Touchdown Wire: Jaguars’ best ‘sleeper’ pick in 2024?

Whether it’s about the best pick, biggest steal or overall class grade for each franchise, the week following the annual NFL draft is always good for chatter, usually about how teams got better.

Touchdown Wire of USA Today Sports Media Group added to the conversation on Saturday, analyzing the best “sleeper” pick for each squad: One player from each NFL team who fell further than they should have in the 2024 NFL draft, according to Doug Farrar.

For Jacksonville, that prospect was seventh-round edge rusher Myles Cole.

What does Jaguars GM Trent Baalke love above all else, outside of pounding press box tables when his teams are losing (I know this from personal experience)? Draft prospects with ridiculous tools who are still looking to put it all together in a technical sense. Baalke certainly got one of those guys with Texas Tech edge-rusher Myles Cole.

At 6-foot-6 and 278 pounds, Cole has measurables right out of science fiction, and with four sacks and 27 total pressures in 281 pass-rushing reps last season, his tape is starting to back it up. Like a lot of collegiate defenders with ridiculous physical skills, Cole has yet to develop his hands for maximum impact against blockers — more often, he would just Godzilla those poor guys, and that would be that. So, maybe he’s a year away from doing any real damage, but when you get a guy like this with the 236th overall pick in the seventh round, you can afford to wait.

Cole spent the final two seasons of his college career with Texas Tech after playing at Louisiana-Monroe for four years, the first three with now-Jaguars tight end and son of Jacksonville’s head coach, Josh Pederson.

Over six campaigns and 59 appearances, Cole tallied 88 tackles, five sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss, one defended pass and one blocked kick.

Upon finishing college, Cole produced the following results at the NFL combine, according to MockDraftable.

  • 6-foot-6 (92nd percentile among edge rushers since 1999)

  • 278 pounds (82nd percentile)

  • 36 and 7/8-inch arm length (99th percentile)

  • 86 and 1/4-inch wingspan (98th percentile)

  • 4.67-second 40-yard dash (79th percentile)

  • 1.65-second 10-yard split (41st percentile)

  • 35-inch vertical jump (71st percentile)

  • 120-inch broad jump (73rd percentile)

Cole has significant development to endure if he is to even make an impact at the NFL level, with a need for better technique and fluidity to pair with his size and athleticism.

But considering he was Jacksonville’s lone draft selection at a position of need, with little proven depth behind Jaguars’ starting edges Josh Allen and Travon Walker, there is certainly a path toward eventual playing ome for Cole in Duval County if he makes the necessary progress.

At least, his physical attributes are all there for Cole to present significant intrigue, making his development worth taking a chance on.

“Size, length, he’s a developmental guy for sure,” Baalke said about Cole after the draft. “Kind of got onto him later in the process just with his measurables, they just stood out. At that stage of the draft you’re looking for traits to develop and he’s certainly got some.”

Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire