The Jaguars had few draft needs, which allowed them to go for luxury with the 29th overall selection. They decided not to use that luxury pick on one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft: Former Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Appearing on PFT Live, G.M. Dave Caldwell explained that Jackson, whom Caldwell and executive V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin praised before the draft, wasn’t in the mix for the pick that ultimately became defensive tackle Taven Bryan.
“He was not at the time,” Caldwell said. “We did think very highly as him as a player. With his ability to create and create plays with his feet. We felt like that he was going to eventually be a player — that he could develop into a player that you can win with. That wasn’t the situation that we had for us with the pick at 29. We had some guys that we really coveted that we felt could come in and help us right away this year.”
So, basically, the Jaguars saw Jackson as a project and Bryan as a more immediate contributor. And, obviously, the Jaguars weren’t willing to roll the dice on a guy who could become the successor, in time, to Blake Bortles.
While Caldwell wouldn’t say whether the Jaguars would have taken Jackson in a later round, Caldwell wasn’t surprised that Jackson went in round one, three picks after the Jaguars were on the clock.
“I was not,” Caldwell said. “We did a lot of work on him. We saw him play here in his bowl game. He played here in Jacksonville. You know, he’s a tremendous athlete. He’s got a rare skill set in terms of what he can do with his feet. And I think organizationally if you commit to a player like him you can win. And you’ve seen it done with players similar to his skillset.”
Eventually, we may see it done for Baltimore. Possibly at some point against Jacksonville. Maybe in a playoff game.