The Jacksonville Jaguars had a busy offseason, which started with the hiring of Doug Pederson in February. They made several moves in free agency and the draft, too.
When looking back at the roster additions, most fans feel the defense was the unit that was improved the most this offseason. They especially did a lot to help the front seven portion of the defense, signing Foley Fatukasi, Foye Oluokun, and Arden Key in free agency, then drafting Travon Walker, Devin Lloyd, and Chad Muma.
Despite these moves, CBS Sports still thinks the defensive side of the ball has the biggest need on the team. In a preview of the top needs for all 16 AFC teams, analyst Josh Edwards listed defensive tackle as the Jags’ top need as the team has yet to find a standout at the position.
While he considered other positions, here is what Edwards specifically had to say about the Jags needing help in the defensive trenches.
Jaguars: Defensive tackle
The offensive line and wide receiver positions are still concerning on offense, but Jacksonville lacks difference-makers along the interior defensive line. The additions of Travon Walker and Arden Key are somewhat neutralized by the limitations of that interior unit. The group-Roy Robertson-Harris, Davon Hamilton, Malcolm Brown and Foley Fatukasi-has had moments of success throughout their careers, but it is time for someone to step up and take advantage of the one-on-one opportunities sure to come from the upgrade in talent on the edge.
Edwards will have a hard time finding many to agree with him on this. Most would point to the receiver position, or maybe even the offensive line position as bigger needs.
Over the last few years, the Jags have put a lot of resources into the defensive line. This year they added Fatukasi, and Key. And though he will focus on playing outside linebacker, for now, Walker is a player who could help in the interior, too. Last season they added Roy Robertson-Harris and Malcom Brown (via trade), then the year before, they drafted DaVon Hamilton.
Most of these players have now been together for at least a season, which should help them to improve in 2022. They also have a new defensive coordinator in Mike Caldwell, who learned under Todd Bowles with Tampa and will look to get better results out of the big men this season.
As for the receiver position, the Jags came into this offseason needing a deep threat, and there are concerns that they still don’t have one despite paying Christian Kirk and Zay Jones like starters. Kirk can hurt teams deep at times, but it’s unknown if he can do it consistently, and the same applies to the rest of the group.
Then when it comes to the offensive line, most feel the Jags could at least use another interior lineman. They were able to draft Luke Fortner out of Kentucky in the third round, but he may not start. That said, there are question marks at the left guard and center spots where it isn’t clear if Ben Bartch and Tyler Shatley are more than backups.
Clearly, we aren’t expecting many fans to agree with Edwards, but we would like to know where would you all at home rank the Jags’ need for a defensive tackle? Let us know in the comments.
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