The Jacksonville Jaguars have officially signed one of their top picks of the 2021 NFL Draft, with the team announcing third-round safety Andre Cisco as the franchise's newest rookie signing.
Cisco, who was the Jaguars selected out of Syracuse with the No. 65 overall pick in this year's draft, is the fifth Jaguars rookie to sign his contract, following Jay Tufele, Jordan Smith, Luke Farrell, and Jalen Camp. Cisco is the highest-selected prospect in the nine-player class to sign thus far.
Cisco is the second-highest selected defender in the Jaguars' class, following only cornerback Tyson Campbell (No. 33 overall). While Cisco suffered a season-ending ACL injury in September 2020, he still finished his Syracuse career as a two-time All-Conference defender.
"Andre Cisco is one of my favorite players on the board. He had a tough knee injury, the good thing is a very clean injury, an ACL and that was it. There’s already videotape of him training and going," Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said immediately following the draft.
"He should be ready and cleared to go. You watch him when he’s healthy and it’s hard to say he’s not the best safety in the draft. Trevon from TCU, excellent player as well, but this guy from day one we thought he was as good as there is."
Cisco played 24 games for Syracuse, recording 136 tackles, 29 passes defended, 13 interceptions, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. A three-year starter, Cisco was one of the nation's top ballhawks in college. His 12 interceptions from 2018-19 were the most by any player in college football during the span.
Cisco said following the draft that he was at "85 percent" during his recovery process, with the expectation being for him to be available to the team at training camp.
"Yeah, I would assume that I’ll be ready for training camp. Unless I have a setback between now and then, but we haven't had any setbacks this far and I’m doing really well on my timeline," Cisco said on April 30. "So, I'm really happy where I'm at and I think training camp is a good time to say that I'll be ready for.”
Cisco has the best playmaking background of any safety on the Jaguars' roster, and Meyer himself gushed about his skills when the Jaguars selected him. It seems like it is just a matter of time until he becomes an important piece to the Jaguars' defensive plan, whether in 2021 or for the years to come.
“Well, I tell you what, he’s a guy we just all fell in love with. Before that injury, he’s — I had Malik Hooker at Ohio State — and he’s the best overlap player I thought in the draft. We used to call Reggie Nelson the eraser, he makes a lot of things right," Meyer said after the Jaguars drafted Cisco.
"Best ball skills we felt in the back end of the draft. We had a couple incredible Zoom calls with him. Great background, great character and if he wasn’t injured, I think that was a value pick. We’re real pleased with that.”