JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed 2018 third-round draft pick S Ronnie Harrison to his NFL rookie contract, the club announced today.
“I’m just excited,” Harrison said. “I’m ready to get out there and show what I can do. I’m blessed to be in this position and am ready to work. I just want to say thank you to my mom and my family and everybody who’s been pushing me.”
In the third round of the 2018 Draft, the Jaguars selected Harrison from the University of Alabama, the team’s third consecutive player drafted from the Southeastern Conference. With their first two selections, the Jaguars drafted DL Taven Bryan from the University of Florida with their first-round pick, followed by WR D.J. Chark Jr. from Louisiana State University in the second round.
Harrison, 6-2, 207, appeared in 44 games with 30 starts for the Crimson Tide. Harrison tallied 177 tackles (110 solo) during his three-year career, as the Tallahassee, Fla. native declared for the draft following his junior season. He recorded a career-best three INTs in 2017 and set a career high with 4.5 tackles for loss, while leading the team with 74 total tackles.
“Big size, enforcer type of guy,” said Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell on the night Harrison was drafted. “Big hitter, good on special teams. We feel like he can come in, and he is going to go into the most competitive room we have there in the defensive back room with our two veteran DBs and our two veteran corners. It should be a good fit for him in there. He’s going to have to bring his ‘A’ game every day to hang with those guys … We can interchange him [at the two safety positions]. He is probably more of a strong [safety], but he has some free [safety] capability, too. You guys noticed last year we interchanged our safeties. We weren’t just one guy down and one guy back. We feel like he can do both. He had seven career interceptions … He’s a very bright kid, really high football IQ. Really smart kid. Coaches were really impressed with how he handled the questions on the board and picked up the scheme. He had a good visit here.”
Harrison was named to Sports Illustrated’s All-America squad as a second-team selection, was recognized as a first-team All-SEC honoree by the Associated Press and earned a second-team selection by the conference’s coaches. Harrison is the fourth overall selection by the Jaguars from Alabama, joining current Jaguars OT Cam Robinson and RB T.J. Yeldon. DB Fernando Bryant was also selected from Alabama in the first round (26th overall) of the 1999 Draft.
The Jaguars now have five of their 2017 draft selections under contract: Harrison, fourth-round OL Will Richardson (North Carolina State), sixth-round QB Tanner Lee (Nebraska), seventh-round LB Leon Jacobs (Wisconsin) and seventh-round P Logan Cooke (Mississippi State).