Will the Jacksonville Jaguars add another pass rusher to the roster this offseason?
Edge Rushers and Defensive ends are the stars of the defense. Jaguars fans love when this team sacks the quarterback
The Jaguars edge rushers and defensive ends look great on paper. We have Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Josh Allen. All three have been to the Pro Bowl. Campbell has won multiple honors including Defensive MVP last Sunday at the Pro Bowl in Orlando. Allen is a rookie and budding superstar. It all sounds great, but in reality, there are issues.
The Jaguars must pay Campbell and Ngakoue or they could go to other teams next season. Ngakoue wants a substantial contract and Campbell is not eager to restructure his existing deal. The front office needs to come up with some creative financing to keep them.
In addition to Campbell, Allen, and Ngakoue, the Jaguars have the following defensive ends: Dawuane Smoot, Lerentee McCray, Chuck Harris, and Dewayne Hendrix. Some web sites define Ngakoue and Allen as edge rushers and the others as defensive ends.
As Andy Benoit of Sports Illustrated wrote, the most important trait in any pass rusher is their ability to be flexible to get off the edge and to the quarterback.
“It starts with flexibility in the region of the body where most humans are least flexible: from the bottom of the knee to the top of the hip,” he writes.
“Flexibility there allows a pass-rushing end to get low and dip around the corner.”
Several other traits include explosiveness, elite speed to get off the line quickly, and leverage. Some defensive linemen often described as edge rushers, have difficulty stopping the run. In looking for a defensive lineman in the draft it is said that they have often played multiple sports in high school and sometimes in college. They have great athleticism.
There are quite few defensive ends available in free agency the Jaguars may look to add this offseason.
Jadeveon Clowney of Seattle is dominant when healthy. Dante Fowler of the Rams had 11.5 sacks and proved he could be what the Jaguars hoped he would be when they drafted him. Bud Dupree of the Steelers had 11.5 sacks this season, but Pittsburgh may move on from him.
The draft is another source for defensive ends. Chase Young from Ohio State is a projected top 5 pick. He has the size, speed, and potential to get even better. A.J. Epenesa of Iowa is likely to be taken in the first round. Jon Greenard of Florida is a very talented edge rusher but has been hampered by injuries. He is expected to be drafted in rounds 1-3.
Defensive ends are critical to the success of the team. They are the pass rushers whose major responsibility is to disrupt the opposition quarterback by sacks, pressures, and knock downs.
Some players in the same position have similar responsibility but are more likely to be involved in stopping the run game.
The Jaguars will have many options to choose from if they decide to add to this group this offseason.
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