Jun 11, 2013; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Ryan Otten (88) runs drills during a minicamp at the Florida Blue Health

Marcedes Lewis and A Second Tight End


Much has made this offseason about the impact adding Luke Joeckel will have on veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis and with good reason. The case could be made that Lewis has been used essentially as a second right tackle over the past few years due to the horrific play of Guy Whimper, Cameron Bradfield, and Eben Britton.

Dec 9, 2012; Jacksonville FL, USA; New York Jets safety Yeremiah Bell (37) trips up Jacksonville Jaguars player Guy Whimper (68) on a short pass in the first quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Ironically enough, Whimper was a better tight end than right tackle.

Unfortunately, the Jaguars have also lacked a true “move” or “Joker” tight end to complement Lewis. While Lewis is one of the more balanced tight ends in the league – a dominant blocker who has the size to exploit matchups – the Jaguars have been looking for an athletic, hybrid tight-end/receiver. Whether it’s converting Ernest Wilford from receiver or drafting former quarterback Zach Miller, Gene Smith was never able to find a tight end who could spell Lewis or pair with him in two-tight end sets.

Over the past three years, these are the main tight ends Lewis has had alongside him.

Snaps

Receptions

Yards

2012

Isiah Stanback

10

1

6

Zach Potter

199

2

6

Marcedes Lewis

849

52

540

2011

Zach Potter

337

5

50

Zach Miller

57

4

42

Colin Cloherty

64

4

57

Marcedes Lewis

810

39

460

2010

Zach Potter

158

3

24

Ernest Wilford

22

1

3

Zach Miller

299

24

216

Marcedes Lewis

928

58

700

The only year Lewis had some help was in 2010, coincidentally his best year, when Zach Miller was actually healthy. Besides Miller, Lewis has primarily been paired with another blocking tight end (Zach Potter) and a collection of castoffs and back-end roster fillers. Zach Miller showed promise, even prompting one infamous Jaguars.com writer to compare him to Dallas Clark, but Miller just couldn’t stay healthy.

This year Lewis could find himself with a legitimate receiving threat available in multiple tight end sets. Ryan Otten had 99 receptions and 1481 yards in his last two college seasons at San Jose State. He was one of the top “Joker” prospects in the 2013 draft but went undrafted. The Jaguars might have found a gem and one of their more impactful additions in rookie free agency.

- Daniel Lago

Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89

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Tags: Jacksonville Jaguars Marcedes Lewis Ryan Otten