The 2016 NFL Draft wrapped up on Saturday, and for the hometown Jaguars it could possibly go down as the best draft in franchise history.
So, who are the newly-drafted Jaguars? As we previously did for our free agency additions, we’ve given brief profiles of each of our draft picks, as well as naming who we picked up after the draft.
All player pictures courtesy of jaguars.com.
Jalen Ramsey, CB, Florida State
The Jags’ first pick in the draft was Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey. Ramsey was about as much of a no-brainer as a pick can be; no one really expected him to be available at #5.
Ramsey comes to the Jags after three years of dominance at Florida State. A member of the 2013 national championship team as a freshman, Ramsey finished his stint with the Noles with 181 total tackles, 5 sacks, 3 INTs, 4 forced fumbles, and a consensus All-America nod in 2015. In the weeks leading up to the draft, a story from 2014 was widely recirculated about the time Ramsey got kicked out of practice by an irate Jimbo Fischer for being too aggressive and causing quarterback Jameis Winston to get knocked to the ground. This is certainly a testament to Ramsey’s competitive spirit, and also explains why Blake Bortles already offered him a shot of fireball whiskey — it’s probably best to get on his good side quickly.
Ramsey’s true asset is his freakish athleticism, which allows him to play multiple positions and, in high school and college, excel at multiple sports. Ramsey actually set the Tennessee high school record for long jumping, which still stands to this day. At FSU, he won the ACC Long Jump Championship in 2015, almost qualifying for the Olympic trials in the process. In addition to playing both cornerback and safety for the Noles, Ramsey took turns at kick and punt returning as well.
Ramsey was born in Smyrna, Tennessee in 1994. His brother Jamal also played football, as a quarterback, in college. Interestingly, his family is largely composed of Gator fans, and Ramsey himself grew up as a Hurricanes fan — probably particularly infuriating for Canes fans who watched him dominate their team consistently at FSU. He actually originally planned to attend USC, but instead chose to attend Florida State, where he won a national title. He majored in social science at FSU.
Jalen joins former teammate Telvin Smith in the revitalized Jags backfield. He should be an immediate-impact player and may very well prove to be one of the best steals of the draft, even at #5.
Myles Jack, OLB, UCLA
Before the draft, UCLA linebacker Myles Jack was being speculated as a potential candidate for the Jaguars’ pick at #5. Instead, the Jags traded up to #36 in the second round to grab Jack, who had fallen due to injury concerns. Jack was considered to be one of the draft’s top prospects, but teams were concerned about his knee; he suffered a torn meniscus during non-contact drills last year, and may need microfracture surgery in the future. Nonetheless, Jack is expected to be healthy for the upcoming season.
Much like Ramsey, Jack is an incredibly dynamic athlete. At UCLA, Jack played linebacker and also occasionally saw action on offense at running back, even breaking free for a 66-yard touchdown run as a freshman in 2013. He ended his injury-shortened stint with the Bruins with 178 total tackles, 4 INTS, a forced fumble, and a sack. Additionally, he ran for 387 yards on 68 carries, scoring 11 touchdowns. In his freshman year, he was named Pac-12’s offensive and defensive Freshman Player of the Year.
Jack was born in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1995. He played football and participated in track during high school, winning a state championship in football. At UCLA, he was on the academic honor roll his freshman year, but would end up withdrawing last year after falling behind on classes due to his immobility and subsequent injury rehab.
Jack could prove to be a huge steal for the Jags, who were willing to gamble on his knee. General manager David Caldwell referred to picking Jack as a “calculated risk”, one that only cost the team a fifth-round pick. With Ramsey and Jack, the Jags may very well have come away with two of the draft’s top prospects.
Yannick Ngakoue, DE, Maryland
In the third round, the Jaguars picked up Yannick Nguakoue, a defensive end from Maryland.
Nguakoue played three years at Maryland, setting a school record for sacks in one season last year. He ranked third in the NCAA in sacks last year with 13. Nguakoue finished his years at Maryland with 83 total tackles, 21 sacks, an interception, and 2 forced fumbles.
