Rankings Jaguars' 3 most glaring needs ahead of 2024 NFL free agency

• If the Jaguars want to make a run for the AFC South in 2024, they'll need to bolster these three position groups.

Nov 6, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars center Luke Fortner (79) lines up
Nov 6, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars center Luke Fortner (79) lines up / Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Defensive line

Josh Allen and Travon Walker got lots of praise last year and rightfully so. The duo combined for 27.5 sacks between the two. However, the rest of the defense totaled 12.5. That's not the kind of production you want from your front seven. Similarly, the Jaguars struggled to defend the run late in 2023. Specifically, they allowed Derrick Henry to tally a season-high 153 rushing yards in the finale. If they want to bounce back, Jacksonville cannot let opposing teams run them over.

Having defensive coordinator Ryan Nielsen calling the shots should help but the Jaguars' defensive front could also use a boost. Folurunso Fatukasi, last year's starting nose tackle, didn't fill his assignments, and often let running backs get through. Similarly, Davon Hamilton and Roy Robertson-Harris were good but nothing to write home about. Granted, Hamilton suffered a non-football injury in the preseason that forced him to miss time and hindered his performance once he was back.

Both Hamilton and Robertson-Harris should improve under Nielsen. Sophomore Tyler Lacy should also get better but the front office also needs to do their part and fortify the defensive trenches. Taking Texas' Byron Murphy at No. 17 in the first round would be huge but the Jags could prioritize addressing other positions on Day 1 of the draft. Maybe they could add a veteran nose tackle in free agency. Or perhaps they could go after defensive end Bralen Trice in Round 2.

Either way, the Jaguars need to bolster the defensive front. That would allow Allen and Walker to do a better job of containing the edge and getting after the quarterback.