Undeniable Improvement On Jaguar’s Defense

June 22, 2022

When Jaguars were getting ready for the draft they were looking to upgrade a defense. Some of the biggest needs of the Jaguar’s defense were pass-rusher and linebacker. Trent Baalke and company found a way to address these needs in the draft. It might be a little early to tell which group will be the strength of the defense. It’s undeniable that improvement was made on the Jaguar’s Defense.

Sorting Out The Jaguar’s Defensive Line

The Jaguar’s defensive line is a mixture of players from a lot of different backgrounds. The Jaguars are signing players in free agency. In the past, the coaches haven’t proven to develop players at a measurable rate. Dawuane Smoot and Davon Hamilton are players that are hard to not root for. These two would be proof that it takes a while for the Jaguars to develop weekly contributors.

Some offseason moves that the Baalke made were. Adam Gotsis signed a new contract. Arden Key will add some quality depth and experience. Jordan Smith’s season came to an abrupt end and Wyatt Ray signed to replace him. Rotational players with upside.

Baalke traded for Malcom Brown to be another defensive tackle upgrade. Brown was able to make some improvement to the run defense. Roy Robertson-Harris was assigned to be another run stuffer. Robertson-Harris and Brown were able to have career years in terms of tackles made. This year Foley Fatukasi will upgrade the line even further.

With the additions to the Jaguar’s defense, this group is an upgrade. Fresh bodies that can rotate throughout the game and allow for constant pressure. The Jaguar’s defense was inconsistent when relying solely on the line for pressure. The whole team will benefit if able to make opposing quarterbacks uncomfortable. One player in particular could see improved play is Josh Allen.

Josh Allen is one of the most recognized players on this Jaguar’s defense. Attention needs to come from some other area to allow him to get back to the production he had his rookie year (10.5 sacks). That came with players like Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell.

Do the Jaguar’s Defense Have Playmakers At Linebacker?

This is a group that had a revolving door when it came to the position. Free agents were being brought in because the lone player to note was Myles Jack. Jack has now moved on over to the Steelers. Fans had more questions than answers every week. Mistakes overshadowed any progress made by this group.

This draft brought in some players that will be making a lot of plays from sideline to sideline. Devin Lloyd was a player that the Jaguars move back up to draft. Lloyd was arguably one of the top linebackers in this year’s draft.

Chad Muma will compliment Lloyd very well when they are on the field together. Muma was shocked that he was drafted after the Jaguars drafted Lloyd. Speed was stressed while evaluating the linebackers this year. Far too often the linebackers were caught out of position.

Oluokon has a reputation as being a tackling machine when he was with the Falcons. He has a knack for finding the football and making plays when needed. Shaquille Quarterman in limited play was making the most of his opportunities. The competition at the position will allow coaches to see if he can remain on the roster. Quarterman might be the odd man out.

The first overall pick, Travon Walker brings amazing athleticism. Although raw he has experience playing on a Georgia defense that had a lot of star power. It will be interesting to see if he will attract enough attention from opponents to free up others. Describing this position as competitive is an understatement.

Jaguar’s Secondary Claiming To Want Turnovers

This Jaguar’s defense has the makings to be ball hawks. The roster spots could be on the line for some players if they can’t prove they deserve to make the final roster. Progression is only made if players show signs of getting better. After a few years, you will know what you have in a player.

They can say whatever they want. But until they prove it on the field it means nothing. Players stepped up at the end of the season when injuries hit the position. Daniel Thomas alongside Andre Cisco provided a strong duo at safeties. With expanded playing time, they deserve to have consideration for expanded roles.

Rayshawn Jenkins has a contract that would be hard to let him remain on the roster if he’s not contributing. Andrew Wingard is another player that has to prove he’s worth the new contract he received. He’s had a couple of big moments, but he’s also allowed even more big plays to unfold.

Tyson Campbell can be a player to take on the number one receivers and isn’t afraid to get involved against the run. Shaquill Griffin continues to be a vocal leader for the Jaguar’s defense. Although the focus shouldn’t be on the mistakes made in games. The good performances have to outperform the bad. Darious Williams in reality could see more playing time if Griffin continues underperforming.

Young players will likely unseat familiar names in the secondary. Montaric Brown has been described as a player who doesn’t allow completions at a high rate. That’s a quality that’s needed for a long time at the cornerback position. Gregory Junior comes from a DII program, he created a buzz at the senior bowl and gain some interest from a few teams.

Two-player on the bubble are Tre Herndon and Chris Claybrooks. Herndon has had several chances to prove he should make the roster. It doesn’t appear he will be able to outperform the new rookie class of cornerbacks. Claybrooks might try to sign elsewhere and benefit from a change of scenery. He doesn’t seem to be able to crack into the starting lineup enough to justify a roster spot.

The Jaguar’s defense must garner more pressure to allow for opportunities to create turnovers. The group had said in an interview that they want to lead the league in turnovers. It would be a much-welcomed change on the backend.

Conclusion

Depending on how fans look at the new Jaguar’s Defense after free agency and the draft. There’s no doubt that Trent Baalke was able to get players to come to Jacksonville to play. Overpaying for talent to come in was an unfortunate side effect of having so many losing seasons.

With the right head coach in Doug Pederson, this team is headed in the right direction. Improvements in how the team conducts itself is already evident. Players don’t have to worry about being ridiculed by the coaching staff. After the Urban Meyer experiment this past year.

The Jaguar’s defense is being refurbished with the intent of not settling for mediocrity. If you had to pinpoint an area that will be the major turning point for the defense. It’s going to be the linebacking corps. This will be one of the best linebacking groups this team has had in a long time. Defensive coordinator Mike Campbell will build a better defense that will maximize potential.

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