The front line of the Jacksonville Jaguars defense last season was as unblockable as it gets.
The list of what makes the Jacksonville Jaguars a dangerous team begins with the defense, twice-over and underlined. The league’s top unit only grew stronger this offseason, and will again be a nightmare to line up against in 2018.
What makes dealing with the Jaguars so difficult is the lack of a real weak link on the aforementioned defense. The group is stacked across the board. The team boasts the best cornerback tandem in the league, and a defensive line that can also stake claim to being the best of its kind.
NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal ranked the top eight defensive line units in the NFL heading into 2018, and against strong competition, Jacksonville reigns supreme:
"1) Jacksonville JaguarsWhat to get the defensive line that has everything? How about backups for everything? The Jaguars sit atop this list because of the depth and diversity of their top players.Every April, draftniks like to create comps for “The Next Calais Campbell” and “The Next Malik Jackson.” These never pan out because there just aren’t many humans their size who can shapeshift positions on a variety of formations, fulfilling different roles based on what the play call requires.While Campbell is a brute on the outside and Jackson can be slippery inside, Yannick Ngakoue and Marcell Dareus fill more traditional roles. Ngakoue’s get-off is reminiscent of a young Cameron Wake. Dareus will stop running plays cold if he’s not double-teamed. The addition of first-round pick Taven Bryan helps to replenish a veteran group, a reminder that the best organizations often stack strength on strength."
As Rosenthal mentioned, the depth the Jaguars have on the line is what separates the team from the rest of the league.
Just having a starting unit of Calais Campbell, Malik Jackson, Marcell Dareus, and Yannick Ngakoue is unfair enough for opposing offenses to try to combat. Campbell is an All-Pro, and both Jackson and Ngakoue are pro bowl players, with strip-sack master Ngakoue still criminally underrated despite making his debut on NFL Network’s Top 100 players.
But adding in the fact that Jacksonville has the luxury of rotating in contributing players like Abry Jones, 2015 first round pick Dante Fowler Jr., and now 2018 first rounder Taven Bryan, no other team can hold a candle to what the Jaguars are lining up with week in and week out on Sundays.
The defensive line for the Jacksonville Jaguars is a perfect combination of both talent and depth again in 2018, which is another recipe for disruption and destruction.