February 22, 2024

imagn’s Cary Edmondson

The Jacksonville Jaguars are widely expected to add an edge rusher with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but in the meantime, they are locking down their incumbent edge presence for at least another year. The Jaguars announced via their official Twitter account on Thursday that they’ve exercised the fifth-year option on Josh Allen. 

Allen, the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has collected 20.5 sacks in 40 games with the Jaguars. His most productive season was his rookie year, when he picked up 10.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss, and 23 quarterback hits on his way to a fourth place finish in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. 

He played only eight games in 2020 and struggled to produce, but bounced back last season with 7.5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and 14 quarterback hits. He’s headed into the final season of his rookie contract, but the fifth-year option being picked up means he’ll be in Jacksonville for at least the 2022 and 2023 seasons. 

It seems likely that he will be joined by either Georgia’s Travon Walker or Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson as he rushes the passer over these next couple years. 

The Jaguars spent most of their free-agent budget this offseason on offensive players like Brandon Scherff and Christian Kirk, so perhaps it’s not surprising that they appear to be leaning toward a defensive player with the No. 1 selection. With Jacksonville also already signing left tackle Cam Robinson to an extension earlier this week, it would appear that the offensive tackles who were reportedly in consideration for the No. 1 overall pick (supposedly Ikem Ekwonu and Evan Neal) are less likely to end up being the pick. 

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