It took a few weeks, but it appears as if the Jacksonville Jaguars are starting to see some of the returns they hoped to get from rookie nose tackle DaVon Hamilton after he dominated in Week 7.
One week after Hamilton struggled greatly against the Detroit Lions, the third-round rookie flipped a switch in Sunday's 39-29 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. While the Jaguars' defense allowed nearly 40 points it was clear that Hamilton was a bright spot recording four tackles, one tackle for loss and three pressures, all career highs.
There is still one more game to be played to close out the week, but as of now Hamilton is Pro Football Focus' highest-graded defensive rookie from Week 7 with an 86.6 grade. Considering the number of star rookie defenders in 2020, this is quite the accolade.
Thanks to a week in which he earned his best PFF grade, Hamilton is PFF's No. 5 graded interior defender for Week 7 thus far and the company's third-highest graded run defending interior defender for the week.
“His production per snap was really good. Like Coach Marrone said, since we lost Marcell [Dareus] with his injury, we have been missing a big body," general manager Dave Caldwell said after the Jaguars drafted Hamilton.
"He is a guy that can hold the point [of attack]. We will have a nice rotation with those guys. DeVon, Abry [Jones], Taven [Bryan]. We wanted to get bigger up front and protect our linebackers and Joe [Schobert] and Myles [Jack]. Now we have K’lavon Chassion. We feel good about the front seven. That was an area we wanted to improve and plus we got the corner on Day 1.”
Hamilton has had to step into a bigger role for Jacksonville's defense over the last two weeks due to an injury that landed Abry Jones on injured reserve. Hamilton has played over 50% of the team's defensive snaps in each game since and will likely continue to see his role expand even when Jones returns.