Ranking all Jaguars defensive groups ahead of Week 1 of the 2022 season

Jacksonville Jaguars OLB Travon Walker (44) and Pittsburgh Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr. (24) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars OLB Travon Walker (44) and Pittsburgh Steelers RB Benny Snell Jr. (24) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris #95 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union] /

No. 3 Jaguars offensive group entering Week 1: Defensive line

The Jaguars are rolling with a 3-4 defense for the season straight year, which means that their defensive front will be tasked with clogging up running lanes and taking on blocks so the linebackers make plays. Nevertheless, this year’s group has some pass rush potential.

Last year, Dawuane Smoot lined up in a standup position but he’ll now play with his hand on the ground. While the veteran isn’t the kind of player that offensive coordinators game plan for, he gives defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell the flexibility to come up with some creative packages and looks.

Defensive end Arden Key can also line up inside or outside, which will allow Caldwell to use him as a movable chess piece. As a matter of fact, the former LSU Tiger could turn out to be the Jags’ X-Factor on defense. Defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris finished the 2021 season with three sacks and will once again be an important piece of the Jaguars’ defensive line rotation. The same is true for Adam Gotsis, who logged as many takedowns as Robertson Harris last year.

DaVon Hamilton and Folorunso Fatukasi will both be a force against the run but they will also be tasked with getting after the quarterback. Their sack tally in 2022 won’t probably be high but they will be key to the group’s success in the trenches.

After waiving Jay Tufele and releasing Adam Gotsis while reducing the roster to 53 players, it seemed like Jacksonville’s defensive line was somewhat thin. But once they brought back the latter, it looks in good shape.

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