Malik Jackson a DL2 in fantasy after signing with the Jaguars
We now have our first answer to how the Jacksonville Jaguars will be spending some of their league-leading $82.2 million in cap space as they have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $85.5 million deal ($42 million guaranteed) with defensive end Malik Jackson.
The contract makes the former fifth-round pick one of the highest paid defensive lineman in the league at only 26 years old. Over the last two seasons, Jackson has been one of the league’s top pass rushers from the interior line and finished the 2015 regular season as our eighth-highest graded defensive end in regards to rushing the passer.
He finished the regular season with 60 total pressures (seven sacks, eight QB hits, 45 QB hurries) which was good for 12th-best among all defensive ends. His 32 tackles ranked 20th, and he even added seven batted passes, which ranked second.
Jackson came on particularly strong in the playoffs, and more so in the Broncos’ final two games en route to their Super Bowl win last month. In three games, Jackson totaled 15 total pressures (zero sacks, 4 QB hits, 11 QB hurries) and added nine tackles.
Jackson’s move away from the league’s most dominant defense will definitely have some fantasy implications, which can be both bad and good. On the one hand, Jackson should have a shot at a bigger slice of the pie when it comes to sacks and QB pressures since the Jaguars don’t possess outside rushers of the caliber of Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware. However, this means more attention will be spent on Jackson in pass protection.
Overall, Jackson should slide nicely into a Jaguars’ defense that was devoid of a pass rush and looking to make some big strides in 2016. Jackson should comfortably return DL2 value in IDP leagues with some nice upside if he can take his game to the next level.