The Jacksonville Jaguars announced their third-round draft pick Ronnie Harrison inked his rookie deal with the team on Thursday. No details of the contract were given.
The former Alabama Crimson Tide star becomes the fifth player from college powerhouse under contract with the Jaguars and provides another heavy hitter in the secondary loaded with talent.
It also means first-round pick Taven Bryan and second-rounder DJ Chark are the only draft picks who have not signed a deal with the AFC South champions.
Harrison was a surprise pick of the Jaguars, however, he falls in line with the team’s draft strategy of finding the right fit for the future. Winning has a way of changing a football team’s focus after picking in the top 10 of the NFL Draft for many years. Jacksonville has two solid safeties in Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson, but changes to the roster may come in the next year or two.
"“I’m just excited,” Harrison said via Jaguars.com. “I’m ready to get out there and show what I can do. I’m blessed to be in this position and am ready to work. I just want to say thank you to my mom and my family and everybody who’s been pushing me.”"
Ronnie Harrison was out at practice in the team’s second day of OTA’s on the practice field adjacent to TIAA Bank Field on Thursday.
At 6-foot-3 and 214 pounds, Ronnie Harrison figures to see time at both strong and free safety. He could also be used on special teams as he led the Crimson Tide with eight tackles in 2016.
"“He is a very bright kid., Really high football IQ. Really smart kid,” general manager Dave Caldwell said after the team made the selection on the second night of the Draft. “Coaches were really impressed with how he handled the questions on the board and picked up the scheme. He had a good visit here.”"
Harrison wasn’t a need pick however he was a solid addition to a top-flight defense and shows the Jaguars have moved to a different phase of team development. He figures to be part of the secondary rotation early and often in defensive coordinator Todd Wash’s system.
"“We feel like he can come in, and he is going to go into the most competitive room we have there in the defensive back room with our two veteran DBs and our two veteran corners,” Caldwell added. “It should be a good fit for him in there. He is going to have to bring his ‘A’ game every day to hang with those guys.”"