The Jacksonville Jaguars continued their improvements along the defensive line on Tuesday when they signed DT Sen’Derrick Marks, formerly of the division rival Tennessee Titans. Sen’Derrick Marks fits the Gus Bradley” mold”, mainly being a young player with his best football ahead of him.
Marks was a 2nd round draft pick (No. 62 overall) in the 2009 draft out of Auburn. Standing at 6’2 and weighing in at 294 lbs., Marks was active in 14 games last season and had 41 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and one forced fumble. He’s more of a run stuffer much like Roy Miller.
The interior of our defensive line is undergoing massive renovations. Terrance Knighton signed with the Broncos, and on Monday C.J. Mosley was released. The only remaining defensive tackles other than our free agent signings are 2010 1st round pick Tyson Alualu, Jerome Long (who was signed last year midseason), 2010 3rd round pick and enigma D’Anthony Smith, and 2012 7th round pick Jeris Pendleton. Is it any wonder why this defense allowed 141 rushing yards per game, finishing with the 29th ranked rush defense in the league?
Many people and experts will put emphasis on the lack of a pass rush from the Jaguars’ defensive line, but just as problematic as the lack of a rush was their inability to stop the run. Remember how bad Arian Foster hurt this team last year? Better yet, how about Mikel LeShoure? He ran for 3 touchdowns in the first half alone. Even his little buddy, Joique Bell finished with 73 yards and a touchdown. The Lions would eventually total 149 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground alone, and this isn’t the first example of the 2012 Jaguars being demolished this way.
The additions of Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks are a major upgrade. Both specialize in stopping the run which is something the Jaguars desperately need. Marks is yet another good value free agent signing who will come in and contribute either as a starter or key contributor immediately.
The Jaguars aren’t finished in free agency quite yet, and have offered contracts to WR Mohammed Massaquoi formerly of the Browns and CB Mike Jenkins formely of the Cowboys. Massaquoi wants to do some visiting with other teams and it looks like Jenkins needs a new agent. If Jenkins decides on Jacksonville, he would immediately become a starter and would hands down be the best signing Caldwell has made so far this offseason.
-David R. Johns