Jason Babin: Analyzing Defensive End's Impact with the Jaguars

Gary DavenportNFL AnalystNovember 28, 2012

PITTSBURGH, PA - OCTOBER 07:  Jason Babin #93 of the Philadelphia Eagles looks on from the sidelines during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on October 7, 2012 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Well, that didn't take long.

A day after his surprising release by the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive end Jason Babin has found a new home as the 32-year-old was claimed on waivers by the Jacksonville Jaguars according to Mike Garafalo of USA Today.

The ninth-year veteran racked up 30.5 sacks from 2010-2011and although his sack total had fallen to 5.5 sacks this year, Babin's sudden release caught defensive end Trent Cole off guard according to Garafalo's report:

I've been in the league for eight years now and I've seen people come and go, and it's just business. There's nothing you can really say. That's between him and the franchise, and that's it. We're going to miss him. He was part of our D-line. We were tight. We're a close-knit group. He's a great player. He's a very aggressive player you want to have on your team. He's going to find another home.

It would seem that Cole was correct, as Garafalo also reported that there was significant demand for Babin's services, with no fewer than eight teams putting in a claim, including the Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders.

However, it was the Jaguars that landed Babin and will now be on the hook for the remaining $1.69 million that Babin is owed this year, so the question becomes what sort of impact we can expect from Babin in teal and black.

The Jaguars could certainly use the help where rushing the passer is concerned. Through 11 games the Jaguars have managed a measly 13 sacks, tied for dead last in the National Football League.

Those struggles are personified by defensive end Jeremy Mincey, who parlayed an eight-sack season last year into a fat contract extension, but has recorded all of two in 2012.

It's Mincey that Babin may be of the most help to in Jacksonville. As the only real pass rusher the Jags have, with no one to help take pressure off him on the other side, opposing offenses were able to focus on Mincey who isn't athletic enough to be able to consistently beat double teams.

Now, with Babin on the other side teams won't have the luxury of doubling Mincey as much, so not only will Babin improve the Jacksonville pass rush himself, but he'll likely also open things up for Mincey a bit at the opposite end of the line.

Granted, it's going to take Babin some time to get up to speed with his new club, especially since the Jaguars don't employ the Wide 9 defensive line technique that Babin played in in both Philadelphia and with the Tennessee Titans.

However, John Oehser of the Jaguars' website reports that head coach Mike Mularkey has indicated that Babin will play Sunday against the Buffalo Bills.

And since he isn't owed any guaranteed money after this season, it's hard to see Babin's acquisition as anything other than a very wise, low-risk move by a franchise not necessarily known for its wisdom where personnel decisions are concerned.