Jaguars WR Brian Thomas Jr., the 23rd overall draft pick, signs a 4-year deal worth roughly $14.6M

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Receiver Brian Thomas Jr., the 23rd overall pick in the NFL draft, signed his rookie contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday.

Thomas was slated to get a four-year deal worth $14.6 million under the NFL’s rookie slotting system. The contract includes a signing bonus estimated at roughly $7.5 million as well as a club option for a fifth year.

Jacksonville traded down six spots before drafting the former LSU standout to help build around franchise quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The Jaguars added the 6-foot-3, 209-pound speedster to offset the loss of Calvin Ridley to division rival Tennessee in free agency and give the Jaguars a chance to have a legitimate No. 1 receiver for the first time since Jimmy Smith retired following the 2005 season.

Thomas led the Bowl Subdivision with 17 receiving touchdowns last season. He finished with 68 catches for 1,177 yards, averaging a whopping 17.3 yards a reception and 34.9 yards on his 17 scores.

“Brian is what we expected. He is long, fast and smart,” Jaguars offensive coordinator Press Taylor said last week. “So those things have shown up early on. ... You see obviously the intelligence, the quick twitch, the long speed show up throughout our practices as we go through things or even routes on air.

“He is a guy that’s very easy to communicate with because he’s intelligent. Football comes naturally to him. Learning, picturing concepts, understanding routes, how we’re attacking certain coverages. You see his growth every day, which is fun to see.”