A former Boise State offensive lineman is escaping the onslaught of winter in Minnesota and heading south.
Former Boise State left tackle Ezra Cleveland was traded to the surging Jacksonville Jaguars on Tuesday for a sixth-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The Jaguars have won five straight games and sit atop the AFC South with a 6-2 record.
The Jaguars have a need at left guard after Walker Little went down with a knee injury three weeks ago. After missing two games, Little got back on the field Sunday in Jacksonville’s win over the Steelers, but he played only on special teams.
Cleveland has a chance to step in and start right away, Jacksonville coach Doug Pederson said.
“Getting a guy like Ezra, we got a starting-type guard,” Pederson told ESPN. “(He) really, really solidifies our offensive line and makes us better.”
Cleveland, who moved to guard after the Vikings picked him in the second round of the 2020 draft, started 49 games in a little more than three seasons in Minnesota. He started 45 consecutive games before missing the past two with a foot injury.
The 25-year-old native of Spanaway, Washington, started 40 games at Boise State between 2018 and 2020 and was a two-time first-team All-Mountain West pick.
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) October 27, 2023
Khalil Shakir’s big night
Former Boise State wide receiver Khalil Shakir has suddenly become a major part of the Buffalo Bills’ offense the past two weeks.
Shakir, picked in the fifth round of the 2022 draft, had just four catches on the season heading into the Bills’ game at New England on Oct. 22. The 23-year-old hauled in a season-high four passes for 35 yards against the Patriots, and followed that with a career-high six catches for 92 yards against Tampa Bay on Oct. 26.
“It felt good to get more touches,” Shakir told buffalobills.com after the game. “I think (wide receiver Stefon) Diggs has said it before: You can spin a wheel and stop it at any time with the playmakers we have and anybody is going to make a play.”
Shakir eclipsed 50 catches and 700 receiving yards in three of his four seasons at Boise State. He was the Broncos’ leading receiver in 2020 and 2021. He led the team with 77 catches for 1,117 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior.
He ranks No. 5 all-time at Boise State with 208 career receptions. He ranks No. 4 in program history with 2,878 receiving yards, and he’s tied for No. 9 with 20 receiving touchdowns.
— Boise State Football (@BroncoSportsFB) October 29, 2023
More Broncos in the NFL
▪ The Indianapolis Colts signed former Boise State safety Tyreque Jones to the practice squad on Monday. He spent the first seven weeks of the season on the Jets’ practice squad after originally signing with the Tennessee Titans as an undrafted free agent earlier this year. Jones started 38 games for Boise State between 2018 and 2022 and finished his college career with 157 tackles and four interceptions.
▪ Quarterback Brett Rypien saw his first action of the season Sunday after Los Angeles Rams starter Matthew Stafford was injured in a 43-20 loss to the Cowboys. Rypien completed 5-of-10 passes for 42 yards. After three seasons in Denver, he signed with the Rams in May and was promoted to the active roster in September.
▪ Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. hauled in his first touchdown of the season Sunday on a 1-yard pass from Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Wilson, who signed a three-year, $22 million contract with the Dolphins last year, has caught eight passes for 117 yards this year. His deal was restructured in September, eliminating the third year and reducing his salary to $5 million this season.
▪ Running back Alexander Mattison was limited to 31 yards on 16 carries Sunday in the Vikings’ 24-10 win over the Packers. He has posted 390 yards on the ground this season but has yet to record a rushing touchdown.
BOISE STATE AT FRESNO STATE
When: 8 p.m. Mountain time Saturday
Where: Valley Children’s Stadium (40,727)
TV: CBS Sports Network (Jordan Kent, Donte Whitner, Brandon Baylor)
Radio: KBOI 670 AM/93.1 FM (Bob Behler, Pete Cavender)
Records: Boise State 4-4, 3-1 MW; Fresno State 7-1, 3-1 MW
Series: Boise State leads the series 17-8. The Broncos lost to Fresno State, 28-16, in the Mountain West championship game last year in Boise.
Vegas line: Fresno State by 3 points.
Weather: High of 77, 1% chance of rain, 5 mph wind