If the Jacksonville Jaguars were hoping addition by subtraction would benefit the defensive line this season, then this organization still has some work to do. The recent moves by the team – which include signing players in free agency as well as releasing popular veterans – has given the fan base open, but have also left wondering who lines up when the regular season begins.
Jacksonville signed defensive tackle Abry Jones to a new deal prior to free agency, but then released defensive tackles Roy Miller and Sen’Derrick Marks. The Jag brought in Calais Campbell to bolster the pass rush and added defensive tackle Stefan Charles to compete for a roster spot.
Even with the improvements (on paper) of the defensive unit, the team could still pull the trigger on a pass rusher or defensive lineman with the fourth pick in the first round of the draft.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars follow Tom Coughlin’s method of madness, adding toughness on the defensive line, following the notion of drafting the best player available, there could be three players available when the team is on the clock. Jacksonville’s defense finished 2016, ranked sixth overall in the NFL. Incidentally, that would not dissuade Coughlin or team general manager from bringing in another piece of the puzzle.
If the Jacksonville Jaguars decide to use their first round pick to plug the middle of their defense, here are a few players they may consider.
Jonathan Allen, Alabama – The defensive tackle for the Crimson Tide is highly considered the second best prospect on many draft boards. While there are questions about his shoulder, there is little doubt about his ability.
Because of his dominance in college, he may not make it to the fourth pick in the draft. Consequently, he could go to Chicago, one spot in front of the Jacksonville Jaguars. At 6-foot-3 and 286 pounds, he could move outside as well.
Malik McDowell, Michigan State – He is 6-foot-6 and 295 pounds and a beast on the inside. McDowell is a top 20 prospect who could see a move to the top of the second round.
His solid base and long arms will help push through the center. Moreover, McDowell could help to pressure the quarterback and be a solid run stopper.
He is an emotional player who plays with a chip on his shoulder. He may be able to move outside in passing situations.
Caleb Brantley, Florida – I do not see Brantley getting past the second round. In fact, he was one of the leaders of the Gators defense. All things considered, Brantley got better as the season wore on in Gainesville.
At 6-foot-3 and 307 pounds, Brantley is a true middle lineman. Furthermore, he will use his huge frame to stop the run and push up the middle to pressure the passer.
Brantley has a compact, powerful frame with a naturally low center of gravity and thick limbs. Springs off the snap with the initial quickness to penetrate gaps.
Montravius Adams, Auburn – According to scouting reports, he carries his 296-pound frame very well. He also has the initial quickness and lateral agility to attack gaps and penetrate the backfield.
Adams has been inconsistent at times. However, since he would be part of a rotation, he will not be counted on to play every down.
Adams, a solid run stuffer, could spell Malik Jackson and Abry Jones. There is no doubt, he will certainly challenge Sheldon Day for playing time.