Former Jacksonville Jaguars first-round draft pick Tyson Alualu has had an extremely disappointing start to his NFL career and many people are already writing him off as a bust, but 2013 may be the first chance we get to see him playing to his full potential.
Not only has Alualu been hampered by a knee injury for most of his time in Jacksonville, but the former regime was playing him out of position as a defensive tackle in a 4-3 defense. Not only do the Jaguars expect Alualu to be back to full health in 2013, but they have shifted him to defensive end in new head coach Gus Bradley’s hybrid front defense, a position that should maximize his talents.
For those unfamiliar with the defense that Bradley ran with the Seattle Seahawks, Alualu will likely be starting in the role that Red Bryant had great success in after making a similar position switch. While Bradley’s defense is a 4-3 by the numbers, the role Alualu will be playing in it will mimic more of what you would expect to see from a defensive end playing in a 3-4 defense. It is a role that Alualu succeeded at in college and the Jaguars hope he can succeed at once again.
While most players view a position switch as a sort of demotion, Alualu could not be more optimistic about his move to the outside.
“I think it works to my strengths: being a bigger body, being able to hold my own against an offensive tackle, being able to hold double teams versus a tight end and just being able to stop the run when I’m out there lined up against defensive end,” Alualu said of the move back in May.
At the very least, the move of Alualu to the outside should help sure up a run defense that finished towards the bottom of the league last season, but the Jaguars are hoping that it will help finally get his career off of the ground and he becomes a key piece to their defense moving forward.