The Jacksonville Jaguars were exceedingly active in free agency this offseason thanks to an envious amount of cap space. General manager David Caldwell has done a good job of trimming the fat and taking care of some financial burdens imposed on the franchise by former general manager Gene Smith. After hitting on some key free agent acquisitions in 2013 – Sen’Derrick Marks and Alan Ball being the two most prominent – it’s time to see if any players from this free agent class can be as successful going forward.
Today we break down a player who has been somewhat disappointing in his career thus far – defensive lineman Ziggy Hood.
Drafted at the end of the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2009, Hood played mainly defensive tackle during his time at the University of Missouri. The Steelers tried to transition Hood into a 3-4 defensive end, but it clearly didn’t pan out. Here’s how Hood has done according to Pro Football Focus, where the final 3 columns are PFF grades.
|Year||Snaps||Tkls||QB Hurry||QB Hit||QB Sack||Pass Rush||Run Def.||Overall|
The advanced metrics in the table above are not very kind to Hood. In 2010 he was the 2nd-worst 3-4 defensive end according to Pro Football Focus, and in 2011 he was the worst by a significant margin.
The responsibilities of a 3-4 end are vastly different from those of a defensive tackle in a traditional 4-3 front. While Hood has all the physical tools to play both positions, he clearly never took to playing end in a 3-4 scheme. Regardless, he showed decent ability against the run, and he put up respectable numbers in regards to rushing the quarterback.
Signing Ziggy Hood is a gamble, but it’s one the Jaguars can afford to make. The Jaguars needed to add some depth at defensive tackle, and maybe playing a familiar role where he flourished in college can bring the best out of Hood.
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