On the surface, the selection of Oregon tight end George Wrighster appears to be a "replace Kyle Brady" pick. Ultimately, that may be the case, but head coach Jack Del Rio says that is not the intent.
"We are not trying to send messages. We are trying to acquire talent," Del Rio told reporters following the fourth-round selection of Wrighster with the Jaguars' first pick of the second day of the draft. The Jaguars also have a pick later in the fourth round.
Del Rio said Wrighster was at the top of the Jaguars' value board; that he was another "best available player" pick.
Wrighster, 6-2, 249, is a true "West Coast offense" tight end. "He's more of a receiver than a blocker. He's an athletic guy. He does a lot with the ball after the catch," Del Rio said.
Brady, of course, is more of a blocker. Last season, Brady may have been the best blocking tight end in the league.
"We like Kyle Brady. We think he's a good player," Del Rio said.
But Brady's not real fond of the Jaguars' request that he take a cut in pay. He's scheduled to be a $5.2 million hit on the Jags' salary cap this season; $3 million of that is salary. Speculation is that if Brady doesn't agree to take a paycut, he will be released.
Brady opted not to attend the team's voluntary mini-camp in April. Next weekend's mini-camp is mandatory, but there is no indication whether Brady will attend.
"It's a fineable offense," Del Rio said of failing to attend next weekend's mini-camp.
Wrighster emerged as a pro prospect last season when he caught 41 passes for 568 yards and six touchdowns. He has 4.9 speed and a 33-inch vertical jump.
"It's more of a 'West Coast offense'; get the ball downfield and a lot of big plays. And it was get the ball to the tight end a lot, too," Wrighster said of the Oregon scheme.
His decision to declare eligibility for the NFL draft after his junior season may have been a mistake; he expected to be drafted on the first day. But he was happy to have been selected by the Jaguars, who offer him opportunity in an offense with which he is familiar.