Previewing the ’10 Jaguars roster – The defensive line

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[Editor note: This might be Zoltan's best article. Please give it a read!] 

Terry and I will start a series here on Black & Teal to give a deep look and expectation of the ’10 Jaguars roster. We will look into each area of the offense, defense and special teams. Of course Part 1 cannot be anywhere else except the defensive line! 

 The defensive line will be in the spotlight the whole season and probably decide not only how the team performs but also the fate of Jack Del Rio. After drafting 4 defensive lineman with our first 4 picks, how can we expect anything else? 

14 sacks last year rang out loud and clear and Wayne Weaver wanted change, Ted Monachino went and Joe Cullen arrived, and soon after the Jaguars made a big splash in free agency with the signing of former 2-time pro-bowl DE Aaron Kampman.  He is coming from off of an ACL tear so in the first couple of games the Jaguars may limit his playtime. After that move, the Jaguars brought back Reggie Hayward, considered the best DE of the Jaguars, who had a very short ’09 season because he suffer an injury which landed him on IR after week 1. And then the draft. Gene Smith selected 4 D-lineman all with a reputation of going after the QB. Even the DT are expected to get sacks because both Tyson Alualu and D’Anthony Smith have that kind of ability. The 2 DEs selected in the 5th round (Larry Hart and Austen Lane) are both considered sack specialist (both recorded 20 sacks each in their last 2 campaign with their teams). Then Gene Smith made roster moves on Monday releasing long time icon and multiple Pro Bowler “Big” John Henderson (officially ending the Stroud-Henderson age in Jacksonville); and Montavious Stanley.

After all of these moves, (and the jump) let’s see how this unit will look.

 Defensive End:    

Probable starters:  Aaron Kampman (RDE) and Derrick Harvey (LDE).

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Reserves: Gene loves to keep his draft choices so can we expect Austin Lane (LDE backup) and Larry Hart (RDE backup) are locks if they pass the camp battles. I also consider Reggie Hayward as a RDE backup as well. I think his place can be challenged, but as an insurance policy I would like him in the 53 roster for 2 reasons:  A: If Kampman’s ACL does not recover that well or that quick as predicted; he could still present a quality DE in the RDE position. B: I have some issues with the Larry Hart pick. I see him more of a 3-4 OLB then a true 4-3 DE (I hope he will prove me wrong). Even the Jaguars front office said he was drafted for the role Quentin Groves was to play which was the designated pass rusher.  That role has been hard to fill and is a big expectation placed on a 5th round rookie. I expect players like Bryan Smith and Julius Williams compete for a roster spot and if one of them can make the team, the other goes to the practice squad.    

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Tags: Defensive Line; 2010 Season; Jacksonville Jaguars Jaguars Jaguars Defensive Line Jaguars Draft 2010

  • jonathan

    Good article Z, though we did sign a UDFA DT. Ko Quaye from South Dakota

  • zoltanfrombudapest

    Thanks for the correction John!

  • Blake

    While I can see what your saying about the 3-4, I don’t think they would have traded Groves. They have the 3, but they don’t have the 4.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Groves was bad even as a 3-4 OLB last year. He is not a great player. At least he was not here…

  • Blake

    and they wouldn’t have signed kampman, he wanted to play here because he wanted the play in a 4-3

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      He is a 1-2 year solution to helping the Jags win now. But I see not so more longer future to him here.

  • Roland

    Jo Napot from a fellow Hungarian. Good article overall, but I think you’re wrong on the switch to 3/4. We have much more Defensive line talent on this team than LB talent. Besides, I want my big maulers up front. We just need the big hitting safety for run support that we haven’t had since Donovin Darius left.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Good to see a fellow countryman here. We will see what are Gene’s plans but I have the feeling he just decleared the switch in the near future with this draft!

  • Chris

    I agree that it looks a little weak only having 4 players to fill 2 roles, but the team will probably sign Ko (Quaye) onto the practice squad in case a situation occurs where 2 players are dinged up. Keeping Alualu and Knighton on the field on earlier downs would be great and possibly replace Knighton with Smith on down and distance would be huge, not to mention I do believe that Derrick Harvey could play some UT (with his bullrush) on a down and distance play as well to give the younger guys a small break if need be.

    Ellison is the 3rd string as of now, imo. He was signed to a 1 year deal to mentor the young guys coming in and help them in our system (much of what Big Hen would have done…but at a 3rd of the cost).

    Good write up though. Looking forward to more.

    • zoltanfrombudapest

      Thank you!