Jacksonville Jaguars WR and fourth-round draft selection Dede Westbrook from the University of Oklahoma became the third member of the team’s 2017 draft class to sign his rookie contract, the club announced today.
“I’m excited to sign the contract and be able to provide for my family,” said Westbrook. “It wasn’t just me that got here; there were a lot of people that helped me along the way. Now is a great time to acknowledge all of those individuals and I’ve had a chance to do that since my name was called at the draft.”
On the third day of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected Westbrook with the 110th overall selection. Westbrook, 6-0, 178, finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting and was named the 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner as the nation’s most outstanding wide receiver after setting a school record with 17 receiving TDs and hauling in 80 passes for 1,524 yards (19.1 rec. avg.) in 2016.
“I’m just happy to be here in Jacksonville and I’m ready to get started with the season,” said Westbrook. “It’s hot here in Jacksonville, but I see the rest of my brothers and the rest of the team going through it and I know if they can do it, I can do it, as well. My teammates have been very helpful. I fit into the wide receiver room well and those guys are looking out for me and taking me under their wing. They’re great guys. We all come from different backgrounds, but at the end of the day, we’re all here to contribute and compete.”
Despite playing just two seasons in Norman, Okla., Westbrook finished his career ranked fourth in school history with nine 100-yard receiving games, and sixth in school annals with 21 TD receptions. All 17 of Westbrook’s receiving TDs and 1,370 of his 1,524 receiving yards in 2016 came in the final 10 games of the season, marking the most receiving yards and receiving TDs over a 10-game stretch in school history. Westbrook also contributed on special teams, returning nine kickoffs for 244 yards (27.1 avg.) and returning five punts for 81 yards (16.2 avg.) and one TD. A native of Cameron, Texas, Westbrook transferred to Oklahoma from Blinn Community College after leading the junior college ranks with 1,487 receiving yards and 13 TDs in only eight games to earn NJCAA first-team All-America honors as a sophomore. A sociology major, Westbrook’s first name is pronounced DEE-dee.
“We feel like this is a guy that can come in and contribute (at WR),” said General Manager Dave Caldwell after selecting Westbrook on April 29. “He has a lot of specialties where we can use him in different situations, and then the punt return aspect and special teams aspect of it.”
Westbrook joins seventh-round selections CB Jalen Myrick and FB Marquez Williams as 2017 draftees to sign their rookie contracts.