3 false assumptions Jaguars fans could be making 2022

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key (98) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Arden Key (98) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Josh Allen #41 (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images) /

Dangerous assumption No. 2: The Jaguars will keep EDGE Josh Allen.

Although Arden Key was given $7 million, the contract is only for one year. This has led many to assume that he will be something of an insurance policy; a player who, in addition to providing situational pass rush, can provide reps at outside linebacker so as not to place too much pressure on Aidan Hutchinson. Or Travon Walker. Or Kayvon Thibodeaux. Or whoever.

And that could reasonably be the case. But, don’t assume too fast. There is another possibility — one that might not sit well with many fans in Duval.

There are multiple reasons the Jacksonville Jaguars were 27th in the league in sacks last year. One reason that doesn’t get talked about much, is the lack of an alpha pass rusher. If you ask many Jags fans, they will tell you that Josh Allen is that pass rusher. But, some observers aren’t so sure.

Tony Wiggins of Locked On Jaguars Podcast doesn’t, and he has been public with his opinion.

"“They have to ask themselves, ‘Is Josh Allen worth it?’ My personal answer is [no]. I don’t think he’s a number 1. I just don’t.”"

Josh Allen led the Jaguars’ pass rush with 7.5 sacks last year. But, among players who led their teams in sacks, he is near the bottom of the league. Detroit and Philadelphia tied Jacksonville, each with an individual player who led their teams in sacks with 7.5 (Philadelphia had two players with that number), while only Buffalo (7), Baltimore (7), Indianapolis (7), Jets (6), Denver (5.5), and Atlanta (4.5) had team leaders in sacks with fewer than Josh Allen.

23 teams had a single player with more sacks than Josh Allen, many of those with multiple players exceeding Allen’s output. That would indicate that the Jaguars’ best edge defender isn’t very good compared to other teams’ best pass rushers.

Here’s a bonus assumption to avoid: Aidan Hutchinson (or one of the other edge defenders) will not be drafted to Jacksonville and be expected to simply compliment Josh Allen. Number one overall draft picks aren’t brought in to be sidekicks. They’re brought in to be superheroes. You shouldn’t have to protect them with a buffer like Arden Key, either.

Allen is entering his fourth year. Arden Key’s arrival in Jacksonville could have as much to do with pushing him as it does with providing a buffer for a rookie edge rusher.