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The Jacksonville Jaguars made many moves in terms of contract-related work, including picking up the fifth-year option of outside linebacker Josh Allen. As a result, the team will have its best pass-rusher under contract through the 2023 season and have more time to iron out a long-term extension down the road.
The one-year extension was one that Allen earned when looking at his first three seasons. He hit the ground running as a rookie by accumulating 10.5 sacks and earning a Pro Bowl nod, and though he hasn’t been able to match that figure since, he’s well respected around the league and has been a key player for Jacksonville.
That’s exactly why he was named to NFL.com’s top-15 players list when looking at the 2019 NFL Draft. The list, which was compiled by Bucky Brooks, had Allen listed at the No. 14 spot above Las Vegas Raiders receiver Hunter Renfrow.
Here is what Brooks specifically had to say about Allen:
DRAFTED: Round 1, No. 7 overall
Don’t let the Jaguars’ struggles diminish the solid play from Allen, who has logged 20.5 sacks and 48 QB hits in his first 40 NFL games. This is a high-motor defender with the speed, quickness and burst to wreak havoc off the edges. Although the constant turnover and changing schemes in Jacksonville have prevented the disruptive defender from truly settling in at the NFL level, offensive coaches around the league are well aware of his play-making potential as an athletic edge rusher.
Many would complain that Allen’s sack figures should be higher for a former top-10 pick, but it’s worth noting that the Jags haven’t had any big-time playmakers on the line with him since his rookie season. Despite that, he took a step last season and finished the season with his highest Pro Football Focus mark so far (78.5).
Heading into his fourth season, Allen should only get better as the Jags have added help around him. They invested the No. 1 overall pick into outlook linebacker Travon Walker to rush the passer from the opposite side, which could lead to more production for Allen. Additionally, the young players around him who were previously on the roster like DaVon Hamilton and Roy Robertson-Harris could take a step, too.
The Jags’ defense ranked 20th last season and will hope to get closer to the top half of the league this season. A key to that will be the performance of Allen, who finally seems to have the right pieces around him.