As the Jacksonville Jaguars sit at a 0-4 record, it already feels like time to look forward. Certainly, the Jags have a solid young core on offense but defensively, the team has suffered. Chief among these struggles has been the team’s ability to get to the quarterback.
Truthfully, the Jaguars’ pass rush has been a one-man show from Josh Allen in recent years. The 2019 first-round pick currently leads the team with two sacks. Dawuane Smoot currently leads the team with 15 pressures but he hasn’t recorded a sack in four games. If Jacksonville could add these three players it would be a massive step forward.
Here are 3 pass-rush options for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021.
1. Kayvon Thibodeaux, University of Oregon
Heading into the 2022 NFL Draft, Kayvon Thibodeaux is widely heralded as the best prospect available. In fact, he currently has a pretty good chance to be selected number one overall. Due to their less-than-stellar record, the Jags will likely have a fair shot at the Oregon star.
Checking the box score truly does not tell the full story with Thibodeaux. The best player on a very good Oregon defense, he commands the offense’s full attention. This extra attention is warranted due to his unbelievable athletic ability. At 6’5″ and 250 pounds, you will rarely find a player who moves as he does. An elite prospect in almost all facets, Thibodeaux is on the fast track to becoming an elite NFL pass rusher in short order.
2. Chandler Jones, Arizona Cardinals
This one would be huge. At 31 years old, Chandler Jones is still a premier pass rusher in the NFL. After three weeks of the 2021 season, he has five sacks. When he is one, he is unstoppable so why would Arizona let him leave? In all likelihood, they won’t. As one of the NFL’s best teams early in the season, the Cards would be a wildly different team without Jones on their defense.
However, in the 2021 offseason, Jones voiced his displeasure with the Cardinals organization. If Jones is serious about leaving the desert, the Jaguars should be all over him. With 102 career sacks, he and Josh Allen would be one of the most formidable pass rush duos in the league. The price will be steep but definitely worth it.
3. Dante Fowler, Atlanta Falcons
Could a return be in the cards? Although Dante Fowler‘s exit from Jacksonville was messy back in 2018, that front office is long gone. Two years removed from an 11.5 sack season, the third overall pick in 2015 has cooled off in recent years with just five combined sacks during his time in Atlanta.
Fowler would still present an upgrade for the Jaguars pass rush. While he may have to swallow some pride to return, the Jags could give the former first-round pick the best chance to get back on track. He would also come on a discount due to his struggles in recent years.