Jaguars Draft History: Biletnikoff Award Winners Welcome


The 2015 Jacksonville Jaguars draft may bring in another wide receiver for young quarterback Blake Bortles, continuing the offseason emphasis on ensuring he has weapons to be successful.

While the majority of 2015 NFL mock drafts have the Jaguars taking a pass rusher (also a need for the team), we can’t help wondering if the Jaguars may spend one of their top picks on a dominant wide receiver, like Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper. Right now it is nothing but fun speculation, especially since GM Dave Caldwell continues to keep his thoughts to himself.

If the Jaguars were to draft Cooper, though, don’t be shocked.

Amari Cooper, like two wide receivers on the Jaguars’ roster, is a winner of the Fred Biletnikoff Award. The Biletnikoff Award is given to the best collegiate receiver since 1994. Some impressive names like Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Crabtree (twice), and Golden Tate have won the award. Of the four players to win the award in the last five years, Marqise Lee (second round 2014) and Justin Blackmon (first round 2012) are on the team. Adding Cooper would give them three of the last four with just Brandin Cooks as the lone exception. While Lee was slow to start last season, he certainly flashed some potential. Blackmon, who won the award two years in a row, showed absolute dominance in some games but has been a non-factor because of an indefinite suspension due to off field problems.

Bringing in the best collegiate producers usually yields positive results. While players like Braylon Edwards and Mike Hass have won the award before, the majority of players who are the best in college at least one year are going to be productive receivers at the NFL level.

So while skipping a pass rusher may not seem like the wisest move for the Jaguars, it is a deep draft at that position and bringing in a possible dominant player on the offensive side of the ball may be a fair trade. The theme so far this offseason seems to be filling holes and while there is already a strong, young corps of receivers on the roster, Cooper would be the perfect cherry on top.

Awards, ultimately, are not a perfect indication of success. There are Justin Blackmon-type players, there are Braylon Edwards-type players, but getting a player like Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, or Larry Fitzgerald is incredibly tough to pass up. This year’s Jaguars draft may be defined by what the team does with the third overall pick. Picking someone like Amari Cooper may be the surest bet.

Next: Besides, 2015 is all about helping Blake Bortles

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