Jaguars sign rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook to four-year deal

Tom Coughlin discusses new Jaguars WR Dede Westbrook

The Jaguars have signed a third member of their draft class.

Jacksonville selected Oklahoma wide receiver Dede Westbrook with the 110th overall pick in this year's NFL Draft.

Westbrook signed a four-year deal on Tuesday.

“I’m excited to sign the contract and be able to provide for my family,” Westbrook said in a team release.

“It wasn’t just me that got here; there were a lot of people that helped me along the way. Now is a great time to acknowledge all of those individuals and I’ve had a chance to do that since my name was called at the draft.”

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The fourth-round selection will compete with Rashad Greene, Bryan Walters, Arrelious Benn and others for playing time at wide receiver.

A Biletnikoff Award-winner, Westbrook had 80 receptions for 1,524 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns this past season. Many draft pundits projected his on-the-field talent as first or second-round quality.

However, Westbrook has had some off-the-field issues. He was charged in two domestic violence incidents during his college career, but both charges were dropped. 

Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell said the team did extensive research on Westbrook's character before the draft. He called Westbrook a "value pick."

After being selected by the Jaguars, Westbrook acknowledged that the team made him aware that he would be watched closely when it comes to off-the-field issues.

Head Coach Doug Marrone recently said that Westbrook would be eased into his role as a wide receiver this season. He will also compete for the punter return job.

Westbrook is off to a good start with the team, as first-round pick Leonard Fournette has said the two of them will stay in Jacksonville this offseason to learn the playbook.

“I’m just happy to be here in Jacksonville and I’m ready to get started with the season,” Westbrook said.

“It’s hot here in Jacksonville, but I see the rest of my brothers and the rest of the team going through it and I know if they can do it, I can do it, as well. My teammates have been very helpful. I fit into the wide receiver room well and those guys are looking out for me and taking me under their wing. They’re great guys. We all come from different backgrounds, but at the end of the day, we’re all here to contribute and compete.”

Fournette and Westbrook will be the team's representatives at the annual NFL Rookie Premiere in Los Angeles later this month.

Westbrook joins seventh-round picks, cornerback Jalen Myrick and fullback Marquez Williams, as draft class members who have signed with the Jaguars.

Fournette, second-round pick Cam Robinson, third-round pick Dawuane Smoot and fourth-round pick Blair Brown have yet to sign their rookie deals.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

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