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Dan Skuta to Jaguars, Signing Grade and Analysis

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Dan Skuta, linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, is expected to be signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars when 2015 NFL Free Agency opens at 4:00pm EST on Tuesday.

Announced late on Monday night, Skuta’s arrival at Jacksonville is a surprise for many fans….part of that is because many are caught going “who?” right now.

Skuta is a formerly-undrafted linebacker out of Grand Valley State. After a stint with the Cincinnati Bengals as a reserve, Skuta took a position with the 49ers and quickly ascended. He started at outside linebacker over most of the last season and a half and came up with five sacks and 46 tackles during that time period.

Skuta is coming to Jacksonville on the heels of a decent season, playing in 14 games and starting in 10. Does he figure to be an immediate starter with the Jaguars? That remains to be seen, though the team certainly needs the help at the outside linebacker position.

At this point it looks like Skuta is being signed to come in and be more of a reserve in my mind. He has starting experience but hasn’t been exceptional, but he has been dependable. Daniel Lago believes he would be a good fit for head coach Gus Bradley’s hybrid outside linebacker (OTTO) position.

Onto the positives: Pro Football Focus has Dan Skuta listed as missing just two tackles last season. The Jags are in desperate need for a sure tackler, so that’s a major plus. He also brings experience with him to a team that is incredibly young on both sides of the ball. His five sacks last year tied him for third on the team.

Negatives: Skuta hasn’t had a lot of quality playing time. The bulk of his time on the field has come with a San Francisco team that was pretty miserable in 2014. He appears to be a mediocre player at best at this point in his career (though there could be some upside).

Right now, there isn’t a lot to say here as we don’t know how Skuta will fit in with the defense and we don’t know if he is coming in expected to be an instant starter or to be a role player.

This one is up in the air a bit and is a great example of the kind of gamble on players that GM Dave Caldwell is willing to take with his large cap space. I’ll give it a C+ for filling a need, but the jury is still out on this one.

Next: How Does the Expected Ordick Signing Grade Out?

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