If the Jacksonville Jaguars made a trade before this year's deadline, it would probably be for a pass rusher. Although Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter may be off the market, there may be other intriguing options available including New York Jets edge rusher Carl Lawson.
The Jets are expected to trade Lawson before the Oct. 31st deadline and have had "in-depth talks" with two teams about getting a deal done, per Zack Rosenblatt of The Athletic. A fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft by the Cincinnati Bengals, Lawson inked a three-year worth $45 million in 2021. However, he tore his Achilles in training camp and missed the 2021 season.
Lawson returned in 2022 and went on to appear in all 17 games, registering seven sacks, one forced fumble, 33 total tackles, and 24 quarterback hits. Unfortunately, he suffered a back injury in training camp and wasn't able to build on last year's success. So far, he's logged just three tackles in four contests, which is why New York may be willing to trade him.
While there are no reports indicating the Jaguars are interested in acquiring him, Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report believes they could be a landing spot for the former Auburn Tiger. Knox argues that Lawson could be a fallback in case Jacksonville isn't able to trade for a "more prolific sack artist."
"The Jaguars should be interested in landing Lawson if a more prolific sack-artist isn't available. The Chiefs are looking more like the class of the AFC by the day, and Jacksonville has already failed to contain Patrick Mahomes once this season."
With the Vikings not exploring to trade Danielle Hunter, Chase Young would be the best pass rusher available. He's been mentioned as a potential trade candidate for a while and Knox also mentions Jacksonville as a potential destination for him.
Young may be the best of the bunch but may cost second and third-round picks, according to Jordan Schultz of B/R. On top of that, the team that acquires him will most likely have to give him a contract extension. Then again, Young is among the top rushers in the league, so his potential impact might outweigh the cost of acquiring him.
Carl Lawson may not be a good fit witht Jacksonville Jaguars
In Jacksonville, Carl Lawson would join a rotation that includes outside linebacker Josh Allen, sophomore Travon Walker, K'Lavon Chaisson, and Dawuane Smoot, who made his season debut against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5 after starting the year on Injured Reserve.
Josh Allen is the Jacksonville Jaguars' top pass rusher and Trevor Walker is the clear No. 2, playing 83 percent of their defensive snaps. Smoot also has a big load, having appeared in 79 defensive snaps the past two games. If Lawson were to land with the Jaguars, it would probably be in a reserve role. One thing that could incentivize the Jaguars to trade for him is that it wouldn't be cost-prohibitive. Bill Barnwell of ESPN suggests he could be had for a sixth-round pick.
On the other hand, Lawson's health could potentially prevent Jacksonville from pursuing him. They need an impact player who can bolster their pass rush, not someone who may not be 100 percent and won't contribute. If that's the case, the Jaguars are better off rolling with the players they already have, including defensive end DaVon Hamilton, who could soon return to the team.
The Jacksonville Jaguars don't need to make a trade to contend but bolstering their pass rush would most definitely increase their chances of making a deep playoff push.