When was the last time a Jaguar receiver had a 1,000 yard season? Really think about it. Last year, Marcedes Lewis led the team in receiving yards with 460. Not exactly the numbers of Rob Gronkowski, yet there he was at the top of the Jaguars anemic offense.
Whether you remember it or not (answer at the bottom), Cecil Shorts III may be the Jaguars best chance to get there in a while. Through nine games, Shorts has 561 yards receiving. His 62 yard per game average puts him on pace to reach 992 yards for the total 2012 season. Assuming he stays healthy and has a couple bigger games than just 62 yards it is well within the realm of possibility that the Jaguars field a 1,000 yard receiver.
While there have been a lot of failed small-school prospects on this roster, Shorts is looking to shape up as a legitimate NFL receiver (a league leader, perhaps?) and this is his breakout season. As Blackmon continues to fade and Laurent Robinson opens up more opportunities with his more aggressive play (he’s outplaying Blackmon in my opinion), look for Shorts to get even more targets as the second half of the season continues.
While Chad Henne continues to focus on Robinson and other targets when he gets into games, Shorts and Gabbert have had some real chemistry developing. Assuming Gabbert sticks out the season this could be a big deal for the Jaguars. Do you think he’ll do it?
To answer the earlier question, the last Jaguar receiver to have 1,000 yard season was Jimmy Smith in 2005. Since his retirement following that season the Jaguars have had Matt Jones, Reggie Williams, Mike Sims-Walker, and Mike Thomas all get close but none have actually passed 1,000.
– Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims