JACKSONVILLE, FLA. – Jaguars DE and third-round selection Dawuane Smoot from the University of Illinois became the seventh and final member of the team’s 2017 draft class to sign his rookie contract, the club announced today. All of the Jaguars’ 2017 draft selections are now under contract.
“It was a great feeling; just finally making it official and finally becoming a Jaguar feels great,” said Smoot on Friday evening after signing. “It was surreal before when I was practicing with the guys in OTAs and minicamp, but when you actually put pen to paper and you’re actually signing it really becomes real. It’s an honor to finally be an official Jaguar.”
In the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft, the Jaguars selected Smoot with the 68th overall pick. A native of Groveport, Ohio, Smoot, 6-3, 264, appeared in 40 career games for the Illini and posted career totals of 137 tackles including 38.5 tackles for loss (sixth in school history) and 16.5 sacks. As a senior in 2016, Smoot served as a team captain and appeared in 12 games with 56 tackles and 15.0 tackles for loss (5.0 sacks) en route to third-team all-conference recognition while playing for Head Coach Lovie Smith. As a junior in 2015, Smoot appeared in 12 games and totaled 40 tackles, including 15.0 tackles for loss, as well as a career-high 8.0 sacks. As a sophomore in 2014, Smoot appeared in 13 games and registered 33 tackles and 7.5 tackles for loss with 2.5 sacks. As a freshman in 2013, Smoot totaled eight tackles (1.0 sack) in seven games.
Smoot is the fourth player the Jaguars have drafted from Illinois and the first since OT Sean Bubin (159th overall) in 2004. Smoot also joins LB Kevin Hardy (second overall in 1996) and LB Danny Clark (245th overall in 2000) as Illini drafted by the Jaguars. Dawuane is pronounced duh-WAHN.
Smooth joins first-round RB Leonard Fournette, second-round LT Cam Robinson, fourth-round WR Dede Westbrook, fifth-round LB Blair Brown and seventh-round selections CB Jalen Myrick and FB Marquez Williams as 2017 draftees to sign their rookie contracts.