The Jacksonville Jaguars have a couple of weaknesses right now. More specifically, their pass rush depth and the interior line. They could address one of them if they traded for Minnesota Vikings defensive end Danielle Hunter before this year's deadline as Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report suggests.
Knox drew up a list of potential trade candidates around the NFL and thinks Jacksonville would be an ideal destination for Hunter. Although Knox also lists the Houston Texans as potential suitors for the Pro Bowl defensive end, he thinks he would give the Jags' ration a boost.
"The Texans could look to add Hunter to help spark a surprise playoff run. The 2-2 Jacksonville Jaguars may also want to consider boosting their pass rush before the deadline.
While the Jaguars started to find their groove in Week 4, they did not look like legitimate contenders over the first three weeks and have struggled to pressure opposing passers. Jacksonville ranks in the bottom 10 league-wide in both sacks (nine) and quarterback hits (21)."
The Vikes are currently off to a subpar start to the 2023 season, having managed to win just one game. Observers think Minnesota would be wise to shop players with trade value and collect assets to go into full rebuild mode next year. One of those players is Hunter, who missed a good chunk of his team's offseason activities and only became fully invested once he got a pay bump.
A third-round pick by Minnesota in 2015, Hunter logged 45.5 sacks from 2018-2022. This season he's already logged five, along with 12 total pressures. Both marks are among the best in the NFL.
This isn't the first time Hunter is linked to the Jags in 2023. Heck, he even started following them on Instagram during his contract impasse with the Vikings, possibly implying that he would be open to being traded to Jacksonville. Maybe Trent Baalke should give fellow general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah a call and see if Hunter is available.
Why Danielle Hunter to the Jacksonville Jaguars makes sense
Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen has already accumulated six sacks this season. However, their pass rush is heavily dependent on him. If he has a down game, there's not currently anyone in the rotation that will step up.
Travon Walker, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, has made strides this season but he hasn't yet developed into the pass rusher the Jaguars expected. Former first-round pick K'Lavon Chaisson hasn't done much of note the past four games and rookie Yasir Abdullah has shown that he may need more time to get acclimated to the NFL.
It's true that the Jags will soon get defensive linemen DaVon Hamilton and Dawuane Smoot back from injury but that shouldn't stop them from making upgrades to their pass rush. With Danielle Hunter in the fold, they could move Walker inside, where he's the most effective. They could also have him play defensive end. Either way, acquiring him would be worth it, especially if they can get him for a third or fourth-round pick.
The Jaguars are currently 2-2. They showed they have enough talent on both sides of the ball (and special teams) to win football games. However, that shouldn't deter him from adding yet another game-changer, someone like Hunter.