Offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor has become the first of what figure to be a multitude of Florida Gators selected in the 2019 NFL Draft. And while he was the first to go, he’s not going very far.
The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Taylor with the 35th overall pick, or the third pick of the second round. As such, Taylor becomes the 345th Gator to be selected in the NFL Draft.
Many, including myself, were utterly stunned that Taylor fell this low. Projected by most to be a mid-first round pick, rumors (that we’re never confirmed) of an offseason knee injury followed him throughout the leadup to the draft and likely contributed. That snaps a six year streak for Florida of having a first round pick.
Taylor will provide them with an immediate, and mammoth boost- literally. He’s an extremely powerful human being and uses every inch of his body to supply that power. His hands alone are strong enough to shock an edge rusher off the snap and neutralize him even if his feet aren’t set or he doesn’t play with a low enough pad level. He’s extremely fundamentally sound and intelligent to boot. And he’s equally as strong in pass protection as he is as a run blocker. The only real knock against him is that pad level; if he can start delivering his initial punch off the snap a little lower, he’s as likely as anyone drafted be a star. We’re talking multiple season Pro Bowl potential.
Best of luck to Jawaan as he gets to work unlocking that potential.