4. DJ Reader, nose tackle
The need for an additional pass rusher to round out their rotation has followed the Jaguars for several months. It hasn't been brought up nearly as often but they also need to bolster the interior defensive line. They gave DaVon Hamilton a three-year deal worth $34 million in the offseason but he hasn't had the impact the team expected.
Hamilton was held back by a non-football injury early in the season, so there's a chance he'll bounce next year. If healthy, he gives the Jags a pair of bookend defensive ends alongside Roy Robertson-Harris. However, the Jaguars need another difference maker, one that can play nose tackle.
Jacksonville gave Folorunso Fatukasi a top-market contract last year but h his on-field production doesn't match his pay rate. He could be released to get a bit of cap relief and the front office could use the savings to sign D.J. Reader in free agency.
Reader's main role with the Cincinnati Bengals isn't to generate sacks but rather to take on blocks, collapse the pocket, and give his teammates opportunities to make plays. He's pretty good at it, and he could be the difference-maker the Jaguars need to generate pressure inside, something they haven't been able to do consistently in 2023.
The downside of pursuing Reader is that he's out for the season with a torn quadriceps. As of this writing, his timeline for recovery is unknown, so he may not be a full-go when free agency starts. If that's the case, he may need to settle for a one-year deal. Then again, this could work in the Jaguars' favor, as they could lock him up at a relatively affordable rate and focus on addressing other needs.