Reggie Hayward (Getty Images)
JagNation is going to look at the Jaguars, position by position, and give our final evaluation of what happened during the 2008 season. We’re going to move to the defensive end position next.
Reggie Hayward - 24 tackles, 4 sacks
Paul Spicer - 34 tackles, 4 sacks
Derrick Harvey - 19 tackles, 4 sacks
Quentin Groves - 13 tackles, 2 sacks
Positives- Paul Spicer and Reggie Hayward each showed flashes of what earned them sizeable contracts throughout the year. First-round pick Derrick Harvey improved greatly as the season progressed as he showed a great burst and explosion off the snap. Quentin Groves can be very disruptive in passing situations.
Negatives- Spicer and Hayward simply can’t get to the quarterback with any consistency and Spicer’s lack of talent is beginning to outweigh his great motor and high effort level. Derrick Harvey’s contract holdout certainly set him back as he missed all of training camp and began the season slowly. Quentin Groves struggled mightily against the run and he’s better suited to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme rather than a 4-3 defensive end.
Overall- The Jaguars future at the defensive end position is Derrick Harvey, and he should be much better in year two. As for Spicer and Hayward, they may have to be converted to defensive tackle as they don’t seem to have the ability to beat good offensive tackles with any consistency. The jury is still out on Groves, as he spent much of his rookie season dazed and confused. Mkristo Bruce was recently signed to a contract extension and the undersized, high-motor end figures to be in the team’s plans.
Solution- The Jaguars spent their first two draft picks last year on the defensive end position and may need to invest additional early picks to secure it for the future. You simply can never have enough guys that can get to the quarterback.
Overall grade: D