Jacksonville Jaguars named top landing spot for EDGE Frank Clark after 2023 NFL Draft
Good teams are always looking for ways to get better, so even though the Jacksonville Jaguars came out of the 2023 NFL Draft with a promising haul, they could still acquire more talent before training camp. For instance, the Jaguars should consider getting on the phone with defensive end Frank Clark, who could come in and give their pass rush an immediate boost. In fact, former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman believes Jacksonville is the best landing spot for the two-time Super Bowl champion.
Spielman, currently a contributor for The 33rd Team, wrote about the top destinations for the best free agents available following the draft and the Jaguars would be a good fit for Clark. The former NFL executive likes the addition of Yasir Abdullah in Round 5 of the draft, noting that he could "develop into a quality player but not right now.
This is why Spielman thinks the addition of Clark to a group that already includes sophomore Travon Walker and Josh Allen would bolster the Jags' pass-rush rotation.
"They have Travon Walker, who they drafted No. 1 overall last year, and they drafted Yasir Abdullah in the fifth round this year. He's got a chance to develop into a quality player but probably not right now. Obviously, they have Josh Allen, who had seven sacks last season. K'Lavon Chaisson has been a bust since the team drafted him, but Baalke didn't draft him, so I could see them adding another name to this group. If the Jaguars add Clark into the mix with Walker and Allen, they'll have a great rotation, allowing them to repeat as AFC South champions. "
The Jaguars lost defensive end Arden Key in free agency but they've also made several moves to upgrade their front seven. Besides signing Henry Mondeaux and Michael Dogbe in free agency, they also drafted defensive end Tyler Lacy and Louisville edge rusher Yasir Abdullah, who could be a potential heir apparent to Key.
Spielman is right though, none of the acquisitions the Jaguars have made since the start of free agency in March will fully fill the void left by Key, at least not right now. This is why a veteran pass rusher like Clark could come in handy, as he could contribute right off the bat.
A second-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2015 draft, Clark signed a five-year deal worth $105.5 million in 2019. The former Michigan Wolverine hasn't registered double-digit sacks since 2018 -- 23.5 sacks and 182 total pressures in four years -- but he's at his best in the postseason, racking up 10.5 sacks in 12 playoff games.
Moving on from Clark with one year left on his contract left $7.6 million in dead money but also freed up $23 million in cap space. The Chiefs then used some of the savings to give former Jaguars offensive tackle Jawaan Taylor a four-year deal worth $80 million.
Frank Clark would fortify the Jacksonville Jaguars' pass rush
Clark isn't the only edge rusher that has been brought up as a potential fit in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have also been dubbed the best landing spot for outside linebacker Melvin Ingram. On top of that, they might be interested in bringing a familiar face in defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
While the Jaguars' current group of pass rushers has plenty of upside, it wouldn't hurt to add Clark, Ingram, or Ngakoue. Clark could be the most expensive of the bunch but he might also be the most productive. Either way, the team's brass should give all of them a look and try to sign (at least) one.
While building around Trevor Lawrence is top priority, as it should be, the Jacksonville Jaguars must build a stout defensive front to slow down other offenses in the AFC. And Clark would be a solid piece.