Vincent Jackson is my favorite potential free agent pick up for the Jags on the offensive side of the ball. Ok maybe that’s a bit much, because Carl Nicks (Guard, New Orleans) is set to hit free agency too. Vincent Jackson is definitely my favorite skill player for the Jags to pick up in free agency.
Jackson has had issues in the past with the Chargers. While on the surface it looks like this is his fault and that he is unable to interact well with the front office of an organization (or in that case, the coaching staff), let’s take a peek at the situation:
- Norv Turner has failed to make the Chargers a dominant force in the NFL
- Norv Turner is continually rehired despite starting poorly and early playoff losses
- Vincent Jackson has thrived from a good quarterback in Phil Rivers
- Philip Rivers may be the most volatile quarterback in the league
Ok, I’m kind of making assumptions here, but even with a very, very aggressive and contentious quarterback and lackluster NFL coach Vicnent Jackson has thrived.
At 6’5″ tall and 241 pounds, Jackson is ideal size at wide receiver and has proven that he can be a very strong #1 in any system. Jackson battles for the ball, has superb athleticism, and consistently proves that creativity can be mixed with crisp route running in order to make plays. If the Jags want a top receiving target for Blaine Gabbert, then Vincent Jackson is their man.
Jackson has had three 1,000 yard seasons in the past four (he only played five games in 2010. Beyond putting up gaudy numbers in recent years, Jackson has also proven that he consistently gets yards after the catch and stretches plays as far as they can go. He has averaged over 17 yards per catch every season since being drafted in the second round, except 2006 and 2007.
On the whole, Vincent Jackson is the prototypical #1 receiver that Gene Smith has looked for since taking the GM position in Jacksonville. His size and abilities would greatly help a developing quarterback like Blaine Gabbert. Beyond that, Jackson has seen a quarterback develop from a rather raw prospect to a dominant player in Philip Rivers.
Look for Jacksonville to heavily pursue Vincent Jackson in free agency. And if he gets picked, you know that will free up space for Maurice Jones-Drew and force the defense to scheme toward the passing game, simply because of this special talent on the outside.
- Luke N. Sims