JACKSONVILLE – Riley Patterson is the Jaguars' new kicker for multiple reasons.
Special teams coordinator Heath Farwell discussed those reasons Wednesday afternoon. He mentioned leg strength. And accuracy. But Farwell emphasized something else.
"It's consistency," Farwell said. "He's done it. He had a great year last year."
Patterson, a second-year veteran who made 14 of 15 field goals last season for the Detroit Lions, was waived by the Lions Tuesday and officially claimed off waivers by the Jaguars Wednesday. The Jaguars on Wednesday also announced they had waived kickers James McCourt and Jake Verity.
Because the Jaguars are No. 1 on the waiver list, they are assured of getting the rights to any players they claim in the waivers process.
"We had been watching several kicker battles, as well as other positions," Farwell said. "Riley's a guy we had targeted for a while. He was a guy we were hoping would come available. We were fortunate he did. We're excited to have him."
Patterson made both of his 2022 preseason field-goal attempts – from 27 and 28 yards. He played seven games for the Lions last season.
"When you study the tape, the ball comes off his foot very consistently every single time," Farwell said. "It's very clean coming off his foot. He's done it at this level. Jake and James can kick in the NFL. Right now, Riley gives us the best chance to win."
Patterson became the Jaguars' sixth kicker since 2022 Training Camp began. The others: Rookie Andrew Mevis, Ryan Santoso, Elliott Fry, McCourt and Verity. McCourt made both field-goal attempts in the preseason finale against Atlanta and Verity missed his lone attempt.
"Both of those guys did a really good job for us," Farwell said. "That being said, part of our job getting this roster as good as we can is to evaluate other rosters and to see what's best available and to figure out if we can upgrade our roster in any way.
"Right now, it's about getting the roster better, so we had to make several moves. That's a good thing. We have to continue to get better. As long as we get the right guy on the plane September 10 [for the September 11 regular-season opener against the Washington Commanders], we've got to be happy."
Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell on Wednesday praised rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd's performance in Saturday's preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons, Lloyd's first NFL game after missing the first three preseason games with a hamstring injury. "It was good for us," Caldwell said of Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. "One, he came out healthy. Two, we got to see him fly around. There was no hesitation. He felt good. He was excited to play, happy to play. It has been a long haul for him. He did some good things and we're excited to see him progress." Rookie third-round selection Chad Muma played extensively for Lloyd in the preseason. "Right now, we're still working through that," Caldwell said when asked about the starter and likely repetitions at the position against the Washington Commanders in Week 1. "Chad has had a bunch of reps. Everybody will play. We'll get into the flow. There's no pitch count for him. We'll just get him out there and let him go when h needs to go, let Chad go when he needs to go."
Wide receiver Jamal Agnew will be the Jaguars' punt and kick returner, Farwell said Wednesday. Agnew, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in the 2021 offseason, returned 22 kicks last season for a 23.9-yard average with one touchdown and 11 punts for 6.7-yard average. He missed the last seven games of the season with a hip injury and didn't return in the Jaguars' four preseason games this season. "Yes, he is the returner," Farwell said. "He's an elite returner and one of the best in the NFL. I didn't need to see him [in the preseason]. I've seen plenty. He's too much of a weapon to take off either [punts or kicks]." Agnew also is expected to play an extensive role offensively as a receiver after catching a career-high 24 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.