Jacksonville Jaguars set to meet with EDGE Nolan Smith ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft

Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia defensive lineman Nolan Smith (DL45) speaks to the press.
Mar 1, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Georgia defensive lineman Nolan Smith (DL45) speaks to the press. / Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars might not be in a realistic position to select Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter in the 2023 NFL. However, a teammate of his, edge rusher Nolan Smith could be available when they're on the clock with the 24th overall selection, which is why they're scheduled to meet with him.

The Jags, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens, will host Smith for a visit, per Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2 Houston. A five-star prospect out of high school, Smith is the 13th overall prospect in Bleacher Report's big board and No. 22 at Pro Football Focus.

The 2019 Co-Defensive Newcomer of the Year at Georgia made eight starts and logged 18 total tackles, seven tackles for a loss, and three sacks before suffering a season-ending pectoral injury last year.

At 6'2" and 238 pounds, Smith might be a bit undersized to play in the NFL. However, he's got an outstanding change of direction and a good bend around the edge. Even though his bull rush lacks ideal power and needs to work on his pass-rush moves, Matt Holder of the B/R scouting department believes the former Bulldog could "play a standup outside linebacker in odd fronts" and become a Year 1 starter.

Nolan Smith could give the Jacksonville Jaguars' pass rush a boost

One thing the Jaguars and any other club potentially interested in using a draft pick on Smith is how his recovery from the torn pectoral injury is going. If he's fully healthy, he would be a solid addition to the Jacksonville pass-rush rotation.

Edge rusher is one of the Jaguars' top needs in this year's draft. They also need to round out their cornerback room but this year's class is stacked at the position, so the team's brass could wait until the second or third round to address it. Similarly, there will be many intriguing offensive line prospects at No. 24 and Jacksonville could choose a right tackle to potentially replace Jawaan Taylor, who signed the Kansas City Chiefs in free agency, or someone like Florida's O'Cyrus Torrence to line up at left guard.

Although outside linebacker Travon Walker, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, is expected to improve in Year 2, it's uncertain how much better he will be. Fellow edge defender Josh Allen is coming off a solid season but is entering a contract year, so it would be a good idea to bring someone else. Clemson edge rusher Myles Murphy is someone to keep an eye on if he's available when the Jags are on the clock. Smith is another prospect to monitor.

The Jaguars need to come out of the draft with a handful of players that can contribute right out of the gate if they want to return to the playoffs and win the AFC South in 2023. Smith is one of many prospects that could potentially help them get over the hump next season, so it's a good idea to bring him for a visit and see if they should take him at No. 24.

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