Jaguars Grab Taven Bryan in 2018 NFL Draft and Twitter Loves the Pick

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2018

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - NOVEMBER 5:  Taven Bryan #93 of the Florida Gators looks to the sidelines during a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Razorback Stadium on November 5, 2016 in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  The Razorbacks defeated the Gators 31-10.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Jacksonville Jaguars selected Florida Gators defensive tackle Taven Bryan with the 29th overall pick of the 2018 NFL draft. 

Rotoworld's Josh Norris sees Bryan as a replacement along the defensive line for Jacksonville in the near future:

Many saw Bryan as a solid addition for the Jaguars defense:

Bryan's stock rose significantly during his junior year in 2017.

In September, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller didn't even list Bryan among the top 10 defensive linemen in the 2018 draft class. But in Miller's final big board, Bryan had climbed to 30th overall and second at his position.

Bryan's rise came after an uptick in his production. Over 25 games in his first two seasons at Florida, he had 4.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. In his third season alone, he finished with six tackles for loss and four sacks in 11 games.

He helped himself even further with his work at the combine. He ran a 4.98-second 40-yard dash, got 30 reps on the bench press and reached 35 inches with his vertical leap. He also showcased his abilities at Florida's pro day in March:

Bryan owes some of his athleticism and strength to his dad, Brandy, who's a former Navy SEAL and works as a fireman and construction worker.

In an interview with Yahoo Sports' Eric Adelson, Brandy Bryan said Taven's level of fitness was "pathetic" when he came home during the summer of 2017. Over that summer, Taven had two daily weightlifting sessions, as well as working construction jobs.

Not only did that work help Bryan put together the best year of his college career, but it also allowed him to be even more physically ready for the step up to the NFL.

The big question is whether Bryan can make the most of his physical gifts. His overall numbers at Florida illustrate he's far from the finished product, and it may be a year or two before he's worthy of a starting spot for the Jaguars.

Despite that, it's easy to see why Jacksonville thought Bryan was worthy of a first-round pick. He has the size (6'4", 290 pounds) to be a good run defender, and his speed should allow him to collapse the pocket and pressure the quarterback on a consistent basis.

It helps Bryan joins a front seven that includes Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson, Calais Campbell and Myles Jack.

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