No. 2 Jaguars offensive group entering Week 1: Linebackers
The Jaguars recognized that they needed to get better production from their linebacker corps and also get Josh Allen some help, so they poured resources into the group in the offseason. First, they signed Foyesade Oluokon, the NFL’s leading tackler in 2021, in free agency. But general manager Trent Baalke wasn’t done and he kept fortifying the unit in the draft.
Besides taking Travon Walker first overall, the Jags then used first and third-round selections on Devin Lloyd and Chad Muma, respectively. Lloyd is projected to start next to Oluokun even though he missed a good chunk of training camp and the preseason with a hamstring injury. But if the former Utah Ute underperforms or gets hurt again, Muma can take his place in the lineup.
Walker played several positions at Georgia and wasn’t often asked to rush the quarterback from a two-point stance. But he will now play outside linebacker full-time for Jacksonville. So far, the transition has gone without a hitch, and it may be a matter of fact before he gets acclimated to his new role. This should in turn help Allen, who’s flashed top 10 potential but needs to find more consistency. The coaching staff believes he will.
K’Lavon Chaisson, a 2020 first-round selection, will start the season as a backup, and barring injury, he might not get much playing time. De’Shaan Dixon will be part of the team’s pass rush rotation while Shaquille Quarterman will also serve as a reserve. The only reason this group doesn’t rank higher is that Lloyd, Muma, and Walker are unproven in the regular season.