Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Wynn of '97 Jaguars Snatch Up Their Man

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

First Wynn of '97 Jaguars Snatch Up Their Man

Article excerpt

For weeks, Renaldo Wynn has been linked to the Jaguars. A big,

strong defensive tackle, Wynn was a player Tom Coughlin felt

could fill a major need -- a run-stuffing presence in the

middle.

Yet as the first round of yesterday's NFL draft played out,

Coughlin strongly considered moving from his 21st spot closer to

the top 10 for another player. The target? Florida State

defensive end Reinard Wilson.

In the end, though, Coughlin decided to stay put and made Wynn,

a 297-pound tackle from Notre Dame, the Jaguars' first-round

pick.

"We could have moved up and could have given picks away," said

Coughlin. "In the long run, we decided to stay put. At one

point, Philadelphia, Miami and Jacksonville were all trying to

go up and get a player."

That player was Wilson, who eventually ended up being selected

by Cincinnati with the 14th pick in the first round. Coughlin

opted to wait until No. 21, hoping that Wynn would still be

available and was thrilled when he was still there.

In the second round, the Jaguars addressed another major need

by taking West Virginia cornerback Mike Logan, who will be used

at safety. Logan, who was taken with the 50th pick overall,

played mostly cornerback at West Virginia, where he was a

teammate of Jaguars cornerback Aaron Beasley.

The Jaguars took North Carolina linebacker James Hamilton in

the third round, the 79th pick overall.

Thanks to several strange early picks in the first round --

Florida wide receiver Ike Hilliard going seventh to the Giants

and Colorado guard Chris Naeole going 10th to the Saints -- the

Jaguars didn't have to sweat the pick of Wynn as much as they

first thought.

When it came to Minnesota's pick at No. 20, Coughlin was

thrilled that Wynn and LSU tight end David LaFleur were still on

the board. Wynn was the top priority, but if Philadelphia traded

with Minnesota and took Wynn, Coughlin would have taken LaFleur.

The Vikings instead picked Alabama linebacker Dwayne Rudd and

that left Wynn for the Jaguars, who had him ranked higher than

21st on their board.

"Renaldo Wynn is a guy we were very attracted to," said

Coughlin. "He's an effort player. He's relentless in his pursuit

of the ball."

Wynn, who came to Notre Dame as a 208-pound linebacker, is now

a 297-pound physical specimen who bench presses 475 pounds. He

is a workout warrior in the weight room, and has all the

characteristics Coughlin loves in a player: a hard worker, a

leader, a competitor and, most of all, a player with strong

moral character.

"Watching him play and interviewing the young man, he's very

focused," said Coughlin.

Yet on his visit to Jacksonville two weeks ago, Wynn didn't

quite show that focus. He was scheduled to meet with Coughlin at

7:30 a. …

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