What’s Next: Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receivers Stand Out
By Luke Sims
Dec 23, 2012; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon (14) warms up before the start of the game against the New England Patriots at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
A comment on Facebook actually made me think about how the Jags stack up at receiver these days. During all of this talk about whether Percy Harvin fits with this team or that, it’s nice to think about what the Jaguars have on their roster at the position. And it’s looking good.
Harvin may be an athletic upgrade, but right now the Jags have three receivers that I think work well together.
- Blackmon finally emerged as a playmaker in with 236 yards in a tough loss against the Houston Texans. Week 11 and beyond he averaged 16.1 yards per reception and a decent 5.4 receptions per game. He was finally starting to put it together was learning how to use his bigger body to out-position and beat the corners covering him. Blackmon has become the physical talent on the outside the Jags had hoped he would be. With some work on his hands he will only become even more dangerous.
Cecil Shorts III
- Shorts had a big breakout sophomore campaign with two different quarterbacks and after being forced into starting action following Laurent Robinson’s concussions. While some big moments, like the 80 yard catch and run to beat the Colts, came as the third receiver since taking over starting duties in week seven Shorts averaged 86 yards per game, 5.2 receptions per game, and 16.4 yards per reception. Paired with Blackmon, Shorts was a game changing wide receiver during the season. He was among the best in the league with 17.8 yards per reception on the season.
- The Jaguars were fortunate to pick up Shipley in week 12. He instantly turned into the most reliable Jaguar receiver dropping just 8% of catchable balls and put up a respectable 10.6 yards per reception. He worked his way into the starting lineup following Shorts’ concussions and finished the season starting opposite Blackmon in weeks 16 and 17. In those final two games he caught 12 balls for 133 yards and one touchdown. For a guy who was on the street before the Jags picked him up, that’s pretty good. Shipley’s skill-set as a possession receiver provides good balance with the Jags.
The Jaguars need the big play ability of Shorts, the muscle of Blackmon, and the reliability of Shipley as they move forward. All three receivers are young with one, two, and three years of experience, respectively. They offer the ability for the Jaguars to grow with them as they stand out among the receiving corps of the NFL.
– Luke N. Sims
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