Jacksonville Jaguars: Who benefits from LB Leon Jacobs release?

Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry #22 and Jacksonville Jaguars OLB Leon Jacobs #48 (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)
Tennessee Titans RB Derrick Henry #22 and Jacksonville Jaguars OLB Leon Jacobs #48 (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) /

There is no doubt linebackers Joe Schobert and Myles Jack will play a key role for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021. However, it is not certain who will start next to them in Week 1. The team is switching from a 4-3 to a 3-4 defense this season, so the coaching staff is probably evaluating its current personnel in training camp to see who is the best fit.

One player that won’t be competing for a spot on the roster is Leon Jacobs. The Jags have announced they have released the 2018 seventh-round pick, along with kicker Aldrick Rosas, and have signed wide receiver Tevon Jones. The move comes after previously placing Jacobs on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list.

Just like most late-round selections, not much was expected from Jacobs. However, the Wisconsin product proved to be a solid contributor, progressively earning a bigger role on the Jaguars’ defense. After appearing in 14 percent of the team’s defensive snaps and starting three games in his rookie campaign, he played 31 percent with seven starts in 2019.

Jacobs was poised to have a featured role on defense in 2020 but he suffered a knee injury against the Miami Dolphins in Week 3 that cut his season short. At that point, he had logged three total tackles and one tackle for a loss. Had the linebacker stayed healthy, he might’ve been part of the Jaguars’ starting defense for the reminded of the year. He finished his stint in Jacksonville with 66 total tackles, five tackles for a loss, two sacks, one pass defensed, and 12 starts.

The Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker corps is in good shape.

The Jaguars have depth at linebacker, so they could afford to move on from Jacobs. With him out of the picture, Damien Wilson will most likely be part of the Jaguars’ starting defense. Sophomore K’Lavon Chaisson is also moving to strong linebacker. Josh Allen, Lerentee McCray, and rookie Jordan Smith have also lined up at linebacker, so it’s probable that the was no longer room for Jacobs.

The fact that the former Badger was on the Physically Unable to Perform list didn’t help his cause and surely played a role in his release. On the other hand, he may not have been a good fit in defensive coordinator Joe Cullen’s scheme. Regardless of the reason, the Jags didn’t think he was part of their future.

With Jacobs no longer with the team, there’s a chance Shaquill Quarterman or Dakota Allen make the team. Both of them will have a hard time earning a spot on the 53-man roster but Jacobs’ release could enhance their chances. Also, the Jags have undrafted rookie Dylan Moses. The Alabama product is currently on the Active/Non-Football injury list nursing injuries he sustained in college. While it’s a long shot, he could end up competing for playing time once he’s cleared to return to the football field.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will have to trim down their roster to 85 players on August 17. They didn’t have to wait until then to realize Jacobs wasn’t going to make the cut.

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