3 crucial questions surrounding the Jacksonville Jaguars ahead of 2023 NFL preseason

• Who will line up in the slot for the Jaguars in 2023?

• Left guard could be an area of concern

• Who will be No. 3 in the pass rush rotation?

Jun 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen (70)
Jun 14, 2023; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Cole Van Lanen (70) / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

1. Who will be pass rusher No. 3 for the Jaguars?

Pass rush remains a need for the Jaguars even though they brought back defensive end Dawuane Smoot on a one-year deal. A third-round pick by the Jags in 2017, Smoot was an important piece of their rotation last year but tore his Achilles near the end of the season. He's still rehabbing and might more time to be 100 percent.

But even after Smoot returns, the pass rush still looks like a question mark. Outside linebacker Josh Allen has dominated in training camp while sophomore Travon Walker has made strides. However, there isn't much depth behind him. K'Lavon Chaisson is currently No. 3 behind Allen and Walker and he doesn't really inspire confidence, having registered a total of three sacks over the last three years.

Maybe this is the year Chaisson finally puts it all together but there's an equal chance he'll be a non-factor. Losing defensive end Arden Key in free agency certainly stings and to fill the void, Jacksonville drafted Tyler Lacy and Yasir Abdullah in Rounds 4 and 5, respectively. Both are intriguing talents but expecting either one to contribute right off the bat might be too much to ask.

Pederson said in early June that the team wanted to see what their young guys could do before considering bringing in outside help. It's possible that he hasn't changed his stance, and if either Chaisson or the rookies fail to impress in training camp, they should then look at the available options. The issue with that is that Yannick Ngakoue, Leonard Floyd, and Frank Clark are off the market, so Justin Houston and Melvin Ingram might be the top options.

This begs the question, should the Jags ink a veteran pass rusher? They should first see what they got in Lacy and Abdullah but shouldn't rule out bringing in someone else.

Here are other recent Jaguars stories you might also like: