Veterans on the Jacksonville Jaguars defense fighting for a roster spot
The Jacksonville Jaguars defense just keeps getting younger. Here are three veterans on the Jaguars defense fighting for a roster spot.
After spending two first-round picks on the defensive side of the football, as well as a first-round pick last season on rising star Josh Allen, the Jacksonville Jaguars defense is getting younger.
It also might be getting better. With free-agent additions and a commitment to making necessary changes this offseason through free agency, this roster might not be as dire as some would think.
Having veterans on the roster is necessary for the success of any team, however, Jacksonville is moving towards a younger generation and rebuilding the culture around the team. Some of those veterans who’ve played key roles with the black and teal may find themselves off the roster at some point this season.
The team still has mini camp and training camp in the future and there are plenty of positions battles the coaching staff will focus on.
Here is a look at three veterans who may be fighting to remain on the roster for the 2020 season and beyond.
Leon Jacobs – Linebacker
The Jaguars made it clear that this offseason they were going to improve on the defensive side of the ball. This started with the signing of Linebacker Joe Schobert. Schobert was a bright spot on a rather lowly Cleveland defense. With his signing however it creates more of a log jam at the linebacker position.
It’s been widely discussed that Jacksonville will be implementing more of a 3-4 scheme this season than in years past. Leon Jacobs doesn’t what the team is trying to do as an inside or outside ‘backer in the 3-4 system. He would more than likely fall behind the likes Shaquille Quarterman and Quincy Williams for the inside backer position. As for outside linebacker that would be held by Josh Allen and rookie K’Lavon Chaisson.
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Yannick Ngakoue figures in that rotation as well if he plays this season. New free agent signing Cassius Marsh would be ahead of Jacobs on the depth chart as well, barring an incredible offseason from the third-year player. Unfortunately, Jacobs hasn’t been a fan favorite since the infamous Derrick Henry 99-Yard Touchdown a few seasons ago. I would not be surprised if he finds himself out of Jacksonville at some point this season.
Jarrod Wilson – Safety
Right now Jarrod Wilson is the safest player on this list. The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t truly address their safety concerns until later on in the draft. However, if rookie Daniel Thomas does well he could overtake Wilson as the starting free safety.
It is also possible that rookie Josiah Scott moves to free safety. It is even possible Ronnie Harrison makes a move to and someone like former second-round pick Josh Jones takes over at strong safety.
Despite a front seven that is much better than it appears, Jacksonville still has a few concerns in the secondary. Wilson is, as of right now, the weakest link.
I’m not saying he is definitely gone, but the Jacksonville Jaguars put their faith in him and he needs to show improvement this season.
Abry Jones – Defensive Tackle
Abry Jones is a solid run defender and one of those veterans who understands his role and does it to the best of his ability. Unfortunately, Jacksonville’s defense is filled with those kinds of veterans at the defensive tackle position.
The move towards more of a 3-4 may play to his advantage because he is a solid nose tackle who can take on blocks, but he isn’t going to make the team solely based on that. Jones was part of that poor run defense last season. It left a bad taste in many fans’ mouths, and the coaches seem to be looking towards the future.
Unfortunately, that means veterans who have been a part of this defense for a while will be let go. Jones may not be in Jacksonville next season, but he should have no trouble finding himself on another team.