Jaguars Sign Round 1 WR Brian Thomas Jr.

A day after the Jaguars inked second-round pick Maason Smith, they have their top pick locked in. The team announced Brian Thomas Jr. has agreed to terms on his rookie deal Friday.

Chosen 23rd overall, Thomas will be tied to a four-year deal that comes fully guaranteed. The Jaguars will have the option of extending the wide receiver’s contract through 2028 via the fifth-year option. The first of the Jags’ three LSU draftees this year will move forward as the team’s centerpiece of an offseason receiver overhaul.

The Jags have swapped out Calvin Ridley and Zay Jones for Thomas and free agent pickup Gabe Davis. Christian Kirk remains attached to the four-year, $72MM deal he signed in 2022, but his complementary crew has changed. The Jags also added former Ravens All-Pro return man/part-time wideout Devin Duvernay. Ridley joined the Titans, despite a Jags offer, in free agency. Jacksonville released Jones shortly after the draft; he has since committed to Arizona.

Linked to eyeing receivers and cornerbacks in the draft, the Jags went with a 6-foot-3, 209-pound pass catcher. They did so after trading the No. 17 overall pick to the Vikings, sliding down six spots and picking up additional draft assets in doing so. The Vikings sent the Jags No. 167, along with third- and fourth-round picks in the 2025 draft, to move up for Dallas Turner. Trent Baalke‘s team will reap the benefits of that deal next year while hoping Thomas can provide immediate production alongside their veteran WR cadre.

Thomas and fellow first-round wideout Malik Nabers teamed to help Jayden Daniels soar to Heisman honors last season. A bigger target than the No. 6 overall pick, Thomas also used last season to build a Round 1 profile. Not topping 400 receiving yards in either of his first two LSU campaigns, Thomas broke through for 1,177 yards and a Division I-FBS-most 17 touchdown receptions. No other player notched more than 15 receiving TDs last season. Thomas subsequently improved his draft stock by running a 4.33-second 40-yard dash at the Combine.

Averaging 17.1 yards per catch in 2023, Thomas joins Davis as a deep threat for Trevor Lawrence. This will also qualify as a cheaper WR trio for the Jags, as Ridley was tied to a fifth-year option last season and Jones an $8MM-per-year deal. Davis did sign a three-year, $39MM deal — one packed with three void years to keep the cap hits down — but Thomas will be tied to a rookie deal for four years. Considering only two teams in the fifth-year option era have extended a first-round wideout with two years of rookie-contract control remaining, it represents a safe bet the Jags will ride out Thomas’ rookie deal through 2027.

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