The Jacksonville Jaguars needed to upgrade their pass rush this year, specifically their LEO pass rusher, which is why you saw the No. 3 overall pick used on Dante Fowler.
But with Fowler injured in the first rookie mini-camp practice, the team needed to act fast to find their solution at the LEO spot. Their first chance would be OTA practices, but veteran edge rusher Chris Clemons has been absent, meaning they've had to get creative and try out all options.
According to Mike Kaye of FirstCoastNews.com, that's meant players you might expect getting a shot at LEO... and some you might not.
Interior rusher Ryan Davis and backup edge rusher Andre Branch, who you might think would get work, have been routinely praised by Jaguars defensive line coach Todd Wash.
"[Branch] is playing extremely well, obviously, once again, in gym class," said defensive line coach Todd Wash. "You see the burst, the lean, the bend, and he really seems to be focused. We're excited about that and he's matured every year we've been here and I think he's taken another step this year."
But interior lineman Tyson Alualu and OTTO linebacker Dan Skuta have also been getting work.
"As a matter of fact, [Skuta] runs with our second group as a pass rusher," said Todd Wash. "He had some real good success out in San Francisco and he's going to run as a LEO within our second pass rush group, so we're really excited about him. He's still learning. He's got to learn his base stuff first and then we get to sprinkle in the pass rush stuff with him, so we'll get more and more of that as camp goes on."
When Clemons comes back, he'll certainly be the favorite for the edge rusher spot, but how wide will the gap be if one of the backups or unexpected players performs above expectations when given a shot?
Read the full article on FirstCoastNews.com here.