JACKSONVILLE, Fla. --- With seven draft picks, the Jacksonville Jaguars did all the team could to solidify its defense and create some offseason attraction for its quarterback position.
The Jaguars spent three picks on the defense line on Saturday, hoping the added competition would transform the unit into a havoc-causing monster.
"It just felt like we wanted to really infuse a lot of competition on the defensive side," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said. "We really looked at the ability to bring productive players [to the team]. If you looked at all the players on the defensive line, productive guys that have had the ability in the past to disrupt the quarterback, that was a big emphasis for us."
Jacksonville's decision-makers were focused on college production and physical traits as they splurged on defensive line talent. Notre Dame's Sheldon Day, Montana's Tyrone Holmes and Central Arkansas' Jonathan Woodard all spent four seasons honing their crafts in college.
"I think our personnel staff did a great job with identifying players that fit what we like to do," said Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell. "Our goal was to affect the passing game and we did that, really on both sides of the ball. [Our selections help us] get faster, younger, more athletic and help us on third down. I think every player we took, we had that in mind. In some way, shape or form – that come third and thirteen, in the next couple of years, hopefully they make a difference.”
Adding Day to the mix was an opportunity to increase the team's interior pass rush. The Jaguars were impressed with Day and his ability to disrupt. The fourth round pick believes he can add some fire to Jacksonville's evolving defensive front.
"I definitely like to move around, show my versatility and get an edge on different types of players that I’m playing against," Day said. "So moving me around is definitely one of my best attributes.”
The Holmes addition followed the versatility trend set in the first two days of the draft. Much like Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack, Holmes offers the ability to play multiple positions. While he is unfamiliar with playing heavy snaps in space, the Jaguars think he can excel at both Leo and Otto positions.
“I haven’t had a whole lot of experience [playing in space], but it’s definitely something I could learn and adapt to,” Holmes said.
Woodard was an unknown to most analysts and fans, yet the Jaguars brass fell in love with him on a visit. The team plans to use him as a strong side defensive end.
The small school standout's parents recently moved to Jacksonville for work, so he will play in front of his family in training camp. Caldwell thinks his size and tools will help him compete on a crowded defensive line.
'He’s a versatile guy like a lot of our guys," Caldwell said. "He’s a big, athletic, developmental type of guy."
The team's sole offensive draft pick was spent on a quarterback. The position has offered little intrigue over the last two seasons, but spending a pick on a developmental passer adds to the drama of training camp.
Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen does not fill a pressing need, but the Jaguars felt he was worthy of a pick in the sixth round. While the Jaguars have only carried two active quarterbacks throughout Bradley's tenure, that trend may change this year.
"We identified during the week at the Senior Bowl that this was the guy that could come in and he’s smart," Caldwell said about Allen. "He’s a coach’s son. He can come in and really just be a sponge and learn from those guys. Come in and compete because he’s talented enough to.”
Allen will likely battle against a "camp arm" and the general field of talent in order to make the 53-man opening day roster. Bradley believes he has the talent to play in the league.
“Really impressed by him," Bradley said. "His leadership where he took control of the offense, both [quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett] and [offensive coordinator] Greg Olson really liked him. And we spent quite a bit of time looking at him because we thought there might be a chance where we take that quarterback, didn’t know where it would show up in the draft, when it presented itself, but we really like his skill set."
The depth additions on Day 3 will serve as upside competitors moving forward and could potentially evolve into difference-makers down the road.
Caldwell believes the additions were the right fit for a young team looking to improve throughout the depth chart, but there are still games to be played.
"Everybody feels good today and tomorrow, but the truth of the matter is, it’s all on paper," Caldwell said. "They have to come together as a team."
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.