One of the most overlooked and dynamic players on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster is former first-round pick Marcedes Lewis. Lewis, playing at tight end, is well respected for both his receiving ability and for his blocking ability. He is an efficient pass protector and decent road grater, but those two roles have taken up a lot of his snaps. Now, with the addition of right tackle Luke Joeckel, Lewis become even more of a dual threat rather than just acting as a blocker.
A major part of Lewis’ play is his blocking. While he is good, his receiving ability is also excellent and is invaluable to the Jaguars. Yet, because the Jaguars have been so unsettled at right tackle, Lewis has had to block a lot. Of Lewis’ 849 snaps on offense in 2012, 346 of them were run blocking and 82 of them were pass blocking. For a team that runs a lot it makes sense that the run blocking numbers are high, but Lewis was held back from route running on 16% of pass plays he saw the field for.
That number should diminish with Joeckel in the mix. Joeckel, regarded as the best tackle and possibly the best prospect, in this year’s draft can alleviate the burden of pass protection that Lewis has had to shoulder in recent years. No longer are the Jaguars going to be deficient at right tackle with the likes of Cameron Bradfield and Guy Whimper.
While Lewis will likely be missed as a blocker on some downs, his presence as a receiver will be much more important, especially in year three of the Blaine Gabbert experiment. Perhaps he can equal his great 2010 when he hauled in 10 touchdowns, 700 yards, and made the Pro Bowl.
– Luke N. Sims
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