Player: Jeris Pendleton.
Ht: 6-2. Wt: 328.
Selection: Round 7, No. 228.
School: Ashland (Ohio) University.
Jaguars General Manager Gene Smith:
“When you look at guys form smaller colleges, you look for guys with rare genetics who show dominant traits. Certainly, they’re the type of people who have Jaguars traits – they’re going to work to improve. Jeris has all of those things.”
“It means a lot (to be drafted). It means a whole hell of a lot. I’ve been watching for three days.”
He played two seasons at Ashland after playing two seasons for Joliet Junior College. He finished last season with 49 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, five sacks and one forced fumble and was a first-team all-conference selection. He also started 11 games as a junior at Ashland, finishing that season with 35 tackles (19 solo), 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack.
Pendleton is an intriguing late-round selection. A standout high school player, Pendleton said he originally planned to attend Michigan State, but got sidetracked by family issues. He had the first of his two sons the following year, and worked as a housekeeper at a nursing home, in construction and at a hospital before deciding to return to school. He attended Joliet Junior College, and walk on to the football team there. He then earned a scholarship to Ashland.
Why it happened:
The Jaguars liked Pendleton through the pre-draft process and brought him to Jacksonville for a pre-draft visit. Pendleton said he had plenty of teams tell him he would be a free agent if not drafted. “I thought it might be an age thing, and I can’t blame them,” Pendleton said of being passed over until the seventh round. Pendleton said he likely would have signed with the team as a free agent if not drafted, but the Jaguars believed he wouldn’t last through the seventh round.
What he brings:
To hear Pendleton tell it, he’s a run-stuffer. “I believe I can hold down the run,” he said. “I believe I can hold my ground in there at tackle. I won’t be getting pushed around. That’s my strength right there, being solid against the run.”