The wide receiver position was the biggest hole going into last season, so it’s no wonder why it received the spot light this offseason and preseason. Laurent Robinson was signed this offseason, a free agent coming off career highs from the Dallas Cowboys; and Justin Blackmon was drafted fifth overall, as the only two time Fred Biletnikoff award winner for best receiver in College football. Now while these two are locks for receiver going into this season, the rest of of the roster all had something to prove going into the regular season.
Mike Thomas Thomas has the best chance of seeing the most snaps this regular season. While he had a significant drop off from his extension last season, it feels like theres a different Mike Thomas on the field this year, the Thomas the team needed last year. He leads the team in receptions as well as yards, which is a good sign that he can provide Gabbert a good target to get first downs and a few burns this season. While the Jaguars plan on moving around the receivers to provide mismatches, it’s very likely that Thomas will line up in the slot where his size and speed can be used more effectively.
Brian Robiskie Robiskie is a player who has proven some worth this preseason as well catching twelve balls for 137 yards and a touchdown. However, some of those grabs have been against the reserves. It should not be overlooked completely since the preseason is to get a look at who can be productive. His best play came on a tough grab on a slant route, which ended up with a two yard touchdown. I feel like Robiskie will make the team, but as far as time on the field, he may end up as the fourth or fifth receiver on the depth chart.
Cecil Shorts III Shorts seems a bit of a disappointment even if he is a fourth round pick. His mental errors of causing fumbles in preseason games, two this year and one last year, worries me if he gets more playing time. Shorts is currently living off the name Pierre Garcon who attended the same college,Mount Union. He did break Garcons records, but his play has yet to translate on the professional field. While I consider him a project player, this may be his last year to prove his worth or get the boot like numerous receivers before him who never panned out. Consider him fifth on the depth chart who make take Robiskie’s spot at fourth if he can live up anywhere near his hype and stay fumble free, especially if he sees time as a returner.
Kevin Elliot The last receiver who should make the opening day roster is Kevin Elliott. The Jaguars should go with six receivers this season considering the woes of seasons past, they need all the help they can get. Elliot is 6’3” and 215 pounds, whats not to like there. As far as production, he has made good use of running with the reserves, acquiring two touchdowns on three receptions for 96 yards. The last reception was against Atlanta which went for 77 yards. With his size and stat line he should latch onto the last slot, but will have to prove he is worth that spot this season because living off the bubble is not worth making a career out of.
Mike Brown The only words I heard of of camp was the comparison of Brown to Wes Welker, by receivers coach Jerry Sullivan. While this is encouraging buzz, this buzz was has also been generated to receivers like Julian Edelman of the Patriots. I understand creating buzz for players who impress you, but comparing one under sized quick receiver to another isn’t always the greatest, especially when they turn that receiver into a defensive back. I would rather have the first Mike Brown then the next Wes Welker, but it looks like Brown won’t make the cut after impressing Sullivan this offseason. With a good word he could be a surprise opening day player, but I think he’s better suited as a practice squad player to build his game up.
Demetrius Williams um….cut?
– Antonio Furgiuele