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 lends credence to the idea of Jacksonville’s transformation into “Seattle Southeast” – defensive tackle Red Bryant.
Coming out of Texas A&M in 2008, Bryant came into Seattle and initially played defensive tackle. He didn’t play a full season until 2011, one season after he transitioned to a run-stopping defensive end under new head coach Pete Carroll. Here’s how Bryant’s six year career has looked so far, with the final 3 columns of the table below being Pro Football Focus Grades.
|Year||Snaps||Tackles||QB Hurry||QB Hit||QB Sack||Run Def.||Pass Rush||Overall|
For the most part, Red Bryant has been a very good and consistent defensive lineman, particularly against the run. As a defensive tackle, he wasn’t expected to provide much of a pass rush, but even in his new role at defensive end he wasn’t expected to get to the quarterback often. Bryant made the same transition that former first round pick Tyson Alualu is currently trying to make. Despite a few up-and-down moments, specifically in 2012, Bryant developed into a vital piece of a dominant defense in Seattle.
Bryant was brought in for several reasons, including his familiarity with head coach Gus Bradley. He should provide an upgrade to the defensive line rotation, and he could help Tyson Alualu maximize his potential at his new position. Like Bryant, Alualu will never be a pass rushing force, but he should still be able to develop into a competent run stopper who can help collapse the pocket.
As for Bryant, he’s a player who still has plenty left in the tank and should come in and immediately play well in a familiar scheme.
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