The 2022 NFL Draft has come and gone after months of debate and intrigue. Now, just a couple of days following, the “8th round” of the draft has been completed, with the Jacksonville Jaguars agreeing to terms with 15 undrafted free agents, headlined by Notre Dame receiver Kevin Austin Jr.
The Jaguars also released two veterans, running back Elijah Sullivan and OL Brandon Murphy. The roster is currently set at 88 with two spots open.
It’s quite the haul compared to last year when the Jaguars agreed to terms with just six UDFA players following the draft.
During the draft, Jacksonville would make seven total selections. After entering the room with 12 total picks, the team made three trades during the process that would lessen their capital. The team selected Georgia outside linebacker/defensive end Travon Walker with the first-overall pick.
Here is what Jacksonville needed in this year’s draft:
Round 1 (pick No. 1): OLB Travon Walker, Georgia
Round 1 (pick No. 27): LB Devin Lloyd, Utah
Round 3 (pick No. 65): C/G Luke Fortner, Kentucky
Round 3 (pick No. 70): LB Chad Muma, Wyoming
Round 5 (pick No. 154): RB Snoop Conner, Ole Miss
Round 6 (pick No. 188): CB Gregory Junior, Ouachita Baptist University
Round 7 (pick No. 207): DB Montaric Brown, Arkansas
With that said, here are the UDFA signings the team announced earlier today:
Kevin Austin, WR, Notre Dame
Shabari Davis, CB/KR, Southeast Missouri State
Josh Thompson, DB, Texas
Marcus Tatum, OL, UCF
Lujuan Winningham, WR, Central Arkansas
Grayson Gunter, TE, Southern Miss
De’Shaan Dixon, OLB, Norfolk State
Denzel Okafor, OL, Texas
Gerrit Prince, TE, UAB
Sean Mahone, S, West Virginia
Israel Antwine, DT, Oklahoma State
Nick Ford, OL, Utah
Andrew Mevis, K, Iowa State
Grant Morgan, LB, Arkansas
Benjie Franklin, CB, Tarleton State
As referenced earlier, the name that stands out here is Austin, who spent four years with Notre Dame. Austin was suspended for the entire 2019 season due to a violation of team rules and dealt with an injury in 2020 that forced him to miss the majority of the 2020 season, playing in just one game.
However, Austin would play in 12 games last year, hauling in 48 receptions for 888 yards and seven touchdowns. He would average 18.5 yards per reception and is thought to be a deep-threat target, who thrives running the “9” or go, route.
Austin, 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, lit up the combine, posting incredible measurables, including a blazing 4.43 40-yard dash, an athletic 39-inch vertical and other measurables that stick out. He rated as a 9.89 on the relative athletic score chart.
Kevin Austin is a WR prospect in the 2022 draft class. He scored an unofficial 9.89 RAS at the Combine out of a possible 10.00. This ranked 29 out of 2557 WR from 1987 to 2022. https://t.co/yQ5IiryhM1 #RAS via @Mathbomb pic.twitter.com/SBapPlrWiB— Kent Lee Platte (@MathBomb) March 4, 2022
Another name that sticks out is Texas DB Josh Thompson, who was rated as a priority-free agency according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. He was a two-year starter at Texas as a left cornerback but could project as a safety with special teams traits.
He added two interceptions in his career in 22 starts. But what stands out is his athleticism.
Thompson, 5-foot-11, 194 pounds, posted great numbers at the NFL combine, including a 4.4 40-yard dash, a 37.5-inch vertical and tests as a 9.55 RAS player at the CB position.
Kicker Andrew Mevis is another intriguing addition after spending just one season at Iowa State, connecting on 20-of-23 field goals, including 2-2 on kicks of 50 or more yards. He was perfect on PATs.
Mevis was thought to be one of the best kickers in the draft and will bring competition to the room that currently includes PK Matthew Wright and Ryan Santoso.