The Jacksonville Jaguars spent the offseason upgrading their roster. While they have reinforced most positional groups, there was one they hardly touched early on, the linebacker corps. However, that changed when they brought in Damian Wilson and later signed Dylan Moses as an undrafted free agent. The latter has a steep hill to climb but he has the tools to be a key cog on the Jags’ defense down the road.
Chris Roling of Bleacher Report recently wrote about undrafted rookies that could make the most noise in training camp and Moses popped up. He says the Louisiana native had a big profile entering the draft because of his college days at Alabama. Roling highlights Moses’ swiftness, which helps him change directions easily and run sideline to sideline with ease. He also believes the linebacker’s “sheer productivity and pro-ready play” will help him move up the depth chart quickly.
Back in 2019, Moses tore his ACL in practice and missed the season. He got back on the field in 2020 but didn’t display the same kind of speed and explosiveness he had before the injury. The fact the Alabama product underwent meniscus surgery, in conjunction with difficulties gathering medical information before this year’s selection meeting, played a big role in him going undrafted, per Matt Miller of the Draft Scout.
When will Dylan Moses see the field for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Nobody will argue Moses was a playmaker before tearing his ACL but it’s uncertain how much injuries have affected him over the last two years. If he still needs time to rehab and make the adjustment to the NFL, the Jags could stash him in the practice squad. If he’s fully healthy, he will have no trouble making the team this season. The fact he didn’t get drafted could help him fly under the radar and take the pressure to perform right away off his shoulders.
However, Moses will need to work his way up the depth chart. Myles Jack and Joe Schobert are firmly entrenched as the starting linebackers. On the other hand, Wilson has plenty of experience and should play a significant number of snaps.
Also, Leon Jacobs and Shaquille Quarterman are still on the roster. The Jaguars will likely carry five linebackers in 2021, so he would have to compete with both of them for a spot on the team. Jacobs, a 2018 seven-round pick, started couple games last year but missed most of the season after suffering a knee injury in Week 3. Quarterman was a fourth-round selection in last year’s draft. Although he didn’t play a single snap on defense in 2020, he appeared in 46 percent of the team’s special teams snaps.
At this point, it’s difficult to imagine Moses making an impact right out of the gate but he has the potential to become a playmaker if he can stay healthy. For the time being, he will need to compete with Jacobs and Quarterman for a spot on the roster. He already came from a devasting injury, so he must feel confident about his chances.