JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It took only six days for the Jaguars to rebuild their defensive line.
And it could get even better if the Jaguars take Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack with the No.3 pick in the upcoming draft.
The addition of defensive ends Chris Clemons and Ziggy Hood on Thursday, coupled with the signing of linebacker Dekoda Watson on Wednesday, defensive end Red Bryant last Saturday and Jason Babin’s departure means the Jaguars will have a significantly better front in 2014.
Bryant is a run-stuffing end but it’s unclear at this point if the 6-foot-3, 298-pound Hood will play there as well or move inside and play at tackle. Clemons, however, should significantly upgrade the Jaguars’ pass rush, which finished last in the NFL in sacks in each of the past two seasons. Hood has 11.5 sacks and 90 tackles in five seasons with Pittsburgh.
The 32-year-old Clemons had just 4.5 sacks last season after compiling 33.5 in the previous three seasons, but he was returning from a torn ACL he suffered during the 2012 playoffs. He has 58 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his nine-year career with Washington, Oakland and Seattle. He’s a speed rusher, which is something the Jaguars haven’t had since Tony Brackens (1996-2003).
Watson could be an underrated addition to the pass rush. The Jaguars plan to use him as a strongside linebacker on first and second down and as a leo on third down. He doesn't have the size of a prototypical leo (he's 6-foot-2, 240 pounds) but he is quick and athletic, which is something the Jaguars desperately needed to add on defense.