Jacksonville Jaguars general manager David Caldwell entered the draft with three primary needs: pass rusher, offensive tackle and tight end.
Of the team’s seven picks, four went to the offensive side, leaving Caldwell with the feeling of mission accomplished on giving Foles the required tools to succeed.
“I feel like we shored up the offensive line,” Caldwell told reporters during his post-draft new conference. “We got him a playmaker with the running back. We got him a playmaker with the tight end.
“So, I feel like we did do some nice things there, and then the combination of the guys we signed in free agency and the guys we have, I think we’ve got a pretty good situation there.”
The Jaguars selected offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor in the second round, tight end Josh Oliver in the third round, running back Ryquell Armstead in the fifth round, and then added depth behind Foles with signal-caller Gardner Minshew.
Taylor, Oliver and Armstead are expected to immediately make an impact on an offensive unit that finished the 2018 season ranked 31st in scoring, 27th in total offense, 26th in passing and 19th in rushing with former quarterback Blake Bortles.
“He runs aggressively,” Caldwell told reporters of the rookie running back. “He runs a similar running style to Leonard, so it’s going to be a nice one-two punch with him, and Alfred and Benny. I think we needed a young back in that stable, and to be able to go with a guy that’s 220 pounds, runs a 4.4 and runs as aggressive as he does is a good thing.”
Meanwhile on the defensive side, Allen joins an already stout group, which finished fifth overall in the league despite Jacksonville’s 5-11 record, and the pass rusher is another piece to the roster.
Caldwell believes the additions in the annual three-day selection process should have the Jaguars back in contender mode two seasons removed from advancing to the AFC Championship Game.
And the team acquired the necessary pieces by sticking to the draft plan.
“Take the best player available, but also fill those three primary needs being pass rusher, offensive tackle and tight end, and we felt like we did that,” Caldwell said. “So, we did that by taking the best player available … We got the best scenario for our needs and best player available.”