Jacksonville traded up for Florida offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor, taking him with the No. 35 pick in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft in Nashville. The Jaguars were linked to Taylor as their potential first-round pick, but they selected Kentucky's Josh Allen instead, which left Taylor as one of five players still sitting in the green room on Thursday night after the first round wrapped up.
Despite having to stick around in Nashville another day, Taylor still wound up with the Jaguars. Taylor will join newly signed QB Nick Foles and cornerback Jalen Ramsey in Jacksonville as the team attempts to improve on a disappointing 2018 season which saw it finish at 5–11 for last in the AFC South.
Here's a few things you need to know about the lineman.
He Brings Versatility to His Game
Taylor played in all 13 games and started 12 at right tackle in 2018 for Florida's offensive line, which allowed just 18 sacks over the course of the entire season. He also has the potential to play as a guard in the NFL, according to the MMQB.
"A massive right tackle who dropped significant weight over the course of his collegiate career, Taylor is a very good mover for his size, capable of holding up on the outside. He also packs the kind of power to dominate in the run game. He could have a future at guard, where he could be a star if he can adjust to the cerebral requirements of the position."
What a Transformation
As a junior at Cocoa High School, Taylor weighed 384 lbs. The three-star recruit worked hard to earn a scholarship to play at Florida and arrived weighing 340 lbs. During his first season, Taylor was the only freshman to play on the offensive line, where he started 12 games at right tackle.
After last season ended, Taylor trained with veteran offensive line coach Bob Palcic in Pensacola to get ready for the combine. Some NFL scouts were worried about his weight, but the 6'5" junior showed up weighing in at only 312 lbs. The weight loss coupled with his power helped improve his draft stock.
He Plays the Drums
When Taylor isn't on the football field, he often plays the drums. The Orlando Sentinel described him as "respectful and mild-mannered," and called him "a gentle soul off the field who spends many Sundays playing drums at his church."
After Florida beat Michigan in the Peach Bowl, Taylor declared he was entering the draft. The next day he was found at church playing the drums.
Check Out His Style
Taylor impressed fans on the red carpet on Thursday by wearing a pair of spiked loafers, which caught a lot of attention on social media. He paired the bold footwear with a classic plaid suit and coordinating dark blue tie and pocket square.