The Jacksonville Jaguars signed three unrestricted free agents in offensive guard Zane Beadles, running back Toby Gerhart and linebacker Dakota Watson, the club announced today. Both Beadles (Denver) and Gerhart (Minnesota) were second-round draft picks in 2010 while Watson (Tampa Bay) was a seventh-round pick and all three players spent the last four seasons with those respective teams.
Beadles, 6-4, 305, spent the past four seasons with the Denver Broncos after being selected in the second round of the 2010 draft. He has played in 64 consecutive games to begin his career including 62 starts (54 at left guard, 8 at right tackle). His 62 starts are the second-most starts among offensive linemen who entered the NFL in 2010 (64, Anthony Davis, San Francisco).
Beadles started all 16 games for the third straight season in 2013 and was part of an offensive unit that allowed the fewest sacks (20) in the NFL, as well as the most games without allowing a sack (6). He started all three postseason games for the Broncos. According to STATS Inc., he allowed only 1.5 sacks in 16 regular season games. In 2012, he earned his first Pro Bowl selection after allowing just one sack and finishing the season as the only Broncos player to participate in every offensive or defensive snap. He was one of four starting guards to not allow a sack through the first 13 weeks of the season.
As a rookie in 2010, Beadles started 14 of 16 games with six starts at right tackle and the final eight games at left guard. He became the first NFL rookie since Andre Gurode (Dallas, 2002) to start at least six games at two of the three positions along the offensive line (center, guard, tackle) and one of six NFL rookie offensive linemen to start at least 14 games in 2010. His play earned him a spot on The Sporting News’ All-Rookie Team.
A native of Casper, Wyoming, Beadles started 50 of 51 games at Utah where he was a first-team All-Mountain West Conference selection his final two seasons. He finished his career with 313 career knockdown/key blocks to go along with 45 touchdown blocks. He started 38 games at left tackle and made 12 starts at left guard during his collegiate career.
Beadles was a three-year starter at Hillcrest High School in Utah where he did not miss a game in his career. He was a starter along the offensive and defensive line. He earned a postgraduate scholarship from the NCAA for his performance in the classroom and graduated from Utah with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
Gerhart, 6-0, 231, was the 51st overall selection by Minnesota in 2010 and played in 61 games with six starts for the club over the past four seasons. He has 276 career rushes for 1,305 yards (4.7 avg.) and five touchdowns along with 77 receptions for 600 yards and three scores.
In 2013, Gerhart played in 14 games and totaled 283 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries (7.9 avg.) while adding 13 catches for 88 yards. He also returned seven kickoffs for 106 yards. He registered a season-high 91 yards on eight carries (11.4 avg.) on Nov. 24 at Green Bay and posted 89 yards on 15 rushes on Dec. 8 at Baltimore.
The Norco, California native played in all 16 games in 2012 and finished with 169 rushing yards on 50 carries. He started a career-high five games in 2011 and produced a career-high 531 rushing yards on 109 carries along with 23 receptions for 190 yards with three touchdowns. He registered his only career 100-yard rushing game on Dec. 24, 2011 at Washington with 109 yards on 11 carries (9.9 avg.).
Gerhart finished his collegiate career ranked second in Stanford history with 3,522 rushing yards and rushed for a school-record 44 touchdowns. He was the runner-up for the 2009 Heisman Trophy. He holds the top two single-season rushing marks in school history and became only the second running back in school history to rush for 1,000-plus yards in consecutive seasons. He registered 19 career 100-yard rushing games including three contests with 200 or more yards on the ground.
Gerhart attended Norco High School in California where he set the state high school career rushing record with 9,662 yards. As a senior, he was a consensus All-America selection and named the Gatorade High School Player of the Year for California. He also lettered in basketball and baseball, and he turned down a professional baseball contract in 2009 to continue playing football. He has triplet sisters who all played college softball, two at Stanford and one at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo.
Watson, 6-2, 240, spent the past four seasons with Tampa Bay where he played in 60 games and made six starts. His career totals include 76 tackles (56 solo), three sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one interception. He has excelled on special teams with 35 career tackles and three blocked punts. His three blocked punts the last two seasons (2012-13) are the most in the NFL.
The former Florida State linebacker played in 15 games in 2013 and registered career highs in tackles (37), sacks (2.0) and interceptions (one). He had five special teams tackles, one fumble recovery and one blocked punt on special teams. Watson picked off Drew Brees of New Orleans on Sept. 15 for his first career interception. He led the Buccaneers in 2012 with seven special teams tackles, two special teams fumble recoveries and two blocked punts. He became one of only three players since 2007 to block more than one punt in a single season (Bryan Braman, Houston, 2012; Charles Tillman, Chicago, 2007). Watson tallied a career-high 19 special teams tackles as a rookie in 2010.
Watson started 32 of 37 games during his four-year career at Florida State. He finished his career with 184 tackles along with 11.5 sacks, 32.5 tackles for loss, 10 passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions. He also blocked three kicks including two punts that he recovered. He attended South Aiken High School in South Carolina where he played defensive end and totaled 225 career tackles, 61 tackles for loss and 29 sacks his last two seasons.
SOURCE: Jaguars Media