The Jacksonville Jaguars’ first preseason game is in the books. Although the Jags lost 13-23 to the Cleveland Browns, there were several bright spots and encouraging moments. On offense, wide receivers Tavon Austin and Marvin Jones shined. On defense, cornerback C.J. Henderson showed no ill effects from missing a good chunk of training camp. Another player that stood out on that side of the ball was defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, who did an excellent job of clogging up running lanes.
The Jags couldn’t stop the Browns from throwing the ball, allowing 319 passing yards and 7.1 yards per attempt. However, they did an outstanding job of containing the run, giving up just 1.6 yards per rush. This is noteworthy because Jacksonville’s defense surrendered 4.7 yards per carry and ranked 31st in rushing touchdowns last year. After the game, EDGE rusher Josh Allen had a sitdown with the local media and talked about the importance of stopping the run.
"Our goal, every time we go to the field is to stop the run. That’s our mindset because we can’t rush the passer, we can’t get pressure, we can’t do what we need to do… It’s the easiest thing to do in NFL."
The Jaguars gave up an average of 181 rushing yards over the last seven games of the 2020 season. To fix that, they spent the offseason fortifying their defensive front. They signed Jihad Ward and Roy Robertson-Harris in free agency. They also traded for Malcom Brown and selected Jay Tufele in Round 4 of the 2021 NFL Draft. Additionally, second-year defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton should be a key role in the Jags’ defensive line rotation.
DaVon Hamilton will help solidify the Jacksonville Jaguars’ D-Line.
The Jaguars weren’t very good last season, losing 15 consecutive games. One reason behind the Jaguars’ inability to consistently win last year was their lack of playmakers on both sides of the ball. Nevertheless, they did have a few difference-makers — albeit not enough to consistently win games — and Hamilton was one of them.
After the game, Allen was asked about Hamilton and had nothing but good things to say about the Ohio State product. Allen thinks that the Jaguars’ 2020 third-round pick can be the best nose tackle in the NFL.
"Oh man DaVon, he has the capabilities of being the best nose tackle in the NFL. And we tell him that, everybody tells him that. I truly believe in, everybody truly believes that he can be the best nose tackle. And I think he is. As long as he believes that long as you go out there and does his job, he’s gonna be the best."
Hamilton moved up the depth chart last season and made his first start in Week 6. He showed flashes and was one of the Jags’ highest-graded defenders before a knee injury cut his season short. The defensive tackle hasn’t suffered any setbacks this year and is poised to pick up where he left off last season. Having a solid performance in the first game of the preseason surely helped him solidify his spot as the team’s starting nose tackle.
The Jacksonville Jaguars need to do a better job of stopping the pass when they face off against the New Orleans Saints in Week 2 of the preseason. But they should be encouraged about the progress Hamilton has displayed ahead of the 2021 season.