University of Florida

Who is Jawaan Taylor, the Gators offensive lineman drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars?

Florida offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Indianapolis. Taylor is an option for the Dolphins in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Florida offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting combine, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Indianapolis. Taylor is an option for the Dolphins in the first round of next week’s NFL Draft. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings) AP

Jawaan Taylor’s slide in the 2019 NFL Draft has finally come to an end.

The Jacksonville Jaguars — the same team most mock drafts projected to take Taylor with the seventh overall pick — selected the former Florida Gators offensive lineman with the 35th overall pick in the second round on Friday.

Taylor was considered a potential top-10 pick heading into the draft. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Taylor as the No. 16 overall player on his final big board and second among offensive tackles behind only Alabama’s Jonah Williams.

Taylor played in 37 career games at Florida with 35 starts and almost exclusively played right tackle. He was a freshman All-American in 2016 by ESPN.com, the Football Writer’s Association of America and Pro Football Focus. He was an anchor for the Gators’ offensive line during the 2018 season, his final in college and UF’s first under coach Dan Mullen.

He helped the Gators average 426.7 yards of offense per game, and 12 of UF’s 23 rushing touchdowns came from the right side with Taylor leading the way.

“Taylor is likely to be a right tackle in the pros, and he’s still raw,” Kiper wrote in his analysis. “But he has great feet.”

Taylor’s fall out of the first round also ended a run of six consecutive years that UF has produced a first-round pick. The Gators had nine players taken in the opening round from 2013-2018.

The group: Defensive tackle Taven Bryan (No. 29 to the Jacksonville Jaguars) in 2018, linebacker Jarrad Davis (No. 21 to the Detroit Lions) in 2017, cornerback Vernon Hargreaves (No. 11 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and safety Keanu Neal (No. 17 to the Atlanta Falcons) in 2016, defensive end/linebacker Dante Fowler (No. 3 to the Jaguars) and offensive lineman D.J. Humphries (No. 24 to the Arizona Cardinals) in 2015, defensive tackle Dominique Easley (No. 29 to the New England Patriots) in 2014, and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd (No. 23 to the Minnesota Vikings) and safety Matt Elam (No. 32 to the Baltimore Ravens) in 2013.

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.

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