With the loss of Zach Miller to injured reserve and the recent receiving struggles of Marcedes Lewis, the Jaguars have been without an athletic, pass catching tight end to help provide a safety valve for rookie Blaine Gabbert. With three open roster spots after placing Rashean Mathis, Eben Britton and Kyle Bosworth on injured reserve; the Jaguars have tried to address that need with some roster moves today.
The Jaguars announced the signing of tight end Fendi Onobun off the Washington Redskins practice squad to their active roster and have signed tight end Colin Cloherty to the practice squad.
Onobun was a four year basketball player at the University of Arizona before transferring to the University of Houston to take advantage of an NCAA rule that allows another year of athletic eligibility if an athlete wishes to play another sport. At Houston, Onobun made his debut as a football player, but made little impact, only catching two balls.
However, his off-the-charts athleticism still led to the St. Louis Rams taking a 6th round flyer on Onobun. With a 6'6, 252 pound frame, his 4.49 40 yard dash shot up eyebrows of scouts and justified taking a shot.
He played in two games with the Rams and caught two passes, before a back injury sent him to injured reserve in Nov. 2010. He was subsequently released prior to the regular season in Sept. 2011 and signed by the Seahawks to their practice squad shortly thereafter. After the Seahawks released him on Oct. 4, the Redskins signed him to their practice squad.
Onobun's athleticism offers plenty of upside as a pass catching tight end that the Jaguars suddenly need. Cloherty is another athletic tight end at 6'2, 245 with reported 4.6 speed. The Jaguars released tight end Schuylar Oordt to make room for Cloherty.