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Jaguars upgrade run defense with big-bodied NT DaVon Hamilton

By selecting Hamilton, the Jaguars beefed up a defensive line which desperately needed a refresher along the interior.

Ohio State State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

After selecting a playmaker for the team’s offense, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone was able to secure another player to address a need he desperately needed to address coming into the offseason . That came in the form of nose tackle DaVon Hamilton out of Ohio State.

“He is a big guy,” Marrone said on Friday when speaking about Hamilton. “We think he is going to get a lot better even though he is really good right now. You can see him on the move. He has such great strength at the holding point. I think he is going to really help us on the inside.”

The 320-pound nose tackle didn’t start with the Buckeyes until his senior season, however, he made a lasting impression on the NFL scouting world, along with the Jaguars. During his senior season, Hamilton accumulated 28 tackles (18 solos), 9.5 tackles for loss, and six sacks along the pass-rush potent Ohio State defensive line.

Getting someone who can control the line of scrimmage and keep the linebackers clean is pivotal in a team’s ability to stop the run, something the Jaguars struggle mightily with last season.

Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell spoke highly of Hamilton on Friday, stating that the 6-foot-4 nose tackle is like a “young” version of free agent signee Al Woods, who was a priority target for the team after losing Marcell Dareus due to injury and subsequently voiding his contract by opting not to pick up his option earlier in the year.

“We will have a nice rotation with those guys. DeVon, Abry [Jones], Taven [Bryan]. We wanted to get bigger up front and protect our linebackers and Joe [Schobert] and Myles [Jack].”

The newest Jaguar spoke to the media shortly after his selection on Friday, full of excitement, and was surprised the Jaguars selected him.

He and the team only met a couple of times, at the senior bowl and then again at the combine. “Honestly, no,” Hamilton said when asked whether he got any indication that the Jaguars could select him prior to the draft. “I didn’t get any inquiry, any message or anything just kind of random but, I mean, I’m just glad to be here.”

Hamilton gave a short and quick assessment of what he brings to the table: “I’m able to get penetration, I’m able to create disruption in the backfield.”

That’s exactly what the Jaguars are looking for, a player to make heyday in the offensive backfield and allow their linebackers to get a clean view of the running back, not getting pushed back out of their gaps.

Understandably so, Hamilton received many inquiries regarding his final season with the Buckeyes, how he was able to elevate his game in order to reach the current pinnacle that is the NFL. Last season, however, was about playing for his team, not simply to get enough tape out there to get to the next stage.

Learning a lot during his final season, Hamilton should be able to contribute quickly for the Jaguars. But, he doesn’t care what his role was at Ohio State anymore.

“I’m doing whatever it takes and whatever the team needs me to do. Honestly, I really could care less what I was supposed to do as long as I’m able to add value to the team.”