The Jacksonville Jaguars have a pair of talented bookend pass rushers in Travon Walker and Josh Allen. However, their rotation could use a boost next year, which is why Trevor Sikkema of Pro Football Focus thinks they should go after Washington's Bralen Trice in the 2024 NFL Draft.
Sikkema has the Jags taking Trice at No. 26 in his latest mock draft He likes his size and production to end the 2023 season.
"Trice has been on an absolute tear down the stretch of the 2023 season. His 49 total pressures since Week 9 are the most in the FBS — by double digits. At 6-foot-4, 275 pounds, he bases his pass-rush plan around his strength and a nasty bull rush. His relentless mentality is something the Jags would welcome alongsideTravon WalkerandJosh Allen."
All things considered, Trice would be an intriguing prospect to consider. He most definitely has the size and the strength to play in the NFL. On the other hand, he possesses good but not great athleticism. This makes Matt Holder of the Bleacher Report scouting department believe that Trice is better suited to play in a three-point stance rather than as a standup linebacker, where the Jags would probably need him.
A three-star prospect coming out of high school, Trice got offers from California, Alabama, Arizona, Notre Dame, UCLA, Illinois, Utah, and Colorado State, before committing to Washington in 2018. He opted out of the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. He's appeared in 32 games for the Huskies, logging 52 total tackles, 25 tackles for a loss and 16 sacks.
Bralen Trice or someone else, the Jaguars need to round out their pass rush rotation
Outside linebacker Josh Allen is among the top 5 pass rushers in the NFL this season, registering 13.5 sacks, and 65 total pressures. He's one sack short of tying Calais Campbell's franchise record of 14.5. With five games left in the season, the former Kentucky Wildcat should have no trouble setting a new team high.
Fellow pass rusher Travon Walker is also having a promising sophomore campaign. One year after barely making an impact, he has registered five sacks in 2023. Having adjusted to playing outside linebacker full time after hardly ever rushing the passer from a standup position in college, the former Georgia Bulldog is flashing the talent that convinced the Jaguars to draft him first overall last year.
But as good as Allen and Walker have been this season, Jacksonville hasn't gotten much production from other pass rushers on the roster. On top of that, both Dawuane Smoot and K'Lavon Chaisson are set to become free agents next year, and it's uncertain at this point if the team's brass wants to bring either one back in 2024.
Smoot is coming off an Achilles heel he suffered last year, which has hindered his impact this season. On the other hand, Chaisson, a 2020 first-round selection, hasn't done enough the past four years to warrant another contract with the Jaguars. This is why bolstering the pass rush could be one of the team's top priorities in 2024, and why Bralen Trice could be on the table in the first round of the draft.
While it's a bit early to tell how the Jacksonville Jaguars will approach the offseason, the holes they need to fill seem rather clear. In fact, the pass rush was one of their biggest needs this year. They tried to address it several times but came short. It will be worth watching to see if they make a more aggressive effort in 2024.