With the 2014 NFL Draft in our rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead and see what the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster might look like come week 1 of the regular season. With 9 draft picks and several free-agent acquisitions this offseason, the active roster in 2014 will likely look very different from what we saw in 2013.
Today we take a look at a position group that has troubled the Jacksonville Jaguars for almost a decade now – wide receiver.
The Jacksonville Jaguars thought they got their bonafide number 1 receiver in Justin Blackmon in the 2012 NFL draft. Unfortunately, Blackmon has had trouble staying on the field and he likely isn’t going to suit up for the Jaguars ever again. Luckily, small-school standout Cecil Shorts has developed into a solid player and he was the leader of the pack in 2013. Here’s how the receiver group shook out last season:
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Cecil Shorts played the majority of the snaps and most of the time he was facing the opposing teams top cornerback. He performed admirably, but he’s probably better off inside as a slot receiver. Ace Sanders was given a huge workload for a rookie and unsurprisingly he struggled early in the season. He got more comfortable the more he played, and Sanders should be an effective slot receiver in 2014. Mike Brown is the only other player in the group who really showed me enough to consider bringing him back to compete with the rookies.
After drafting Blake Bortles with the 3rd overall pick, general manager David Caldwell knew he needed to give his franchise quarterback the necessary tools to develop and succeed. He did this by selecting two wide receivers in the second round. With 2 fresh faces in the receiving corp, here’s how I see the group in 2014.
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Shorts is the veteran leader of the group, but I think the presence of Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee allows him to move back inside where he can be most effective. Robinson has a big body and the ball skills you look for in an X receiver. Lee thrived on the outside at USC, and his speed and ability to separate should make him an immediate contributor. I think Sanders is a lock to make the roster, and Hurns should squeeze into the lineup along with Mike Brown.