Ryan Davis primed to be next big-time pass rusher


The Jacksonville Jaguars penciled in edge rusher as their biggest need this offseason despite finishing with the 6th most sacks in the NFL (45). After free agency, it was clear the Jaguars were going to target a defensive lineman with the 3rd overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. Ultimately, the Jaguars selected Dante Fowler Jr. out of Florida to be the team’s primary edge rusher.

Unfortunately, Fowler went down with a knee injury in his first practice with the team, leaving the team back where they started in the pass rush department.

We’ve talked a little bit about how the team will replace Fowler’s production, and Ryan Davis has come up as a guy who could step up and help alleviate some of effects of Fowler’s absence.

Davis has started to get more attention from national analysts, and now you can add Bill Barnwell and Robert Mays of Grantland to that list. They singled out Davis as one of the NFL’s next notable pass rushers:

"Davis isn’t going to be a replacement for 2015 third-overall pick Dante Fowler, who tore his ACL on the first day of Jags minicamp, and he’s not going to be the team’s primary pass-rusher in the Leo spot. As a secondary pass-rusher alongside and in relief of Chris Clemons, though, Davis showed up with some impressive moments on film…And hey, here he is beating Evan Mathis in Week 1… That’s a Pro Bowler who Davis is beating!The Jags hope that Fowler is their guy in 2016 and beyond. Even if he isn’t, they’ve accumulated enough in the way of pass-rushers who can beat the man across from them one-on-one and get after the quarterback. Davis is another one of those guys, and given that he’s costing the Jags all of $585,000 this season, it’s hard to argue with the price."

The long term hope for the Jaguars is still Fowler and hopefully he comes back to full strength in 2016, but the Jaguars have reason to believe they can improve their pass rush in 2015. Ryan Davis has played limited snaps since joining the Jaguars, and an increased workload this year should yield even more production.

With Chris Clemons missing a big chunk of practices already this offseason, the Jaguars need guys like Davis and Andre Branch to step up.

Next: Offensive line roster predictions

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