Defensive tackle named the Jaguars biggest need ahead of training camp

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi (94) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.Jki Ota7 43
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Folorunso Fatukasi (94) at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.Jki Ota7 43 /

NFL teams would like to have an unlimited budget to sign players in free agency. They would also love to have double the draft picks. However, clubs have finite resources to make upgrades in the offseason, and even in the best-case scenario, they will go into the regular season with a few needs holes to fill. Josh Edwards of CBS Sports recently drew up a list of every AFC team’s biggest remaining needs ahead of training camp and believes the Jacksonville Jaguars’ biggest one is a defensive tackle.

Edwards notes that the offensive line and wide receiver position are still areas of need for the Jaguars but believes that they lack playmakers in the interior defensive line.

"The additions of Travon Walker and Arden Key are somewhat neutralized by the limitations of the interior unit. The group — Roy Robertson-Harris, DaVon Hamilton, Malcom Brown, and Foley Fatukasi — has had moments of success throughout their careers, but it is time for someone to step up and take advantage of the one-on-one opportunities sure to come from the upgrade in talent on the edge."

The Jaguars signed Folorunso Fatukasi in the free agency and they also brought back Adam Gotsis, an important piece of their defensive line rotation last year. They signed Roy Roberson-Harris last offseason and traded for Malcom Brown before the 2021 NFL Draft. Meanwhile, DaVon Hamilton is entering his third year in the league.

Defensive tackle isn’t an area of concern for the Jaguars in 2022

The Jags’ defensive line popped up at No. 28 in Pro Football Focus’ most recent ranking, so Edwards isn’t the only one that sees the unit as a weakness. On the other hand, the group might exceed expectations in 2022.

Roy Robertson-Harris struggled with injuries early in the season but finished strong. DaVon Hamilton has also been reliable and has shown growth over the last two seasons. Malcom Brown was stout, and Folorunso Fatukasi was recently named Jacksonville’s most underappreciated player. It’s true that the bunch lacks star power but they aren’t devoid of studs either.

Last season, the Jaguars did a good job of stopping the run early in the season but faded down the stretch. They should be more consistent in 2022 with head coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell at the helm. Jacksonville ranked 23rd in yards allowed and 29th in touchdowns surrendered. The team’s brass needs to aim at finishing in the mid-10s in both categories this upcoming season.

Coaches often say that football games are won and lost in the trenches and that’s true more often than not. And if the Jaguars want to stop teams from scoring in 2022, they will need their defensive front to step up.

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