Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Tyson Alualu is one of the few holdovers from the Gene Smith era, somehow sticking with the team.
Few players remain from the Gene Smith era for the Jacksonville Jaguars. General manager Dave Caldwell cleaned house when he first arrived and continued sweeping out players through four seasons.
Tyson Alualu has survived. Despite never quite living up to his 10th overall selection in the 2010 NFL Draft, Alualu has been a consistent presence in the defensive line rotation. Filling in at defensive tackle (where he was originally drafted to play) and also stepping in at defensive end on occasion.
With 83 starts to his name (five this season), Alualu is one of the more experienced players on the Jags roster. He’s also been pleasantly productive to this point.
With just nine games played this season, Alualu already has 2.5 sacks (third on the team) which is just one sack away from his career high and his highest total since 2012. He has also been in on many more tackles than usual, taking down the ball carried 17 times to this point.
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That isn’t particularly productive overall, though it has definitely been a pleasant move forward for the defensive lineman. It’s enough that it got the attention of Dieter Kurtenbach at Fox Sports who compiled a list of every team’s breakout player. While I personally would have chosen someone different (Marqise Lee), his reasoning for Alualu isn’t unfounded.
"He’s not getting a full workload of snaps, but Alualu has been really good when he’s seen the field this year — something not too many other Jaguars can say."
Not being on the field all the time does hurt his numbers, but Alualu is being productive when on the field. He’s ranked 49th on Pro Football Focus’ player rankings for interior defenders. That’s third on the team (behind Abry Jones and Malik Jackson) and may actually be indicative of him stepping his play up.
While I disagree that Alualu is the breakout player for the Jaguars this season, he is having an improved year. 2016 could end up being his most productive year ever. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep producing through the rest of the season for the Jags, especially as the defense tries to keep the team in games.