With the most recent moves in free agency, the Jacksonville Jaguars may be setting themselves up to grab a pass rusher or interior lineman in the NFL Draft.
Some Jacksonville Jaguars fans may not want to admit this, but getting help on the defensive line, especially at the end position is increasingly becoming an area of need for this franchise. Given the changes with the Jaguars defensive roster, with Malik Jackson being released before free agency and the lack of depth at defensive end, it’s a topic that hasn’t been discussed nearly enough.
John Oehser of Jaguars.com has brought it up in his most recent story. Of all the different scenarios possible on the first night of the NFL Draft, Oehser believes it is second in importance only to addressing the offensive line.
"“This is second on this list because it’s an immediate need and more because of the talent at the position in this year’s draft,” he writes. “This is considered one of the best drafts in recent memory for the defensive front, and there could be a pass rusher/defensive tackle at No. 7 too talented for the Jaguars to ignore.”"
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The team may still have one of the better defenses in the NFL, but there are holes that need to be filled. One of them is depth across the defensive line. The Jaguars could grab one of the many top pass rushers in this draft or look to secure more depth on the interior.
"“Ohio State edge player Nick Bosa and Kentucky edge player Josh Allen figure to be gone when the Jaguars select, but Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, Mississippi State edge player Montez Sweat and Michigan defensive end Rashan Gary are among potential elite defensive-front players who could be available,” explained Oehser."
At some point, the Jaguars and Calais Campbell will once again talk about his future with the organization. At 32 years old, he has had the best two seasons of his career in Jacksonville. Yannick Ngakoue is turning into one of the top pass rushers in the game. He is playing in the final year of his rookie deal.
The belief is Ngakoue will get a new deal, if not during the season then after 2019 before free agency.
Behind one of the best sack duos in the league, there isn’t much depth.
"“Calais Campbell turns 33 in September and at some point, he won’t be able to play at the high level he’s shown in the past two seasons,” Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com explains.“Plus, he has a $17.5 million salary-cap figure in 2020. Yannick Ngakoue is regarded as one of the league’s best young pass-rushers and the team is expected to work out an extension for him at some point.”"
Even if the team’s first need is on the offense at either tackle or at tight end, the best value may be grabbing one of the better defenders in the Draft to build for now and the future.