4 most compelling position battles ahead of Jaguars training camp

Here are four the most compelling training camp battles the Jacksonville Jaguars will hold.

The helmet of Jacksonville Jaguars guard Samuel Jackson (62) lies on the turf after practice.
The helmet of Jacksonville Jaguars guard Samuel Jackson (62) lies on the turf after practice. / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA
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Jaguars 2023 training camp battle #1: Pass rush No. 1

The Jaguars made strides last year. They went from one of the worst units in the league to one of the top 15 in both points and total yards allowed. On top of that, they created turnovers at a high rate. However, they have ample room for improvement in one area and that is bringing the heat to the quarterback.

Last season, the front seven was able to consistently create pressure up front but they weren't able to turn that pressure into sacks. Make no mistakes, sacks aren't the only way to measure a team's success when rushing the passer but they aren't meaningless either and Jacksonville will need Travon Walker and Josh Allen to improve in 2023 if they want to see an uptick.

But even if Walker and Allen do make a leap, the team's brass will need someone to round out the rotation. With defensive end Arden Key leaving in free agency and Dawuane Smoot, who remains unsigned, still rehabing a tore Achilles, the Jags will need one of their young players to step up.

By virtue of having the most experience, K'Lavon Chaisson could be the favorite. But he's been underwhelming over the last three seasons and might need to make a huge impression to make the team. Another option is rookie Yasir Abdullah. Dubbed the steal of the draft, Abdullah showed pass-rush skills at Louisville but will need to prove the transition to the pros isn't too much for him.

Last but not least is Jordan Smith, who has hardly played the last two seasons but he's healthy after missing the 2022 season with a torn ACL. He could be darkhorse and separate himself from the bunch. Conversely, he might not make the team in 2023.

Either way, the Jaguars must sort out their pass-rush options in training camp if they want to consistently rattle opposing quarterbacks next season.

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