1. The Jaguars are pleased with DT DaVon Hamilton's growth
Under former general manager Dave Caldwell, the Jags rarely made an effort to retain their own players and instead look for ways to accumulate draft picks for future use. His successor, Trent Baalke, has bucked the trend and has done a good job of rewarding core contributors. One of them is defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton, who got a three-year extension worth $34.5 million days in April.
It's fair to say that the team's brass wouldn't have given Hamilton a multi-year extension if they didn't feel comfortable about his progress. On Day 12 of Jaguars training camp, Pederson talked about the things he's seen in the player affectionately known as Ham.
"DaVon really showed up last year, that's why he got the extension", Pederson said. "We wanted to keep him around, he's one of the guys, one of the leaders on the team, on the defense. He's a big powerful guy in there as a D-Lineman.
"He can generate some push and then that's what you want in the middle of your pocket, right? And he's a good run defender. All those things, we've seen the same things, this camp with him when the pads are on, and his physicality and what he brings to the line," Pederson said.
Hamilton is the only player the Jaguars drafted in 2020 that has gotten an extension in Jacksonville. The Ohio State product flashed as a rookie but a knee injury cut his season short. He returned to the lineup in 2021 and has progressively gotten better, as Pederson noted. Last year, he registered a career-high 2.5 sacks and he expects to be even better in 2023, noting that he wants to be more than just a run-stuffer.