It’s not often a team finds itself with two top-ten caliber players in their draft class, but somehow, the Jacksonville Jaguars managed to do it with the fifth and 36th overall picks.
Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey is considered by more than a few to be the best position player in the 2016 NFL Draft. Jacksonville benefitted from the Los Angeles Rams and Philadelphia Eagles trading up to take quarterbacks at No. 1 and No. 2, leaving some of the best overall players still available at No. 5.
Ramsey spent just three seasons with the Seminoles but didn’t need any more time to prove his NFL worth. He ended his collegiate career with 181 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, three interceptions and four forced fumbles. You might be thinking that three interceptions over three years isn’t an elite number, but it only means that quarterbacks often look in the other direction. That’s the impact he has on a defense.
Another player the Jaguars likely considered with their top pick was UCLA linebacker Myles Jack. The junior entry was considered to be one of the draft’s top prospect but a knee injury was cause for concern. He slid to the second round where Jacksonville was anxiously waiting.
Jack learned the day after the first round that he will not require surgery. Had teams known that information a day sooner, Jack would probably be a few million dollars richer. Jacksonville was a beneficiary, and it’ll make a young, talented roster that much better if he can stay healthy.
Jacksonville also found a lot of value later in the draft as they took Maryland defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and Notre Dame defensive tackle Sheldon Day in the third and fourth rounds respectively. Either could’ve been taken at an earlier position, but fell to the Jaguars.
The Jaguars rounded out the draft with three more late-round picks. Montana linebacker Tyrone Holmes and Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen were taken in the sixth and they wrapped it up with Central Arkansas defensive end Jonathan Woodard in the seventh and final round.
Jacksonville has already shown signs of improvement and they just got a lot better. Ramsey and Jack can be immediate contributors with the rest adding great depth.