JACKSONVILLE – Signing week continues around the Jaguars.
On a week that already had featured a steady stream of rookie signings, the pace quickened considerably on Wednesday afternoon.
“It feels great,” Smith moments after signing. “It’s great to put all that hard work in, and I just have to keep moving forward.”
The Jaguars earlier in the day signed fourth-round cornerback
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. All rookie contracts aside from first-round selections are four-year deals.
Smith (6-feet-1, 266 pounds), an All-Southeastern Conference selection as a senior, registered 8.5 sacks as a senior and 21.5 in his career.
Smith was a fifth-round selection, the No. 159 player selected overall, but said there is emotion to signing a contract that’s different from being drafted.
“You think about a lot of guys you came up with who wanted this, too,” Smith said. “You think about all the hard work you put in, and you don’t ever want to forget that. It’s great to sign this first contract. Now, it’s time to work on that second contract.”
Smith participated in this past weekend’s rookie minicamp along with the other eight drafted players, 17 rookie free agent signings and 26 workout players. He is expected to compete for a role as a Leo pass-rusher, which is a hybrid defensive end/linebacker position.
Smith said he focused on technique this past weekend, and will continue to do so.
“I feel like I’m trying to do everything right,” he said. “That’s going to be hard and that will probably never happen, but I want to focus on getting better every single day. That’s what I want to do.”
Wednesday’s signings leave five Jaguars rookies unsigned: first-round quarterback