The Super Bowl is just a few days away, but as the Jacksonville Jaguars are still filling out their coaching staff, they'll need to also be doing some self-evaluation and determining which of their impending free agents they should prioritize and re-sign. We've looked at a few defenders already, but now we'll look at who I believe should be the Jaguars priority to re-sign this offseason over any of their other players, defensive lineman Abry Jones.
Jones was originally signed as an undreafted free agent by the Jaguars during the 2013 offseason and played his way on to making the final 53-man roster. Jones didn't play much his first season, but by his second and third seasons with the team he proved to be a versatile and valuable backup defensive lineman, playing three of the four spots on the Jaguars defensive line. Prior to the 2016 season there was some feeling Jones would have to battle for a roster spot with the logjam of players on the defensive line, but once again he proved his value and stuck around, playing a more prominent role as a rotational player.
Jones ended up starting nine games for the Jaguars in 2016, after nose tackle Roy Miller suffered a season ending injury. Jones stepped into the role and the Jaguars defense didn't really miss a beat, arguably getting better once Jones was inserted into the lineup. Jones did well playing the nose position and holding up the point, but he also was dynamic enough to offer more pass rush than Miller could, as well as allowing the Jaguars to shift fronts without taking him off the field, since he could play more roles than simply just a shaded nose plugging the run.
Jones should be someone the Jaguars prioritize re-signing this offseason, regardless of what defensive scheme they plan to run. If they run a more traditional 4-3 defense, he can play either tackle position or end on run downs. If they move to more of a 3-4, he can play all across the defensive line. I don't think Jones will be that expensive, either, but he's certainly earned a good pay day with his development over the past four seasons.