JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars signed just one player on Day 2 of free agency but were still pretty active, though that is expected to slow by the weekend.
The Jaguars added linebacker Dekoda Watson and played host to cornerback Walter Thurmond, receiverEmmanuel Sanders, defensive lineman Ziggy Hood, and defensive end Willie Young on Wednesday. Defensive end Chris Clemons, who was released by Seattle earlier on Wednesday, was scheduled to meet with the Jaguars as well.
Here are a couple initial thoughts on Day 2:
The Watson signing is intriguing because of the way the Jaguars plan to use him: a strongside linebacker on first and second down and a leo on third down. He doesn't have the size of a prototypical leo (he's 6-foot-2, 240 pounds) but he is quick and athletic, which is something the Jaguars desperately needed to add on defense. Watson said he had been banging the drum for a while for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to give him a shot as a hybrid end/linebacker and they finally did toward the end of the 2013 season. The way he played in that role piqued the Jaguars' interest. Head coach Gus Bradley said Watson had 28 third-down rushes last season and had two forced fumbles and a sack. "There's something there that we said, 'That's exactly what we're looking for now -- a guy that has done that and let’s see what he can do and develop in that.'"
I'm probably in the minority but I'm not sure signing Sanders gives the Jaguars something they don't already have. He's a burner, but he only averaged 11.0 yards per catch and had six touchdowns last season and only averaged more than 14 yards per catch once in his four seasons with Pittsburgh. That's essentially the same numbers that Cecil Shorts put up in 2013: 11.8 yards per catch and three touchdowns. They're similar in size, too: Shorts is 6-0, 202 pounds and Sanders is 5-11 and 186 pounds. Granted, Sanders would be an additional, experienced target for quarterback Chad Henne, but a better addition for the Jaguars would be a bigger, more physical receiver. That's something they don't have.