The Jacksonville Jaguars are going small school with their first day three selection, drafting St. Johns offensive tackle Ben Bartch with the No. 116 overall pick at the top of the fourth round.
This is the first offensive lineman the Jaguars have drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft, and only the second offensive player drafted by the team overall this year. He joins cornerback C.J. Henderson (No. 9 overall), defensive end/linebacker K'Lavon Chaisson (No. 20 overall), wide receiver Laviska Shenault (No. 42 overall), and Ohio State defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton (No. 73 overall).
Bartch hails from a Division III football program, but the 6-foot-6, 309-pound lineman demonstrated he can hang with the big boys at the Reese's Senior Bowl. Throughout the entire week in Mobile, Bartch dominated the defensive competition, displaying the footwork and strength to find success on either the edge or along the interior of the offensive line.
Bartch is a converted tight end so while the athleticism and talent is obvious, he will still be a bit of a project for the Jaguars. This makes sense, however, due to head coach Doug Marrone's experience as an offensive line coach and the experience of veteran line coach George Warhop.
Bartch joins an offensive line that already features tackles Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor, guards Andrew Cann, Will Richardson, and Andrew Norwell, and center Brandon Linder.
"I think we have some good competition behind those guys right now. Like I said before, we’re not finished," head coach Doug Marrone said Friday. "Will Richardson, we have to get him locked him into a position. Tyler Shatley has done a good job for us. Younger players that we have that I’m looking forward to seeing how they progress. I know they’re working hard. I know they’ve been working from after the season. They all have. I just think it’s a position where we looked at some players and just felt like, like I said all along, I think those players have a lot on their plate to make sure they improve. We’ve said that. We really think they’re going to make a big jump. I’m excited about it."
The Jaguars next pick is at No. 137.