No. 1 player the Jaguars must sign before the 2024 free agency: Josh Allen, OLB
You have probably heard that pressure makes diamonds or burst pipes. This year, the Jaguars which one is outside linebacker Josh Allen, who's entering the 2023 season with lots of pressure under his shoulders to prove he's the dominant pass rusher Jacksonville thought he was when they drafted him seventh overall in 2019.
Make no mistake, Allen can play at an elite level. He showed how much havoc he can wreak in an upset win over the Buffalo Bills in 2021. Similarly, he made the Pro Bowl as a rookie. Now, the Jaguars want to see him to consistently perform at that level on a consistent basis.
The biggest reason Allen isn't mentioned in the same breath as the Bosa brothers or the T.J. Watts of the world is his total sack tally. After registering 10 in 2019, he's had 17 over the last three years. It's true that sacks aren't the only indicator of a pass rusher's success or lack thereof but the best ones put up 10 or more year and year out.
Allen had the seventh most pressures in the league last year and Pro Football Focus ranked him fourth among edge defenders in true pass sets. However, he needs to take his game to the next level in 2023. If he does, the Jaguars' pass rush will no longer be a question mark. For his part, he'll secure a long-term deal that ensures he remains in Jacksonville for years to come.