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Assessing the Jacksonville Jaguars draft class

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If anyone tells you that the Jacksonville Jaguars did have the most successful three days of the NFL Draft, they are surely fooling themselves.

There is so much to like about the players general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley are bringing to this team and this city, but is there reason for caution in Jacksonville?

If the Jaguars cannot challenge for a play-off berth with these draft picks, plus the additions on defense through free agency, then there must be changes made to the front office.


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This team is now ready to take another step toward a playoff run.

Jacksonville got one of the top players in this year's draft in Jalen Ramsey, then followed it up with Myles Jack - the player they may have wanted all along, in the second round.

With these two players – plus last year's first round pick Dante Fowler Jr returning from injury, this defense will be quick, and will pressure the quarterback more in 2016.

Here is a look and analysis of the team’s draft picks this year.

Round 1, pick 5: Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State

Jaguars fans celebrated when the Dallas Cowboys selected Ezekiel Elliott with the fourth overall pick meaning that they were free to draft Florida State's highly rated DB Jalen Ramsey.

The Jaguars spent money in the off-season to improve their secondary bringing in Tashaun Gipson and Prince Amukamara, but the need was still there and Ramsey is the cherry on top of this secondary, according to Gipson.

With speed to burn and solid tackling, Ramsey can play both safety and cornerback and will be used in different packages within the team’s scheme.

His athletic ability might have made him the best player in this Draft.

When the team drafted him, it put Johnathan Cyprien and other members of the 2013 Draft class on notice - Ramsey is an instant starter with Davon House, Gipson and Amukamara.

The Jaguars got a steal at No. 5. And Ramsey will start to show why he was the right choice early in the season.

Round 2, pick 36: Myles Jack, LB, UCLA

It was the move heard around the NFL.

The Jaguars had targeted Jack all the while, but concerns over his knee, which he stated might need microfracture surgery at some point, scared off other teams.

When he was there with the 36th pick, David Caldwell moved up to get his man meaning the Jaguars had two of the top five players in this draft.

The screams we all heard from EverBank Field weren’t just from the fans, but the front office – mainly because this team just struck gold.

If Jack is everything this team hopes he will be, which is a tacking machine with speed, then the middle of this defense, with Telvin Smith on the other side, could be one of the best linebacker trios in the league.

The team has already said they will bring Jack along slowly but they said the same thing about Blake Bortles three years ago.

Let’s see how long he remains on the sidelines.

Round 3, pick 69: Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland

I have to admit I wanted the Jaguars to select Carl Nassib of Penn State or Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State rather than Maryland's Yannick Ngakoue.

Nassib was the first pick of the third round, Coleman was still there when Jacksonville selected Ngakoue.

After doing some research, the pick makes more sense.

The Jaguars have only two players who are LEO position players on the team right now and If you look at film on him, Ngakoue was arguably the top star of the Maryland defense last season and will be used in a rotation as a pass rusher.

There is still plenty of upside with him, allowing him to learn and grow.

In other words, he was dominant in the Big Ten last season and now he must learn to be dominant in the NFL.

If the Jaguars use him in blitz packages and on third down, he will be successful but If he is asked to do too much on this defense, it is a wasted pick.

Round 4, pick 103: Sheldon Day, DL, Notre Dame

I like this pick because the team continued to find defensive players who could contribute immediately.

Day was a good fourth round find, he may be a bit short and not have the length teams want, but his body size and the fact that he can penetrate up the middle is perfect for the Jaguars tackle rotation.

The team already has Sen’Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Malik Jackson and Jared Odrick on the team and you can add Ryan Davis to that list as well.

Day played against solid competition in college and got better each season. He won’t be asked to start, but will be asked to help stop the run and move the offensive line backward - another good pick for the Jaguars and Todd Wash’s defense.

Round 6, pick 181: Tyrone Holmes, DE, Montana

Holmes, 6’4” and 250 pounds, should be used as a pass rusher in this scheme.

Holmes ran a 4.59-second 40-yard dash, so he helps upgrade the Jaguars’ speed on defense, which was a priority for 2016, although he did not play against top talent in college, which makes him a bit of a project.

Holmes is a pick where the Jaguars will have to be patient to get a solid return on their investment. The fact he has speed to burn and can move outside on the line or stand up from the linebacker position makes him an attractive pick.

Round 6, pick 201: Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas

Just like everyone else I have talked to that is a fan of this team, I thought the same thing. Is this Matt Jones all over again? We all hope not.

There is plenty to like about Allen, who might just be a camp arm who moves to the practice squad.

Blake Bortles is firmly entrenched as the starter and Chad Henne is the backup. But his leadership skills are what got Allen drafted.

Allen played in multiple offensive game plans while at Arkansas and his 7,463 career passing yards are third in Arkansas school history.

Allen played for the Jaguars coaching staff at the Senior Bowl and he said that that has given him a head start on the offense.

He was drafted with the pick obtained for Josh Scobee from the Steelers.

Round 7, pick 226: Jonathan Woodard, DE, Central Arkansas

Another speed rusher for this team. Another project who could pan out.

He is big at 6’6” and 270 pounds, the problem is he plays in the same spot as Jared Odrick and may be the odd man out in the rotation.

Unfortunately in this case, there is such a thing as having too many pass rushers.

He was the 2014 Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in tackles for a loss and sacks.

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