When taking a look back at the Jaguars' 2019 season, it's easy to find a number of areas in which the roster could use improvement. The offensive line struggled as did the tight end position. The wide receivers, outside of DJ Chark, weren't overly consistent. The linebackers struggled in run fits and coverage.
But the biggest deficiency was quite clear: stopping the run. After Marcell Dareus' untimely injury, the Jaguars' run defense was porous. Without Dareus on the field in 2019, the Jaguars' run defense allowed over 150 yards per game on the ground. Yikes!
Now, Dareus has a $22.5M club option, which the Jaguars will almost assuredly decline. I think the team will attempt to retain Dareus; he's an excellent scheme fit and is a space-eater in the middle of the defensive line. But even if the Jaguars do bring Dareus back, he'll turn 30 in March and isn't likely a long term solution. Unless the Jaguars end up signing a young, ascending run-stuffing defensive tackle in free agency, they'll need to upgrade the position at some point in the draft.
There's plenty of talent at defensive tackle at the top of the draft, but perhaps that's not the direction the Jaguars choose to go in. Maybe the Jaguars would rather add a defensive tackle early on day three of the draft so that they can focus on other areas of need early on.
If that's the case, they might just be in luck. This defensive tackle group is fairly deep and could have several future starters available on the final day of the draft. It is important to note that while all three of these prospects could be available on day three, it's also possible that one or more of them gets drafted in the third round — it only takes one team to fall in love.
When scouting Ohio State defensive players like Jeff Okudah, Damon Arnette, and Malik Harrison, it's impossible not to notice number 53 in the middle. Davon Hamilton has prototypical size for a nose tackle at six-foot-four and 327 pounds. He carries his weight well and is surprisingly nimble for a man his size. He has the versatility to play 3-tech or nose in the Jaguars' scheme and has the strength to hold up in run defense. While he was a productive DT prior to 2019, he had his coming out party in his final year in Columbus. Hamilton picked up 9.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, and 29 total tackles. If Hamilton is available at the start of day three, he would be an ideal target.
The buzz has died down on the LSU defensive tackle, but Lawrence still has starting potential in base defenses at the next level. He's undersized at six-foot-two and 308 pounds, but Lawrence is a good athlete and has plenty of strength. He's not a consistent pass rusher, but he can hold up at the point of attack and ensure teams won't be able to pound the rock up the gut over and over again. He's already strong against the run, but with improved hand usage, he could become an even better run stuffer and potentially evolve into an interior penetrator.
Fotu's size at six-foot-five and 337 pounds, jumps off the page. He's explosive in a linear sort of way and has plenty of strength. Fotu could likely develop into a starting nose tackle for the Jaguars and should be stout against the run. He's a bit stiff, which can cause some inconsistencies on tape. Overall, Fotu is an ideal candidate to be a run-stuffing nose tackle in year two.
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