The Jacksonville Jaguars signed four of its seven draft picks to contracts on Thursday ahead of rookie minicamp which began Friday afternoon.
According to the Jacksonville Jaguars, fourth-round pick Will Richardson, sixth-round pick Tanner Lee and seventh-round picks, Leon Jacobs and Logan Cooke all inked deals. The team still has first-round pick, defensive tackle Taven Bryan, as well as second-rounder DJ Chark and third-round Ronnie Harrison unsigned as the seven players and a host of undrafted rookies and eligible players made their way to TIAA Bank Field for the start of camp.
“It’s amazing,” Richardson said shortly after signing per the team’s public relations department. “I couldn’t even picture it. You think about this moment every day of your life when you’re growing up. You think about signing to play for an NFL team, but actually doing it feels better than dreaming of doing it. I always want to come in with a competitive attitude, but I’m ready to learn anything new that I need to learn from [Jaguars offensive line coach Pat Flaherty]. He’s a great coach and I’m a competitive guy, so I just want to step in and give it my all from the start.”
Richardson figures to get work as a swing tackle and could see some time at other spots on the offensive line.
“We think he might have some guard flexibility, too, and possibly some left tackle flex, too … I think he’s pretty versatile,” general manager Dave Caldwell said after the team selected Richardson on the third day of the Draft. “He’s got good knee bend, he’s always had quick feet, he’s a strong guy, can really anchor against a pass rush and you see what he’s done in the ACC. I don’t think he gave up a sack or even a pressure this year, but he was highly productive there in pass protection.”
Richardson, who stands 6-6, 306, played in 34 games with 32 starts in three seasons at N.C. State. He recently completed his redshirt junior season in which he earned second-team All-ACC honors by the league and the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association, while not allowing a sack or pressure in all eight ACC contests.
Lee was drafted as the third quarterback on the roster behind starter Blake Bortles and backup Cody Kessler, who was acquired from the Cleveland Browns for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2019. Lee began his college career at Tulane and transferred to Nebraska.
Per the Jacksonville Jaguars, Lee, 6-4, 218, spent two seasons at Tulane before transferring to Nebraska and starting all 12 games this past season. In 2017, Lee completed 246 of 428 passes (57.5 pct.) for 3,143 yards, 23 TDs and 16 INTs. He was just the fourth Cornhusker to throw for 3,000 yards, and he was the first player in school history to surpass 3,000 passing yards in his first year as the starting QB. Lee threw for 200-plus yards in 10 of 12 games this past fall, and his 23 passing TDs ranked third in the school’s single-season history.
Overall, including his two seasons with Tulane, he appeared in 31 career games and threw for 6,744 yards, 46 TDs and 27 INTs on 574 of 1,040 passing (55.2 pct.).
Jacobs, a linebacker out of Wisconsin, could be in the mix for the starting outside linebacker position created when Paul Posluszny retired and Myles Jack moved back inside. Jacobs and second-year player Blair Brown could be in competition from the start of training camp.
“It just feels surreal,” Jacobs said shortly after signing. “I’ve been working for this moment since high school. To see all the hard work you put in through high school and college … obviously, this is just the first step, but it feels good.”
Jacobs played both inside and outside for the Badgers. At 6-1, 246, played for the Badgers from 2013-17 and appeared in 59 career games, totalling 142 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. Jacobs’ 59 career games played are the most by a player in FBS history.
Cooke’s selection, the 247th pick overall, made veteran Brad Nortman expendable. Cooke, 6-5, 230, appeared in 45 career games for the Bulldogs and served as the punter and kickoff specialist. Over his career, he punted 150 times for a 41.7-yard punt average, which included 60 punts inside the 20 and 35 punts of 50-plus yards. As a kickoff specialist, 74 of his 156 kickoffs (47.4 pct.) resulted in touchbacks.
Cooke was the first drafted rookie to sign on the dotted line with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday, the Jaguars reported.