Jaguars DT DaVon Hamilton’s role on defense opening up his horizons

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton (52) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton (52) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is entering his third NFL season and the Jacksonville Jaguars’ coaching staff is asking him to do things he hasn’t done since his high school years. This could lead to his most productive year yet.

Hamilton recently told Jamal St. Cyr of News4Jax that he’s “feeling the best he’s felt since entering the league” and then went on to say that the current coaching staff is asking him to get after the quarterback, something he hasn’t done in a while.

"It’s definitely opening up my horizons and allowing me to play in multiple different styles and multiple different defenses and it’s very exciting. Like I said, I haven’t been able to do it for a while, so I’m very excited for it."

Later in his conversation with St. Cyt, Hamilton mentioned that head coach Doug Pederson’s influence on the team is notable. “It’s definitely a lot more energy”, the defensive tackle said. “I think we’re having a lot more fun out here and we’re able to play a lot faster”.

A third-round pick in the 2020 NF LDraft, Hamilton showed promise as a rookie before suffering a knee injury in Week 12 that cut his season short. Last season, he played every game but one and made eight starts. Here’s his exchange with St. Cyr in case you want to check it.

Jaguars DT DaVon Hamilton is poised to have a career year

Hamilton hasn’t been much of a pass rusher over the last two years (two sacks) and has instead been asked to stop the run and to take on blocks so other players can make plays. That could change this year. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said the defensive tackle’s ability to collapse the pocket and his pass rush skillset has stood out to him, per John Shipley of Jaguar Report.

Similarly, Hamilton has had a heck of a training camp, “resetting the line of scrimmage and making tackles for short gains”, according to Shipley. Demetrius Harvey of the Florida Times-Union had a similar assessment of the third-year pro. Against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1 of the preseason, he posted a Pro Football Focus pass rush grade of 72.4.

While Hamilton won’t suddenly turn into Aaron Donald, there’s a good chance he will finish the year with three or four sacks, which would be more than he had in the last two years combined.

The Jaguars signed defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi in free agency to wreak havoc at the line of scrimmage. If he lives up to expectations and Hamilton’s training camp performance carries over into the regular season could make it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to throw the football.

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