HC Doug Pederson says Jaguars not looking to add veteran pass rush help at the moment

Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Yasir Abdullah (56) on the field during Monday morning's offseason.
Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Yasir Abdullah (56) on the field during Monday morning's offseason. / Bob Self/Florida Times-Union / USA TODAY

Pass rusher remains a work in progress for the Jacksonville Jaguars after the 2023 NFL Draft but head coach Doug Pederson says that the team isn't looking for veteran help at this moment.

Pederson met with the local media before the Jags' seventh Organized Team Activity of the offseason and said that they want to see what their young pass rushers can do before they look for veteran help when told that outside linebacker Leonard Floyd signed a one-year deal with the Buffalo Bills earlier in the day.

"He's a good player and guys are gonna get scooped up", Pederson said. "But you can't just jump in the first thing that's there and somebody has to fit your roster and fit your structure financially and all of that but there's going to be guys probably going into training camp, there's going to be guys coming out of training camp that we'll take a look at".

"But those are all things for conversations for down the road and we've been pleased with the guys that are here that are working. We've got to get them better and ready to go", Pederson said.

Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell also talked to the local media and echoed Pederson's sentiment when asked about third-year edge rusher Jordan Smith "He's another one", Caldwell said. "That position has a bunch of depth. Coach Shuey, coach Buckner, they're molding those guys into what we want and Jordan is another one. He's tall, he's long, he's athletic. So we just want him to get back healthy, and see what he can do out there".

Caldwell goes on to say that "you always want to have options" and the more options you have, the better chance to put the best guys out there but he's fine whether the Jaguars go after a veteran pass rusher or not.

The Jaguars ranked 25th in sacks last year and lost defensive end Arden Key in free agency. They fill the void, they signed Henry Mondeaux and Michael Dogbe but they're both projects at this stage of their respective careers. Similarly, expecting rookies Yasir Abdullah and Tyler Lacy to have a huge impact right off the bat might be too much to ask, which is why the idea of adding a veteran pass rusher has been brought up after the draft.

The Jaguars won't close the door on adding a pass rusher down the road

All things considered, the Jaguars are taking the right approach by looking at what they have before seeing what's out there. After being a healthy scratch through most of his rookie season, Jordan Smith tore his ACL but he's back at practice. Bringing in a veteran pass rusher could potentially hinder his and the development of other young players, as he would most likely take away reps in training camp.

On the other hand, there are still options in the open market. Yannick Ngakoue, Melvin Ingram, and Frank Clark all remained unsigned. There's a good chance a market for pass rushers will materialize once the regular season is closer but the Jags need to see whether one of their younger players can step up before looking for outside help.

The bottom line is that the pass rush remains an area for improvement but the Jacksonville Jaguars know there's ample time to work on it. While they could pursue a veteran down the road, they'll only do it if it's necessary. For the time being, they're counting on their young rushers to develop, which is the reasonable thing to do.

4 emerging alphas on the Jaguars roster in 2023. dark. Next. 4 emerging alphas on the Jaguars roster in 2023