Outside linebacker Josh Allen has been one of the best defensive players on the Jacksonville Jaguars over the last three years. However, he’s coming off a somewhat down year and has logged a combined 10 sacks over the last two seasons after recording 10.5 in 2019.
Nevertheless, the Jags see Allen as a building block, picking up the fifth-year option on his rookie deal earlier this year. He now needs to prove they made the right decision and have a breakout year in 2022. With that in mind, here are three realistic goals for the former Kentucky Wildcat this upcoming season.
3. Jaguars OLB Josh Allen must get to the quarterback more often in 2022
Allen himself has said that
. He wasn’t particularly bad last year and was dominant at times. However, it felt like he could have been even better. Again, he totaled more than 10 sacks as a rookie and made the Pro Bowl. Not that sacks are the only way to measure a pass rusher’s success but the best pass rushers get to the quarterback often.
Last season, Allen logged 50 total pressures on 439 pass-rush snaps (26th in the league), per Pro Football Focus. For comparison, he had 49 on 288 snaps in 2019. The former first-round pick must increase his number of total pressures and sacks. The top 15 pass rushers in 2021 had 63 pressures or more, so that would be a reasonable number to aim for. Similarly, he needs to tie or surpass his rookie sack totals. If he does, the Jaguars’ pass rush will be in good shape.
The fact that the Jaguars fortified their front seven with the addition of Folorunso Fatukasi, Arden Key, and rookie Travon Walker should help Allen find more favorable matchups up front and in turn see an uptick in production.
Allen has always had the talent but for whatever reason, he hasn’t been able to put it all together. That has to change in 2022.