JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Had the Jacksonville Jaguars been able to work a deal on Thursday night, offensive lineman’s Jawaan Taylor’s tumble down the NFL draft would have been a little shorter.
Taylor ended up falling to the third pick in the second round before the Jaguars were finally able to move up three spots because of a trade with the Oakland Raiders. They weren’t scared off by reports of medical issues and ended up filling a major need with the player that numerous draft analysts predicted in January and February the team would take with the seventh overall pick.
“We don’t have any major concerns,” Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell said. “I don’t’ know where that came from. His medical grade was passable.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 draft: Analysis for every pick
“He’s fine. We didn’t have any concerns.”
Taylor called reports that he had a knee injury “definitely false,” saying that he played through a meniscus injury in 2017, but he didn’t have any issues last season. He did not run the 40 at the scouting combine or his pro day because of a hamstring injury.
“I’m 100 percent healthy and ready to go,” Taylor said. “It hurt me a little bit last night that you didn’t see what the reason was I didn’t get picked. … I’m a little upset, but everything happens for a reason.”
Taylor (6-foot-5, 312 pounds) started 35 games at Florida the past three seasons, with 33 coming at right tackle. He should slide into that spot with the Jaguars, who also signed former Cincinnati first-round pick Cedric Ogbuehi last March.
The Jaguars gave up their fourth-round pick (No. 109) to the Raiders to move up from 38 to 35 and the Raiders also gave the Jaguars their fifth-round pick (No. 140) and a seventh-round pick (No. 235). Caldwell said he tried to work out a deal Thursday night to move into the back end of the first round in order to draft Taylor but said he was unwilling to give up one of the team’s two third-round picks.
Caldwell said he didn’t know why Taylor kept falling but was glad he did because it enabled the team to get a player they would have considered at No. 7 had defensive end Josh Allen not been available.
“We thought that he would be long gone by then — people probably say that every year about their second-round pick, right — but teams have different needs and they have different philosophies and different systems and why a guy falls is different for every team,” Caldwell said. “I think teams need guards. Teams need left tackles and here’s a guy that’s predominantly a right tackle. He started 35, 37 games. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s powerful. He did not run his 40 at the combine or throughout the whole spring, so teams may have looked at that, that sometimes teams don’t like to take guys that they don’t have a full workup on.”