How does signing Patrick Murtagh affect the Jaguars TE depth chart?

• The Jaguars have added International TE Patrick Murtagh to their roster.
Oct 4, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Tight end Patrick Murtagh (AUS) participates in drills during
Oct 4, 2022; London, United Kingdom; Tight end Patrick Murtagh (AUS) participates in drills during / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars will restock their roster in the 2024 NFL Draft but they won't pass up the chance to acquire talent if the opportunity arises the days prior. Just recently, they signed tight end Patrick Murtagh through the NFL's International Pathway Program.

Murtagh was an ascending talent in Australian Rules Football before joining the Jags. In Jacksonville, the Australia native will join a crowded tight-end group that includes Evan Engram, Brenton Strange, Luke Farrell, Josiah Deguara, and Josh Pederson.

Last year, Murtagh was assigned to the Detroit Lions through the IPP but withdrew due to an injury setback. He's now back in the fold and ready to resume his dream of playing in the NFL.

This isn't the first time the Jaguars have acquired a player through the IPP. Last year, they signed tight end Sammy Reyes, who spent training camp in Jacksonville before retiring due a to concussion. In 2022, they signed linebacker/defensive back Ayo Ayelola, who spent the past two years in the Jags' practice squad. To pave the way for Murtagh, the team released Ayelola.

Teams that have IPP players get an exception to carry 91 roster spots (one more than usual) in the summer but need to make a decision when they trim it to 53 at the start of the regular season. If they release an IPP player and he clears waivers, they can get an exception and get an additional spot in the practice squad. Here's a video of Murtagh embracing his opportunity with the Jaguars.

Patrick Murtagh will have an uphill battle to make the Jaguars roster in 2024

After signing Patrick Murtagh, it's hard to see them adding another tight end in the 2024 draft, even in the later rounds. They just inked Josiah Deguara in the second wave of free agency and he doesn't have a guaranteed roster spot.

Evan Engram is firmly entrenched as the top tight end on the depth chart. Coming off back-to-back banner seasons, he should once again have a big role on offense. Behind Engram is Brenton Strange, who had an unremarkable rookie season but has the talent to earn a bigger role in Year 2. There's also Luke Farrell, a dependable backup who excels at blocking but will also catch a few passes if called upon.

Last but not least is Josh Pederson, who joined the Jags in the summer last year. Pederson spent the season in the practice squad but was promoted to the active roster a few times. If he makes it past training camp, he should once again land in the practice squad.

Deguara could compete with Farrell and even push Strange, but it's hard to see him getting significant playing time in 2024 if he makes the team.

That brings us to Patrich Murtagh. He will get a few reps in training camp and the preseason but nothing more. The Jaguars signed because they will leave no stone unturned when it comes to improving the roster. Also, the bottom half of the tight-end depth chart is still a work in progress, so bringing Murtagh in could help sort things out.

In the end, Patrick Murtagh faces an uphill battle to be on the Jaguars' roster in 2024. That said, he'll put in his best effort and won't give up on his NFL dream without a fight.

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