The Jacksonville Jaguars’ grand larceny of Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, and Yannick Ngakoue in the 2016 NFL Draft may ultimately end up being in the conversation as one of the greatest single-team draft coups of all time.
But can they thank a division rival for their great fortune for a second time just two years later?
The Tennessee Titans’ head-scratching selection of Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd with the 33rd overall pick helped pave the way for the Jaguars to hop up a few spots to scoop up Myles Jack at No. 36. While Jack is in the conversation as a player who can break out as a potential DPOY candidate this season, Dodd was released yesterday by the Titans.
To say Dodd’s NFL career to this point has been disappointing would be a massive understatement. Appearing in just 18 games in two seasons, Dodd has only contributed nine career tackles and one sack.
So why should the Jaguars be interested in a player that has been a bust to this point?
For starters, the fit between Dodd and the Titans never really made sense. Titans general manager Jon Robinson and former head coach Mike Mularkey drafted a 4-3 defensive end with a 7.18 three cone time who played his entire collegiate career with his hand in the ground with the plan to convert him into a hybrid 3-4 outside rusher. Dodd was tabbed as being the heir apparent to Derrick Morgan, who is entering the final year of his contract in Nashville, but simply couldn’t flash consistency in a miscast role. At his size (6’5”, 280 pounds), Dodd is closer to playing strong side end in the Jaguars scheme than he is to being a stand up linebacker in a 3-4 and could see a renaissance in a scheme more tailored to his strengths.
So why would Dodd join the deepest defensive line unit in the NFL? Resurrection.
Jaguars defensive line coach Marion Hobby was Dodd’s position coach and co-coordinator at Clemson during his 2015 breakout campaign, where he totaled 62 tackles, 24.5 tackles for losses, and 12.5 sacks on his way to a national championship appearance with the Tigers. Dodd was an unstoppable force on the edge during his junior campaign before declaring early for the draft, and if anyone can tap back into that potential, it would be Hobby. We don’t have all the context on Dodd’s tumultuous Titans career and what type of student he is off the field, but Marion Hobby can certainly vouch for that.
On the flip side, if it is revealed that the Jaguars didn’t even sniff into signing Dodd after clearing waivers, that should speak equally as loud about Hobby’s opinion of Dodd, especially with the team’s precarious situation with Dante Fowler.
Speaking of Fowler, therein lies the biggest question mark heading into training camp. Seeing him speak to the media today, it is glaring how much upper body mass he has lost due to his left shoulder injury. Even though Fowler is suspended for Week 1, he may have to miss even more time on the PUP list than originally anticipated until he regains his strength. Bringing in a player like Dodd could provide another body to compete and fill in for Dante until he recovers, whenever that may be, and give them even more flexibility when evaluating the defensive end position moving forward.
Maybe Dodd’s best days are behind him. Maybe he will never be the type of game wrecker in the NFL that we saw in the ACC. But wouldn’t it be great to poach a former high draft pick from a division rival, a player selected three picks ahead of cult hero Myles Jack, and turn him into a contributor?
Sounds pretty sweet to me.
Should the Jaguars sign Kevin Dodd?
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