Five down, four to go.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to sign rookie draft picks and inch closer to having their entire class signed.
The team announced earlier this week that fifth round linebacker Telvin Smith has become the latest to sign on the dotted line, bring the total number of players under contract to five. Smith, one of the team’s two fifth-round draft choices, signed a four-year deal worth $2.431 million. He received a $211,052 signing bonus accoding to ESPN.com.
The Jaguars’ remaining unsigned draft picks are No. 3 overall pick Blake Bortles, second-round receivers Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson and third-round guard Brandon Linder.
“This makes it real,” Smith said with a smile moments after signing. “It’s no longer a thought anymore. It’s reality. This is what I’m living now. A lot of people say, ‘I wish I could make it. I wish I could do this or do that.’ I withstood the storm.
“I passed all the tests and I got here. It’s just a dream come true.”
Smith was one of two linebackers chosen by the Jaguars in this month’s Draft. Chris Smith, an outside linebacker and defensive end was also a fifth round pick out of Arkansas and signed last week with the team.
Smith should be no stranger to Jaguars fans and FSU fans, alike. He played high school football at nearby Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes High School, played four seasons at Florida State, moving into the starting lineup as a senior. He was a first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference selection as a senior, helping the defense to a top ranking in the country and helping his Seminoles to a national title.
As a junior in 2012, he played in all 14 games, recording 64 tackles and one sack. In 2013, after three years as a backup, he took over as a starter.
While fighting for playing time will be key to his development in this defense, Smith is also expected to see time on special teams.