Cecil Shorts III may be the best receiver the Jags have had in a long time. I don’t want to jinx it and turn this into a Mike Sims-Walker situation, but right now I’m loving what Shorts brings to the Jaguars. He has the ability to slip behind defenses and has a knack for making tough catches. He missed a big one against the Packers on a great throw by Gabbert, but the catch was incredibly difficult.
Shorts has only caught 20 of the 41 targets he has received this year but has been making the most of his recent opportunities. For a guy that only had two receptions in ten games last year he’s been having himself quite the season. If I had had to guess if a Jaguars receiver would make it into the top five receivers by yards per reception, I never would have guessed it would be Shorts. Heck, I never would have guessed the Jags would have a player at number three!
Justin Blackmon gets the attention due to his high draft status, but the Jags’ 2011 fourth round selection is taking advantage of his opportunities much better than Blackmon.
Not only is Shorts becoming good when compared to the Jaguars, he is becoming good in comparison to the rest of the league. In Shorts the Jaguars gain a player that defenses are learning they must respect. If Shorts’ big play continues it will result in attention being drawn away from Maurice Jones-Drew and other receivers. That alone could be huge for the Jaguars.
Shorts currently leads the team in receptions (20), yards (400), and touchdowns (3). He has gained 195 yards off 12 receptions in the past two games, his first two starts of his career. His seven 20+ yards catches are huge for a team that struggled to move the ball at all last season and before Shorts was inserted into the starting lineup.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims