Malik Jackson is the second straight new Jaguar to grace this list. He comes in one spot ahead of the Jaguars newly acquired free safety Tashaun Gipson. While Gipson could have just as big of an impact on the team in 2016 as Jackson, Jackson is a physical freak that will cause matchup nightmares for offensive coordinators. He stands 6 feet 6 inches and weighs in at around 280 pounds. Jackson fell to the fifth round of the 2015 draft after being named All-SEC 2nd team in his final year at Tennessee.
It took Jackson a year or so to find his footing with the Broncos, but since 2013 he has been one of, if not the most, disruptive interior pass rushers in the NFL. In 2015, he pressured opposing quarterbacks 60 times, and led the league in pressures by an interior pass rusher. Jackson was a relative unknown to the common fan prior to the 2015 playoffs when he helped lead the Broncos to a Super Bowl. His combination of size, quickness, and power are incredibly rare and it shows game in and game out. Through out this training camp and preseason, Jackson has been with out a doubt the most physically imposing player on the Jaguars defense.
Moving forward, Jackson will be the Jaguars starting three-technique tackle. This means he will line up inside and will be going head to head with the opposing teams guard. While this is not the exact role he had in Denver, it is very similar and it meshes well with his skill set. Jackson likely will not ever record double digit sacks, but if he can get five to eight sacks and a lot of interior pressure it will make it much easier for the Jaguars young pass rushers to wreak havoc off the edge.
Did the Jaguars overpay for him this summer? Yes, but that is what you do in free agency. He is a premium interior player that will pay major dividends for a team that struggled mightily to get off the field defensively in 2015.
The Bottom Line: Jackson is one of the very best players on the Jaguars defense and will be a force to be reckoned with at on the defensive line for years to come. At only 26 years old, Jackson is a major part of the foundation of this young Jaguars team.