With free agency on the horizon, it is as good a time as any to take an in-depth look at the performance of each position group on the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2013. As a standard metric to start the conversation, Pro Football Focus grades were used to get an initial look at how each player fared in the 2013 regular season. Specific information about how Pro Football Focus comes up with their grades is available in their FAQ.
Today we take a look at one of the more promising position groups on the roster in wide receiver. We knew that Justin Blackmon would be limited going into the season thanks to a 4-game suspension, but we had no idea that he would make another mistake and be unavailable for the entire second half of the season. The onus fell on Cecil Shorts III, one of the few players left from the Gene Smith dark ages, to pick up the pieces and lead a group of young players.
|Snaps||Rec.||Yards||Yards/Rec||TD||Drops||Pass Grade||Overall Grade||Ranking|
|Cecil Shorts||778||66||777||11.8||3||10||1||3.2||57 (out of 216)|
|Ace Sanders||616||51||484||9.5||1||4||-2||-2.5||182 (out of 216)|
|Mike Brown||589||32||446||13.9||2||4||-7.6||-7.6||209 (out of 216)|
|Kerry Taylor||293||22||229||10.4||1||2||-1.8||-1.9||173 (out of 216)|
|Justin Blackmon||253||29||415||14.3||1||2||1||0.7||89 (out of 216)|
|Stephen Burton||138||8||76||9.5||0||1||-2.2||-3.1||189 (out of 216)|
|Jeremy Ebert||51||3||18||6||0||0||-1.7||-1.1||154 (out of 216)|
Shorts had an admirable season and did a good job of transitioning from a big play receiver to more of a possession/hybrid role. He was by far the most targeted player on offense and put up respectable numbers despite less than stellar quarterback play. He’ll continue to play a big part in the offense in 2014 and should be a useful resource for whatever young quarterback is behind center.
Ace Sanders took a while to get into a groove his rookie year, but he became an integral part of the offense. Sanders was a threat in the slot and on the outside in the screen game, and he even managed to throw a touchdown pass. His role should expand next year as he builds on his rookie campaign. Mike Brown had a similar experience with his first time getting substantial snaps, and he showed the ability to make plays in the open field. Kerry Taylor had his moments towards the end of the season and should get a chance to make the roster.
Justin Blackmon is the elephant in the room as far as the receiver position, but the team must plan for 2014 without any expectations for him. He clearly has talent and would an asset on offense – as evidenced by his terrific production in a short span – but he can’t be counted on right now. Any production out of Blackmon in 2014 should looked at as a pleasant surprise, not a foregone conclusion. That means the receiver position is still something to address this offseason.
2014 Position Grade, Wide Receiver – B-
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