Despite putting up a very respectable sack number in 2014, the Jacksonville Jaguars made it a priority to upgrade the pass rush this offseason. After adding Jared Odrick in free agency to bolster the defensive line, general manager David Caldwell spent the third pick of the 2015 NFL Draft on Florida pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr.
On paper, the Jaguars looked to have a formidable stable of lineman to rush the passer… until Fowler suffered a season ending knee injury in the first practice of rookie minicamp.
The Jaguars haven’t done much to try and make up for Fowler’s absence, opting to see if the guys already on the roster can step up. Part of that is because there really isn’t anyone available who would help the team. Now, the Jaguars have an intriguing option in maligned San Francisco 49ers outside linebacker Aldon Smith.
Released after yet another incident off the field (this time with charges of DUI and hit and run), Smith has been one of the most effective pass rushers in the NFL since coming out of Missouri. Talented players tend to get second and third chances in the NFL, but Smith might have pressed his luck too far with his latest arrest.
Still, some team will probably sign Smith after time passes, and Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus thinks Smith makes sense for the Jaguars:
"Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars knew they needed to add an outside force to the edge of their defense in 2015, and opted to draft Florida’s Dante Fowler Jr. with their first draft pick in May’s NFL draft. Unfortunately, Fowler tore his ACL in his first practice with the team and is out for the season, while Chris Clemons has been absent at the start of training camp. Last year the Jaguars didn’t have an edge rusher register a higher pass-rushing productivity score higher than 6.5, while Smith has never had a PRP score of lower than 11.2 since entering the league."
Yes, from a pure football perspective, Smith makes sense. The Jaguars need an edge rusher and Smith has been more productive than anyone the Jaguars have ever had on the roster.
Forget about it.
Even if the Jaguars sign Smith, odds are he won’t play anytime soon thanks to some impending suspensions. Even if Smith is available sometime soon to play, the Jaguars are certainly not going to invest time and money into another player who can’t seem to get his act together off the field.
The Jaguars need to find a way to generate a pass rush in 2015, but Smith is not part of the solution.
More from Black and Teal
- Jacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdom
- Jaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect now
- Bold trade proposal has Jacksonville Jaguars shipping LT Cam Robinson
- Jaguars News: This division rival might be making a big move
- Former Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”