Julius Thomas to Jaguars, Signing Grade and Analysis


Julius Thomas, the gifted receiving tight end from the Denver Broncos, will be taking his talents elsewhere in 2015. That elsewhere turns out to be the Jacksonville Jaguars, or so says NFL insider Ian Rapoport.

Thomas is widely considered one of the best players in the 2015 NFL Free Agency class and Jags fans can finally breathe easy knowing they got one of the top-five most talented players available.

Bringing in a major free agent shows to the NFL that the Jags are becoming a more desirable location for free agents and that the team is still trending upward, despite a 7-25 start to the Gus Bradley and Dave Caldwell era. Having outbid perennial contender Seattle and the the deep coffers of the Raiders, the Jags have got to be feeling good about their external perceptions (and signing a quality player, of course).

Julius Thomas will immediately bolster the Jags’ offense and provide Blake Bortles with a reliable receiver who can take the ball and make something special on any play. Over the past two seasons, Thomas has 24 touchdowns (12 each season) and 1277 yards. That is production the Jags haven’t seen on offense in a long time, and it’s coming from the tight end position. Thomas will be able to provide the quality receiving outlet that the Jaguars need and will be a safety valve for Bortles.

Some concerns with Julius Thomas do exist, though. He only has two real seasons of work in the NFL, becoming a starter in 2013 and running with it. Neither of those two seasons are full seasons, with Thomas having to miss time (though only five games, total). The Jags are gambling that he won’t miss extended time during any season going forward.

Another concern with Thomas is that he isn’t a great blocking tight end. The Jags still have Marcedes Lewis on the roster and he is an excellent blocker with some receiving potential, so he may stick around to compensate for Thomas’s lackluster blocking.

Overall, even with injury and blocking concerns, the (pending) signing of Thomas is huge for the Jags. He’s a top-flight player and he’ll provide excellent plays for the Jags going forward. The Jags are probably overpaying, but it’s absolutely worth it to have a player come in and revitalize the entire offense. I have to give this soon-to-be signing an A-. The Jags went out and got their man and I fully expect Julius Thomas to be every bit the player they expect him to be. That A- could easily be an A after one season with the Jags.

This deal will not become official until 4:00pm EST, when free agency officially opens.

Next: DT Jared Odrick Signing Grade and Analysis

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