Nguakoue was born in Washington, D.C., in 1995. He was the Gatorade Football Player of the Year for the city in his senior year of high school. He was an honor roll student at Maryland, where he majored in African-American studies.
Nguakoue will likely play a major part in the Jags’ third-down defense this upcoming season. Last year, the team was second-worst in the league at stopping teams on third down. Nguakoue’s ability to get to the opposing quarterback will prove to be extremely valuable, and will hopefully help with turning those numbers around.
Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
In round four, the Jaguars continued the trend of a defense-oriented draft by selecting Notre Dame defensive tackle Sheldon Day.
Day played four years at Notre Dame, where he finished with 141 total tackles, 4 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He served as a team captain in his junior year. Day had a few different injury issues during his stint at Notre Dame, but nothing that sidelined him for any significant amount of time.
Day was born in Indianapolis, IN in 1994 — no word on if he grew up a Colts fan. He was a highly touted prospect when he committed to Notre Dame, where he majored in IT management.
Day will provide a backup for starters Sen’Derrick Marks and Malik Jackson, allowing them quick rests and a Plan B in the case of an injury. As a fourth round pick, Day was a low-risk selection, and will have time to develop behind Marks and Jackson.
Tyrone Holmes, DE, Montana
The Jags didn’t select again until the sixth round, where they chose defensive end Tyrone Holmes from Montana.
Holmes led the FCS last year in sacks. As a result, he figures to factor in similarly to Ngakoue, boosting the defense’s ability to get at the opposing QB.
He was born in Eagle Point, OR in 1993. He played three different sports in high school — football, basketball, and track — serving as team captain in basketball and winning the shot put championship in track. He majored in business administration at Montana, and was frequently featured on the honor roll.
Brandon Allen, QB, Arkansas
With the additional pick the team acquired when they traded Josh Scobee to the Steelers, the Jaguars selected Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen. Allen was the first, and only, offensive player drafted by the Jags.
Allen played four years at Arkansas, becoming the starter in his sophomore year. In those four years, he finished with 7,463 passing yards on a 57.4% completion rate, with 64 TDs and 26 INTs. He added 4 rushing TDs, averaging just a yard per game running the ball. He had a phenomenal senior year, twice throwing for at least six TDs in a game. He led his team to two bowl victories, being named the offensive MVP of the 2014 Texas Bowl.
Allen was born in 1992 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. His brother Austin is also a quarterback at Arkansas. He was an honors student at Arkansas, where he graduated in 2014 with a degree in sports management.
Allen will likely compete with veteran QB Chad Henne for the role of backup to Blake Bortles. Allen apparently impressed the Jags’ coaching staff when they coached him in the Senior Bowl, leading the team to pick him up with their extra sixth round pick. Drafting Allen this late makes him an extremely low-risk pick, and he could prove to be a reliable backup for Bortles.
Jonathan Woodard, DE, Central Arkansas
With their seventh and final pick, the Jags selected Jonathan Woodard, a defensive end from Central Arkansas.
Woodard had 29.5 sacks during his time at Central Arkansas. His addition continued the trend of beefing up the pass rush, showing exactly how serious the team is about fixing this flaw.
Woodard was born in Brentwood, Tennessee. He participated in track in high school along with playing football. He figures to compete for a backup role this year.
All the undrafted guys
After the draft, the Jaguars picked up a batch of players who didn’t get selected. We won’t get to know them just yet, as several may not make the final roster, but here they are:
- Braedon Bowman, TE, South Alabama
- Briean Boddy-Calhoun, CB, Minnesota
- Rashod Hill, OT, Southern Mississippi (attended Ed White High School in Jacksonville)
- Jaden Oberkrom, K, TCU
- Mike Hilton, CB, Ole Miss
- Jamal Robinson, WR, Lousiana-Lafayette
- Max Wittek, QB, Hawaii
- Jarrod Wilson, S, Michigan
- Pearce Slater, OT, San Diego State