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2014 NFL Draft: Morris among 17 collegiate free agents

Posted May 12, 2014

Miami QB Stephen Morris, California DL DeAndre Coleman among 17 collegiate free agents that agreed to terms with Jaguars following 2014 NFL Draft.


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars added a second quarterback to the 2014 rookie class Monday.

It wasn’t a drafted player, but it was a well-known one who was successful in college – not to mention a very logical fit.

Stephen Morris, a two-year starter at the University of Miami who spent two college seasons with Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, was among 17 undrafted free agents that agreed to terms with the Jaguars on Monday.

The moves became official two days after the end of the 2014 NFL Draft.

The Jaguars drafted nine players during the May 8-10 draft, but selected just one quarterback – Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection.

That raised speculation the Jaguars might add a quarterback in collegiate free agency, which they did when they agreed to terms with Morris, who passed for 7,896 yards with 49 touchdowns and 30 interceptions while at Miami. He completed 198 of 344 passes for 3,028 yards and 21 touchdowns with 12 interceptions as a senior.

Fisch was the Miami offensive coordinator in Morris’ junior season. He completed 245 of 421 for 3,345 yards and 21 touchdowns with seven interceptions that season.

The Jaguars released six players to make room for the signings, a list that included guard Will Rackley, wide receiver Jeremy Ebert, running back/fullback Shaun Chapas, running back Delone Carter, defensive tackle Drake Nevis and wide receiver Stephen Williams.

Rackley, a third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft from Lehigh University, started 25 games in three seasons, including 14 as a rookie and 11 this past season. He missed the 2012 season with an ankle injury.

Other players that agreed to terms with the Jaguars as collegiate free agents Monday were:

Northwestern kicker Jeff Budzien, Cumberland (Ky.) running back Terrance Cobb, California defensive lineman DeAndre Coleman, Louisville wide receiver Damian Copeland, Rice long snapper Trevor Gillette, Oregon defensive tackle Ricky Havili-Heimuli, Miami wide receiver Allen Hurns, Fresno State tight end Marcel Jensen, Missouri Western State tight end Reggie Jordan, Louisiana State safety Craig Loston, Oregon State cornerback Rashaad Reynolds, Clemson guard Tyler Shatley, Utah State tight end D.J. Tialavea, James Madison offensive tackle Josh Wells, Maryland outside linebacker Marcus Whitfield, Tennessee Tech punter Chad Zinchini.

Reynolds of Oregon State was projected by some as a possible third-round talent, and was considered one of the top prospects available in collegiate free agency. He had 10 interceptions in four seasons, including six last season.

Reynolds was third among cornerbacks on NFL.com draft analyst Gil Brandt’s list of top collegiate free agents.

Coleman of Cal and Loston of LSU also were considered a third-round possibility by some analysts. Coleman was second on Brandt’s defensive tackle list and had had 26.5 tackles for loss with 7.5 sacks collegiately.

Jensen was projected by some analysts as a fourth-to-fifth-round possibility, and was fourth on Brandt’s tight end list. He caught 48 passes for 708 yards and eight touchdowns at Fresno State.

Jordan of Missouri Western State was thought by some to be as high as a fifth- or sixth-round possibility, with Shatley of Clemson projected by some as a sixth-to-seventh-round possibility. Hurns of Miami, Wells of James Madison, Copeland of Louisville and Budzien of Northwestern also were considered late-round possibilities.

Morris was Brandt’s fourth-rated collegiate-free-agent quarterback, while Copeland was sixth on Brandt’s free-agent wide receiver list with Hurns 16th and Tialavela of Utah State 12th.

Copeland caught 116 passes for 1,521 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons at Louisville, while Hurns caught 121 passes for 1,891 yards and 14 touchdowns for Miami. 

Tialavea caught 30 passes for 198 yards and five touchdowns in college.

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