The dust has finally settled in NFL free agency and we're firmly in what's often referred to as the "second wave" of signings. The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the most active teams in free agency during the 2015 NFL offseason, signing seven new players to the roster.
The team likely added six new starters with all of their signings and have given themselves more freedom in the NFL Draft, so how would you grade what they've done so far?
Jaguars Free Agency Recap:
Julius Thomas, TE - The marquee name signing for the Jaguars, the team locked up Thomas with a big free agent deal that left many people to say the team over paid. Maybe they did, but that's what you have to do in free agency and the Jaguars were in dire need of giving Blake Bortles a weapon at the tight end position.
Jared Odrick, DE - A kind of sneaky signing for Dave Caldwell that makes a ton of sense. Odrick will slot in for Red Bryant, who the team released shortly after the signing and man the big end role in the Jaguars defense. Odrick offers a lot more pass rushing ability from both the inside and outside than Bryant did, while still maintaining some good run defense. I think Odrick will be a signing fans really appreciate during the season.
Jermey Parnell, OT - Right tackle was one of the spots on the offensive line the team needed to shore up and the signing of Parnell should give them that. He filled in well for Doug Free with the Dallas Cowboys last offseason and many were surprised the Cowboys decided to re-sign the older Free than Parnell, but Jacksonville saw enough in his handful of starts to bank that his best football is ahead of him.
Davon House, CB - House for me was one of the biggest surprise signings, as I didn't think the team really viewed cornerback as a position that needed significant upgrade, but Caldwell took what he was going to spend on Devin McCourty and decided to just continue to improve the roster. House played well in some limited time with the Green Bay Packers and like Parnell, the team feels his best football is ahead of him.
Dan Skuta, OLB - Another surprise signing, more in the realm of making people go "Who?", but Skuta by all accounts is someone that the fans should like right away. Nearly everyone, from former beat writers to fans of both the Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers praised Skuta and were a little disappointed they didn't retain him when he left. He should slot right in at the OTTO position for the Jaguars.
Sergio Brown, FS - I'll be honest and say that this was the first signing by the Jaguars where I didn't really know who it was. Quickly though, Twitter found out he was the guy who got beat by Cecil Shorts when Blaine Gabbert hit him for a long game winning touchdown. Brown, according to those who've watched him, should be an upgrade in coverage over Josh Evans, so it will be an interesting battle to watch in training camp and the preseason.
Bryan Walters, KR/PR - I really don't know much about Walters outside of Seattle Seahawks fans telling me he's a reliable fair catch machine. Likely he's someone who's going to battle it out with Tandon Doss and anyone else for the returner role on the roster.