Jacksonville Jaguar Rankings: Edge Defenders Rating
The Jacksonville Jaguars came off their week off with a win under their belt and momentum to build on. After six games and 11 to play, where is this team? The first five losses painted a picture of a team with plenty of places to improve, but a few positives that can be taken away as well.
Throughout this series we will examine each unit; what worked, what didn’t and the rating they got so far. Next, the Edge Defenders, which consist of Josh Allen, Dawuane Smoot, Jihad Ward, K’Lavon Chaisson and Lerentee McCray.
The positives around this position are the fact that it looks like the Jaguars have at least three passer who can provide some quality depth on the rim. Jihad Ward should be moved more frequently in the lineup, according to Urban Meyer, and has done some of his best rushing jobs from the inside. Ward aside, the Jaguars got some production from their pair of former first-round picks Allen and Chaisson, and Smoot, who essentially became a starter during the season.
Allen has moved on to a role that demands more of him than just pinning his ears back and rushing the passer. Allen’s sack total is down, but he’s been one of the league’s most productive rushers over the past few weeks in terms of pressure ratings. There’s an argument to make Allen could come home and finish the sacks more frequently if the Jaguars had better push from the inside or better cover in the backend. Allen showed a deeper rushing repertoire against the Dolphins in his most disruptive game of the season in Week 6, while also stopping the fourth pivot try at the end of the game to give the ball to the Jaguars in the middle. ground.
Chaisson has had the fewest pass-rush opportunities of any Jaguars edge defender, largely because he’s the team’s strong first fullback linebacker, but he’s No.4 in the pecking order. of pass-rush. Despite only having one sack, Chaisson has shown better play as a race defender in 2021 and his rushing efficiency is up from a year ago, albeit with a small sample.
Smoot has gained more reps throughout the season, essentially becoming a full-time player and starter in recent weeks. He leads the Jaguars in quarterback pressures and hits and has also made strong plays against the run throughout the year. Smoot’s lack of open space athleticism was sometimes manifested. Still, Smoot showed a wide array of urgent moves on the edge and thrived in the new pattern.
While the Jaguars have had some remarkable performances recently from their edge defenders, the pass rush as a whole is still not quite where it needs to be for a winning team. The Jaguars’ pressure rating ranked high in the first few weeks of the season, but the unit topped off until Week 6 against the Dolphins when the unit combined 16 pushes and three quarterback hits. back, mostly from Josh Allen and Dawuane Smoot.
Overall, however, the Dolphins game was more of a peak of the Jaguars’ performance to the limit so far, as opposed to a continuation of past performances. It’s good that the Jaguars have shown their ability to dominate a game around the edges, even though it happened against a Dolphins side who currently have one of the worst offensive lines in football. The only real negative point here is that the Jaguars’ edge defenders need to be more consistent, especially when it comes to one-on-one. They have shown their ability to play in individual situations, but it will have to happen more frequently.
As it stands, Smoot is credited by PFF with 24 presses, five quarterback hits and two sacks over the season, while Allen is credited with 19 presses, four hits and three sacks. Smoot is ranked 17th among edge defenders, while Allen is 31st. While individual performances have been there, the Jaguars are tied for last in the NFL in sacks with eight, making them one of only two teams that currently don’t have double-digit sacks. With the Jaguars’ top two edge rushers combining for five sacks in six weeks, it’s clear the Jaguars will need an extra boost in terms of production.
One of the main reasons the Jaguars’ sack totals are low is that the squad struggled to finish races when he got to quarterback. There have been several occasions this season where the Jaguars have had quarterbacks on hand, just for the quarterback to somehow escape and make a big play or at least get rid of the ball, preventing negative play for the offense. Each of the Jaguars’ on-board defenders have been guilty of this, making it a defense theme as opposed to a sporadic event.
In short, the Jaguars edge defenders are under pressure and have arrived recently, but it needs to be more consistent and ultimately they need to bring the quarterback down further. The cover is directly related to the pass-rush, so the low bag figures cannot be placed solely on the pass-rush, especially considering that the Jaguars’ edge rush was better than that of inside.