nullified because of a celebration penalty afterward, the defensive end made his presence known from the very start. For much of the game, Ngakoue kept the pressure on and was consistently in the Vikings backfield. He was a part of jackson’s forced fumble after Bortles’ interception. If this game is any indication, Ngakoue could very well be an all-pro.

Final Whistle

For most of the game, the Jaguars just couldn’t get anything going on offense..  The biggest issue with the Jaguars today was their inability to overcome penalties. The team accounted for a total of 13 penalties 140 yards.

The bright spot for the Jaguars was easily their defense for both the starters and the backups. They held Kirk Cousins to only 12 yards on 8 passes, and the Vikings backups barely made any plays of note. The Jaguars offense, particularly the starters, will need to have a much better game next week as they head into their regular season warm up against the Atlanta Falcons.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs Vikings: Game Preview and Information

Ruairi Songer

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Dec 11, 2016; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (left) and Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs (right) pose for a photo after exchanging jerseys at EverBank Field. The Minnesota Vikings won 25-16. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings

Thursday, 8/17/18 @ 1pm EST, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

You can watch the game on CBS47/FOX30, NFL Network, as well as on the team’s live stream in select markets.

Preview:

The Jaguars and Vikings joint practice sessions have come to a close, the two teams will meet on the field to end the second week of preseason. The Jaguars and Vikings are similar teams in many ways, as both possess fearsome defensive units and solid running attacks. With that being said, here’s a few things to watch for in Saturday’s game:

Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles.

Bortles’ play and development will be a reoccurring story-line each week, but Saturday will bring his biggest test of the preseason. After an impressive training camp and first preseason game against the Saints, Bortles had a couple of rough outings during joint practice sessions, going 4/13 during 11 on 11 drills on day one.

The Vikings defense, while tough, is a blessing for the Jaguars offense and Blake. The match-up gives Bortles the chance to test a historically good passing defense, without any regular season record implications. He has the opportunity to take chances, learn from his mistakes, and compete against several All-Pro defensive backs such as Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.

Cam Robinson will be put to the test against feisty Vikings edge rushers, mainly Danielle Hunter, who has recorded 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Vikings All-Pro DE Everson Griffen will most likely be inactive for Saturday’s game due to an infected leg wound.

Robinson’s play seems to be improving from 2017, which could, along with the addition of Andrew Norwell, elevate the Jaguars’ offensive line to being a top unit in the league.

The continuing battle for the nickel cornerback spot seems to be leaning in the favor of D.J. Hayden, after he intercepted Kirk Cousins in a joint practice session earlier in the week. With the absence of suspended CB Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Patmon should get the go-ahead at outside corner, giving Hayden plenty of snaps in the slot. He will be tasked with covering Adam Thielen, one of the better slot receivers in the league. A solid showing for Hayden would help cement his spot at nickel corner.

Sophomore RB Dalvin Cook may see his first action of 2018, pending on a decision by Vikings HC Mike Zimmer. The former Seminole had a promising start to his rookie year before going down with an ACL tear early in the 2017 season. Cook would be an interesting test for the Jaguars DL and LB corps, namely SAM LB Leon Jacobs, who shined in run defense against the Saints.

WR Rashad Greene’s job may be in jeopardy after muffing a punt against the Saints in week one. If Greene is still turnover-prone as a punt returner, he will have to find success as a receiver to make it past roster cuts. Look for Shane Wynn or Dede Westbrook to also see time as punt returners.

 

 

 

 

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