Defensive end may be solved in the upcoming draft, but the Jacksonville Jaguars should focus on finding a good role player at a minimum in free agency. Whether that’s a two-down pass rusher, a run stopping player, or a containment player who specializes on funneling plays to the playmakers, there should be a multitude of options for the Jaguars starting at 4:00 pm EST when NFL Free Agency opens up.
Here are some players the Jaguars should take a look at:
- 2012 Team: St. Louis Rams
- Why: Hayes is a running stopping machine. The Jaguars often over-pursued and were fooled even on simple run plays. Hayes has the discipline and awareness to make plays and to identify what it going on quickly. He was a rotational guy in St. Louis but still finished the year with seven sacks and, more importantly, 26 defensive stops (per Pro Football Focus). He would be an immediate upgrade and make a player like Jeremy Mincey expendable.
- 2012 Team: Chicago Bears
- Why: Idonije may have a high price tag with him, considering his age (32) and his abilities. The Jags would likely be just one player among many in the bid for his services. He had an impressive 30 defensive stops in 2012 and can produce and be relied upon. The Jaguars are looking for bridges in free agency and Idonije would be provide a strong bridge to the future.
- 2012 Team: Detroit Lions
- Why: Jackson, a former first round selection, has had an up and down career thus far in Detroit and could use a change of scenery. He can be incredibly effective, like he was against Green Bay in 2012, and then he can disappear at times. His productivity in some seasons, namely 2011, is much better than most defensive ends on the Jaguars’ current roster. He may come cheaper because he is mainly a role player with the Lions and is a “bust” in the eyes of of those who saw him with first-round potential.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims