Allen Robinson is the best, most reliable, and favorite target of rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. Losing Allen Robinson for the season hurts and it hurts a lot.
Just the other day I wrote this about Robinson:
"Allen Robinson has quickly become Mr. Dependable for Blake Bortles. Robinson has hauled in the most passes on the team and he continues to make plays week in and week out. The rookie receiver has just one drop on the season and has a knack for coming down with the ball in tough situations. He’s middle of the road in yards per catch (11.4), average yards after the catch (3.2), and TDs with just two. That said, he’s 12th in the league in receptions and 14th in targets, earning look after look from Bortles for his dependable hands. His hands aren’t the only draw, though. Robinson has three games with a reception of 30 yards or more, including a long of 53. He plays clean (zero penalties) and he has no fumbles heading into the bye week."
It’s hard to find things not to highlight in Robinson’s game. He’s every bit the player the Jaguars hoped he would be. He’s every bit the player we all hoped he would be coming out of college this year.
For the Jaguars and Robinson, everything was looking up.
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Yet they’ll have to make do without him.
That will be difficult. He is far and away better than the other rookies at the position (Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee) and he’s more reliable and productive than veterans Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders.
To make up for Robinson’s missing productivity, another rookie will likely have to step up. Daniel Lago’s money is on Marqise Lee, but Lee has been underwhelming so far. he has proven to be more reliable than Shorts and Hurns by hauling in 59% of passes thrown his way. He also doesn’t have the drop issue that Hurns has. It’s just that Lee hasn’t quite lived up to his second round billing like Robinson has. Lee has quiety put together 141 yards with a per catch average of 10.8. We just haven’t seen enough from him (13 catches) to prove that he can quickly step up and be the go-to target for Bortles.
Which is exactly the problem that Robinson’s injury poses: The Jaguars won’t have a go-to target for Bortles to toss the ball to anymore.
Yes, Lee will be likely get a lot of Robinson’s reps and he will likely see his numbers increase as a result. He just isn’t that go-to receiver. Or at least he hasn’t shown it up to this point in the season.
We likely won’t see another receiver step into that role until/if tight end Marcedes Lewis comes off of injured reserve.
In the meantime, it’s a waiting game. Maybe Lee will pan out and the Jaguars will have two great, reliable targets to start next year. Maybe he won’t. But for now, during the bye week, we can only speculate and wait to see.