The Jacksonville Jaguars made several additions to the defensive line this offseason. Some have had a bigger impact than others. It may be a bit early but it looks like re-signing defensive end Adam Gotsis was one of the best decisions they made.
Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report recently unearthed every NFL team’s early hidden gem in 2021 and Gotsis popped up on the list. He notes that the Jaguars didn’t probably expect the 2016 second-round pick to make an impact this year but he has become a key component on their defense nonetheless.
"The 29-year-old Adam Gotsis probably wasn’t a key component of the Jaguars’ plans. The fact he re-signed with the team for just $1.1 million indicates as much. However, Gotsis is tied for the team lead with two sacks despite not playing in Week 1. His three tackles for loss lead the squad. He’s worked his way into a starting role and should remain there if he continues to play relatively well."
Gotsis was the 63rd overall pick in the 2016 draft. He spent the first four years of his NFL career with the Denver Broncos and signed with the Jags last year. He’s appeared in 76 games with 44 starts. He’s posted 155 total tackles, 16 tackles for a loss, three forced fumbles, and seven sacks. Despite the fact that he wasn’t active in the season opener, he’s tied with edge rusher Josh Allen for the team lead in sacks. This season, he’s appeared in 39 percent of Jacksonville’s defensive snaps.
Adam Gotsis has been a pleasant surprise for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
At the time, the decision to sign Gotsis looked puzzling. Sure, he was a veteran presence in the Jaguars’ locker room but he was a non-factor in 2020, appearing in all 16 games but posting just 37 total tackles and no sacks. Why would the Jags bring back someone that can’t rush the passer in spite of having ample opportunities? It now looks like a cold take but it made no sense that he made the final 53-man roster, knowing the Jags had added Roy Robertson-Harris, and Jihad Ward earlier this year.
Gotsis’ production also stands out because some of the Jaguars’ offseason additions haven’t panned out. Dawuane Smoot, who also re-signed earlier this year, leads the team with 15 pressures after four games in 2021 but has recorded no sacks. Ward ranks second with ten and Josh Allen is third with nine. The team’s brass surely expected more from second-year pass rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, who has logged a measly four pressures and no sacks.
Against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, the Jaguars’ defense sacked quarterback Joe Burrow just once and gave him ample time to throw. Something similar happen the week before, when they couldn’t get to Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Jacksonville is applying pressure at a high rate but they aren’t finishing the job. They need to rack up more sacks and impact plays. In four games, they haven’t logged a single forced fumble.
Because the Jaguars played on Thursday Night Football, they will have more time to prepare for their Week 5 opponents, the Tennesse Titans. They need to look for ways to improve their pass rush. Also, they will have the daunting task of stopping running back Derrick Henry. Gotsis will be definitely a player to watch.