Many fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars expected David Caldwell (General Manager) and Tom Coughlin (Executive VP of Operations) to address the Jaguars glaring need for either an impactful wide receiver, a field-stretching tight end, or a steady offensive lineman with the 29th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Instead, the Jaguars front office decided to improve upon arguably the NFL’s best defense, and selected Taven Bryan a defensive lineman from Florida. Who and why? The Jaguars front office must have had Bryan rated extremely high and could not pass on the 6’ 5”, 290 lbs “Wyoming Wildman”. Bryan was an unpopular selection for the majority of the Jaguars faithful, but the selection will be a solid return on investment for the years to come, and Caldwell and Coughlin know this.

Who Is the Wyoming Wildman?

Bryan was one of the biggest football recruits to come out of Wyoming during his Senior year in 2013, where he helped solidify the front line for Natrona County High School in Casper. Bryan turned down offers from more regional schools such as Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Washington and joined former Florida head coach Will Muschamp in Gainesville in 2014. After a couple under-whelming seasons for the Gators, Bryan was one of a few bright spots for the Gators in 2017 as the junior showed flashes of athleticism and strength against South Eastern Conference competition. Bryan was projected to be picked within the first three rounds of the 2018 draft and made the tough decision to forego his senior campaign to chase the NFL dream. Bryan shined at the NFL combine showcasing rare quickness and agility from an athlete his size. That coupled with his flexibility to play multiple positions along  the defensive line had NFL teams enamored. 

What Can Be Expected from Bryan?

For now, Bryan is not expected to be an every down player or even talk to the media. Bryan’s primary focus will be as an intern under veterans Calais Campbell and Malik Jackson. Studying their approach both on and off the field.  How they study film, study quarterbacks, interpret offensive schemes, and he will learn impactful techniques that will benefit him for years to come. Bryan needs to sit back and absorb the knowledge, ask questions, listen, and remain positive. His time will come on the field as the games progress with the aches and pains of the 16 game season and on into January and hopefully February for the Jaguars.

Bryan’s First Quarter

Bryan looks to build upon his first quarter of the season in which he played 57 of the 250 defensive snaps. Where will he fit in? At defensive end or tackle? As the season progresses we will know more of defensive coordinator Todd Wash’s plan for the rookie. Until then, Bryan will contribute when called upon for defense and special teams and wait for his opportunity to impact a game with his speed and power.
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