Jaguars DT Tyson Alualu and OLT Eugene Monroe share at least one thing in common: they’re both former first-round picks whose staunch critics have said they need to play better to live up to their draft status.
Monroe did his part to silence those critics in Week One, when he neutralized Vikings DE Jared Allen, keeping Allen entirely off the stat sheet and having his way with the Pro Bowler on multiple occasions.
Alualu, healthy perhaps for the first time since joining the Jaguars, registered a sack and three tackles in the loss to the Vikings. However, we hear he needs to be more disruptive, particularly with Jacksonville’s defense missing several key starters.
He fell into the sack, and he whiffed on a tackle of Adrian Peterson in overtime, resulting in a critical 20-yard gain.
Jaguars defensive coordinator Mel Tucker lauded Alualu’s effort, saying, “he’s one of those guys that sometime you may not notice him, he might not pop out to you, but he is doing a heck of a job.”
Alualu did show the versatility to line up outside periodically because of Jacksonville’s injuries at defensive end, but a source indicated that the really good defensive tackles do more than the dirty work, something the Jaguars are still waiting to see from their former first-rounder.