Jaguars address interior defensive line in The Ringers' latest 2024 NFL Mock Draft

• The Jaguars could take several paths in the 2023 NFL Draft

• The Ringer sees them going with Byron Murphy

• The former Texas stud would be a huge addition to the D-Line

Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates
Jan 1, 2024; New Orleans, LA, USA; Texas Longhorns defensive lineman Byron Murphy II (90) celebrates / John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have to take care of several needs this offseason. One that isn't brought up often is their interior defensive line. Last year, they didn't bring nearly enough pressure from inside and would often let opposing teams run the ball at will. Benjamin Solak of The Ringer believes Texas product Byron Murphy could help them address both issues.

Solak put together a 2024 NFL Mock draft and had the Jags picking Murphy at No. 17, arguing that their inability to create pressure inside made life harder for the rest of the team to get after the quarterback on a consistent basis.

"The interior defensive line class is tough to figure out this year, but the Jaguars sure need to—defensive tackle was their shakiest position once DaVon Hamilton went down, and the lack of interior penetration made it harder for any non-Josh Allen edge rusher to produce.

Murphy is a squatty but quick penetration player, which fits the role and mold that new defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen has preferred of his interior defensive linemen."

Murphy, a four-star recruit coming out of high school, can create pressure inside and defend the run. At 6'1" and 308 pounds, he may be a bit undersized but is nonetheless suited to play defensive tackle. That said, he's shown the flexibility to line up at different positions across the line of scrimmage.

Matt Holder of the Bleacher Report scouting department describes Murphy as a riser with potential against the run as a passer, noting that his get-off and athleticism stand out when watching him play.

On the other hand, Holder and Daniel Kelly of the Ringer cite Murphy's lack of arm strength as his biggest question mark heading into the NFL. Nevertheless, the former Longhorn has been routinely projected to go in the first round, although Holder has a second-round grade on him. But despite his less-than-ideal size and arm length, Murphy's ability to rush the passer, along with a clean bill of health coming out of college, makes him an intriguing prospect at No. 17.

The Jaguars could most definitely use Byron Murphy

Due to his length and arm length, Byron Murphy isn't the kind of defensive lineman general manager Trent Baalke would be drawn to in the draft. But that doesn't make him any less talented. In Jacksonville, he would be an ideal replacement for defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, who has struggled to defend the run and collapse the pocket.

That said, Fatukasi was a nose tackle under Mike Caldwell, and Murphy wouldn't probably play that role for Ryan Nielsen, who prefers to run a 4-3 defense. Under Nielsen, Murphy would rush the passer and defend the run, unlike Fatukasi, who was tasked to take on blocks and collapse the pocket.

Either way, Murphy would give the Jaguars' interior defensive line a boost. Last year, they had a hard time stopping the run and bringing the heat inside. The fact that DaVon Hamilton dealt with a back injury and wasn't at full strength when he returned exposed the team's dearth of talent across the defensive line. Bringing in Nielsen as the defensive coordinator will most definitely help but he'll also need players to install his scheme. Murphy fits the bill.

The Jacksonville Jaguars have more pressing needs but they should consider addressing the defensive line. Murphy should be an option at No. 17, even if he isn't the typical Trent Baalke pick.

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