Offseason Watch: Taking a look at the Jaguars' defensive end situation

First Coast News will take a look at each position group on the Jaguars' roster on a daily basis over the next few weeks. Today's focus will be on the defensive end position. 

Previous Position Evaluations

Quarterback

- Running Back

Wide Receiver

Tight End

Offensive Line

On The Roster

The Jaguars currently have Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler, Chris Smith and Jonathan Woodard under contract at defensive end.

Ngakoue led the team with eight sacks as a rookie. He is likely to have an even bigger role this season. Fowler rotated on both sides of the line after missing his rookie season with a torn ACL. He collected four sacks in his first year of action.

Smith spent his third season as a backup for the Jaguars and was given little playing time. Woodard missed his entire rookie year with a torn Achilles. 

Coach Overview

In January, the Jaguars hired Marion Hobby to coach the team's defensive line. He previously served as the co-defensive coordinator for the Clemson Tigers, who won a national championship last season. 

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Internal Business

Long-tenured defensive lineman Tyson Alualu is set to hit free agency. He played very well for the Jaguars in 10 starts last season. He began the year as a healthy scratch in two games, but worked his way back into the lineup and outplayed several of his fellow linemen.

Alualu has played his entire career in Jacksonville and may take a hometown discount to stick around.

Former starting defensive end Jared Odrick was cut on Monday. The Jaguars created $8.5 million in salary cap space by releasing Odrick.

Options in Free Agency

New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul is seemingly the easiest dot to connect in free agency. He played for Jaguars VP of Football Operations Tom Coughlin for years and the Jaguars could clearly use an upgrade opposite Ngakoue. Pierre-Paul will command a large contract and the Jaguars have the ammunition to afford him.

Pass rushers like Nick Perry, Melvin Ingram and Erik Walden have all thrived as outside linebackers in 3-4 defenses. The Jaguars may think at least one of them can rush from a three-point stance.

Other free agents like Jabaal Sheard and Devin Taylor may appeal to the Jaguars. They are both 27 and have a history of getting to the quarterback. 

Options in the Draft

The draft is full of talented pass rushers this year. Myles Garrett, Jonathan Allen, Solomon Thomas, Derek Barnett and Tim Williams are expected to be among the top pass rushers selected in this draft.

If the team addresses another need in the first round, the Jaguars could take a look at Derek Rivers, Carl Lawson, Jordan Willis and Trey Hendrickson on Day 2.

Late-round guys like Avery Moss and Bryan Cox could seemingly fit in a talented rotation.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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