JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- With the impending addition of four new defensive players via free agency -- defensive end Calais Campbell, cornerback A.J. Bouye, strong safety Barry Church and linebacker Lerentee McCray -- here's a look at the Jacksonville Jaguars' updated defensive depth chart.
It should be a pretty darn good unit.
DE Calais Campbell: Remarkable consistency. He has recorded at least five sacks in each of the past eight seasons and has had five seasons with seven or more sacks. He had eight sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception last season. Backup: Jonathan Woodard is the only other strongside end on the roster at this point.
NT Abry Jones: The Jaguars gave him a four-year, $16 million contract with $6.5 million guaranteed. Solid player who has steadily progressed since signing as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Backup: Roy Miller.
WLB Telvin Smith: Smith is coming off the best season of his career (118 tackles, eight pass breakups, two interceptions). He was much more consistent than he had been in his first three seasons. Backup: Myles Jack.
MLB Paul Posluszny: There's a good chance Posluszny moves to strongside linebacker but until that's official I'll keep him here. He continued to play at a high level in 2016 but turns 33 in October, and the Jaguars might want to get him off the field on third down. Backup: Hayes Pullard.
SLB Myles Jack: He settled in at strongside linebacker after spending time at middle and weak side earlier in the season. The eventual plan is for him to take over in the middle, which might be in 2017. Head coach Doug Marrone and GM Dave Caldwell say he needs to be on the field more. Backup: Dan Skuta (he may be released soon, though).
CB A.J. Bouye: The No. 6 player on ESPN's Top 150 free agents has six interceptions in his career but didn't become a full-time starter until last season. He agreed to a five-year deal worth $67.5 million ($26 million guaranteed) and now the Jaguars have one of the best cornerback tandems in the league. Backup: Aaron Colvin is the Jaguars' top nickel back but also can play outside, and they'd have no trouble moving him here if needed because of injury.
SS Barry Church: Church, who agreed to a four-year, $26 million deal, is a physical player who can play in the box but isn't a liability in coverage and gives the Jaguars a chance to be more interchangeable with their safeties than the past several seasons. Church finished second in tackles with Dallas last season despite missing four games. He also had a team-high two interceptions, which is the same number that the guy he's replacing (Johnathan Cyprien) had in four seasons. Backup: Jarrod Wilson. If James Sample could stay healthy (he has played in four games in two seasons), he could have this role.
FS Tashaun Gipson: He complained about how he was used last season and might get a chance to do more things in 2017. He wants to make more plays instead of being mainly responsible for eliminating big pass plays. Backup: Peyton Thompson.
CB Jalen Ramsey: The fifth overall pick in 2016 was in consideration for defensive rookie of the year after a stellar debut in which he broke up a team-high 14 passes and led the team with two interceptions. He's on his way to becoming an elite cover corner. Backup: Josh Johnson.