Malik Jackson provides much-needed boost to Jags’ D-line

Analyst Mike Renner breaks down the move that will send Malik Jackson to Jacksonville next season.

| 8 months ago
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Malik Jackson provides much-needed boost to Jags’ D-line

The deal: Per a report from Ian Rapoport, Jackson will sign a six-year, $85.5 million deal ($42 fully guaranteed) with Jacksonville.

Grade: B

What it means for the Jaguars: Jacksonville has taken big swings at major free agents along the defensive line each of the past two seasons, and whiffed big on both. They were either on the downside of their career (Chris Clemons), or not worth the money in the first place (Jared Odrick). Neither of those apply to Jackson, though, who has been a top-10 interior pass rusher each of the past two seasons, and is only 26 years old. Jackson’s 60 total pressures a year ago were almost double the team leader for the Jaguars in 2015 (Clemons with 34).

He’s a perfect fit for the Jaguars schematically, as well. Jackson led the NFL in pressures when lined up on the inside shade of an offensive tackle, and the Jags deployed a defensive lineman in that technique 631 times last year, the second-most in the league. The only concern is the money. At roughly $15 million per year, Jackson is among the 10 highest-paid defensive linemen in the league. A steep price, but one they had to pay to attract talent in this year’s market.

What it means for the Broncos: They couldn’t possibly keep Jackson and quarterback Brock Osweiler, so it certainly says something about their chances of retaining the QB. Their vaunted defensive line takes a hit in the pass-rushing department, but it was so dominant already that with Derek Wolfe, Von Miller, and DeMarcus Ware, they’ll still be a feared line. There is no easy replacement for a player of Jackson’s caliber, but it likely means more snaps for former first-round pick Sylvester Williams.

| Senior Analyst

Mike is a Senior Analyst at Pro Football Focus. His work has also been featured on The Washington Post, ESPN Insider, and 120 Sports.

  • corey

    How the hell do you write an article saying how “Jags should sign Malik Jackson” 1 month ago and now, you give that move a B?

    • Bobby

      Probably because of the huge price tag. Still a good signing though.

  • Vince

    When you need to spend huge money and overpay for players, your organization is deeply flawed, poor jags.

    • crosseyedlemon

      And when you adopt the Walmart approach you end up with third rate castoffs that ensure you will be an also-ran year after year.

      • WhoDat09

        I’d rather my team take the Walmart approach rather than spend big for the Jarius Byrds and Brandon Browners of the world…
        We’d still have Graham catching a million passes from Brees.

        • crosseyedlemon

          Until one of them wanted more money.

    • Justin Cook

      I disagree – Every team who acquires anyone in FA ‘overpays’. It’s the nature of FA. The Pats have signed the biggest names on the market at the time (Revis) and so have the Broncos (Sanders, Talib). Every team does it.

  • Justin Siderbox

    Considering Odrick had himself as the entire line, I think he did very well. And now, you see, Odrick paired with Jackson and rookie fowler… See how things fall into place? Let the Caldwell Banker do his thang brah

  • shaunhan murray

    Superstar …wow

  • Frank Yi

    The plus side to Denver on this is two-fold:

    1) They lose Jackson in a year that is considered deep with d-line prospects. Projecting a guy into the NFL is always risky, but the Broncos seem to do pretty well in identifying d-line and pass rushers:

    2011 – Von Miller (1st), Jeremy Beal (7th)

    2012 – Derek Wolfe (2nd), Malik Jackson (5th)

    2013 – Sly Williams (1st), Quanterus Smith (5th)

    2014 – None

    2015 – Shane Ray (1st), Darius Kilgo (6th)

    They’re not batting 1.000, but that’s not a bad track record there.

    2) Jackson will net the Broncos a 3rd round compensatory pick in 2017. For a 5th-rounder, giving them 4 seasons of play – 2 of them highly productive (2014-15), and 1 as a decent prospect (2013) – and returning them a 3rd round pick isn’t too bad. It’s the Ozzy Newsome approach, and in a long term view, they should be able to weather the storm

    • Tito Puente

      The plus side is two fold? Don’t you mean the dumb side on your part is two fold, and this isn’t as bad as it could be? (You haven’t listed positives about this move, you’ve listed reasons it should be less negative.)

      Yeah, really knocked it out the park with Sly WIliams, Jeremy Beal, Quanterus Smith and Darius Kilgo.

      Let’s see, Williams is a 1st round dud, and the other three have combined to make 17 tackles IN THEIR ENTIRE CAREERS.

      Really wanna carpet bomb with data when over half of it contradicts your point?

      Considering the fact the Von Miller choice was made for them, only wolf and Jackson are good picks, the others are actually bad picks — and one thing you forgot about the compensatory pick you’re already patting yourself on the back about…. any time NFL teams make trades, any draft pick that you have to wait a year for is downgraded a round (look it up), so you should really treat that as losing a fringe pro-bowler for a 4th round pick in the present..