Jaguars 90-man roster breakdown: Defensive tackles

Jaguars beat writer Mike Kaye breaks down the defensive tackle position entering training camp

As we countdown the days until training camp, First Coast News is taking a look at each position group on the Jaguars' roster. Our positional series continues with a focus on the defensive tackle position.

Previous Breakdowns

Quarterback

Running Back

Fullback

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Tackle

Interior Offensive Line

Defensive End

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Projected Depth Chart

Malik Jackson

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 290 lbs.

Experience: 6th Season

Career Numbers: 167 tackles, 20.5 sacks, 19 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles

Acquisition: Signed as a veteran free agent in 2015

 

Abry Jones

Ht/Wt: 6-4, 318 lbs.

Experience: 5th Season

Career Numbers: 97 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 pass breakups and 2 forced fumbles

Acquisition: Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2013

 

Stefan Charles

Ht/Wt: 6-5, 320 lbs.

Experience: 5th Season

Career Numbers: 60 tackles, 5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles

Acquisition: Signed as a veteran free agent this offseason

 

Sheldon Day

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 293 lbs.

Experience: 2nd Season

Career Numbers: 8 tackles and a sack

Acquisition: Selected with a fourth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft

 

Michael Bennett

Ht/Wt: 6-2, 293 lbs.

Experience: 3rd Season

Career Numbers: 10 tackles and 0.5 sacks

Acquisition: Selected with a sixth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft

 

Tueni Lupeamanu

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 282 lbs.

Experience: Rookie

Career Numbers: N/A (126 tackles and 6 sacks during four-year career at Idaho)

Acquisition: Signed as an undrafted free agent this offseason

 

Kevin Maurice

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 300 lbs.

Experience: Rookie

Career Numbers: N/A (71 total tackles and 5.5 sacks during four-year career at Nebraska)

Acquisition: Signed as an undrafted free agent this offseason

 

 

Storylines for 2017 Training Camp

- Will Jones continue to play at a high level as a full-time starter?

- How often will Jackson and Calais Campbell rotate inside and outside?

- Is there enough nose tackle depth?

Competition entering training camp

Who will be the first defensive tackle off the bench?

With the starters situated, the next man off the bench is the next thing to be decided during training camp.

Jackson and Campbell are set to rotate at three-technique, so Day and Bennett could take a backseat to Charles, who will backup Jones at nose tackle.

Day has upside as an interior pass rusher who can spell Jackson when necessary. Bennett started out in a similar role until he missed all of last season with a calf injury. 

Under the new staff, Bennett has also been working at nose tackle, as Charles missed several workouts due to an undisclosed injury.

Charles, Bennett and Day are all competing for playing time behind the starters. Day and Bennett are both former draft picks, while Charles is a veteran free agent addition who previously played under head coach Doug Marrone.

Positional Overview

The Jaguars defensive line may be the strongest aspect of the team. It's definitely the strongest area of the defense.

Jacksonville is definitely top heavy at defensive tackle with Jones and Jackson emerging as a formidable duo last season. The aforementioned trio of Charles, Day and Bennett will have to back them up. 

The Jaguars could theoretically keep only four defensive tackles, so Charles, Day and Bennett could be fighting for just two jobs.

Maurice and Lupeamanu are probably battling for a shot at the 10-man practice squad during training camp and the preseason. Both are undrafted free agents on a talent-heavy defensive line.

Coaching Outlook

Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash on Jones:

“[Abry] is a big athlete. He’s not a true plugging nose guard. He’s a real good athlete. How we get attacked in our scheme, very few people just come straight downhill at us. He can be the over-lapper on the outside zone stuff. His athleticism, obviously he is about [316 pounds] wavering up to about [320 pounds] at times. The athleticism that Abes brings is important to us.”

Tuesday's focus will be on the Jaguars' linebackers.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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