Ranking Jaguars positional needs on defense ahead of free agency

Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports)
Fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field (Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Taven Bryan (93) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, FL, Sunday, November 7, 2021. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

. . Defensive line. 1. player. 52.

The Jaguars need to fortify their defensive front this offseason.

The Jaguars made several additions to their defensive front last offseason. They signed Roy Robertson-Harris and Jihad Ward in free agency. They re-signed Adam Gotsis and traded for Malcom Brown. Moreover, they drafted Jay Tufele in the fourth round of the 2021 selection meeting.

Ward, Gotsis, and defensive tackle Taven Bryan are all set to become free agents. Ward was a key cog in the team’s defensive line rotation and Gotsis made several stops throughout the year. Both could return in 2022. On the other hand, Bryan had two sacks in Week 9 but didn’t do much of note most of the season. Tufele missed time with a hand injury but should make a leap in Year 2. Defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton was healthy in 2021 after suffering a knee injury the season before. He should continue to get better in his third NFL season.

If the Jaguars want to sign an impact player in free agency, they could give Akiem Hicks a call this offseason. The veteran defensive lineman dealt with a groin injury last year but could fortify the Jags’ defensive front. One of the reasons the Jaguars struggled to stop the run late in the 2021 season was the inability to clog up running lanes and lose and hold ground at the line of scrimmage.

The Jaguars’ front office needs to beef up their defensive front this offseason but the 2022 free agent class may not be particularly enticing, so they might want to turn to the draft to add some depth.

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