Jaguars Have Two Top 40 Tight Ends According to Matt Miller
By Daniel Lago
As we’ve periodically reviewed some of the offseason posts by other writers around the internet, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that most national analysts don’t have a high opinion of the Jacksonville roster. Matt Miller over at Bleacher Report has already given his opinion on Jacksonville’s quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers, and now he’s taking a look at the tight ends around the league.
In Miller’s rankings of the top 60 tight ends, the Jaguars made two appearances – but not the two tight ends you are thinking of:
"40. Clay Harbor, Jacksonville JaguarsA versatile threat coming out of the backfield, the slot or lined up in-line, Clay Harbor can be a productive, consistent receiver. In his first extended action of his pro career, Harbor notched career highs in catches (26) while emerging as a good third-down target…Harbor is a good role player, and his versatility is a plus, but there’s a reason the Jaguars opened up the bank for Julius Thomas to be their starting tight end.Overall – 78/1005. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville JaguarsA nightmare to cover in the end zone, Julius Thomas does a great job maximizing opportunities. His 60 targets in 2014 are the fewest of any tight end ranked in our top 10, but Thomas converted those chances into 12 touchdowns and 43 catches…The Jacksonville Jaguars gave Thomas big money, and he’s worth it as a true blue-chip player at tight end. He’s capable of dictating what the defense does and is a legitimate star at only 26 years old."
"Overall – 89/100"
Miller bases his rankings purely on 2014 performance, so it’s not completely outrageous to see Marcedes Lewis omitted, but it’s hard to make the argument that he’s not a top 60 tight end ahead of guys like Crockett Gillmore and Ben Watson.
Regardless, it’s nice to see the Jaguars have a nice arsenal of tight ends at their disposal heading into 2015. Clay Harbor is basically another wide receiver when he’s on the field, and he showed plenty of versatility last season in limited snaps. Lewis is by far the best blocking tight end on the team, and he’s still one of the best blockers at the position in the NFL.
Then there’s Julius Thomas – a top 5 tight end in the NFL. It’s lazy to dismiss his acquisition because of the Jaguars’ lack of success recently, as he’ll undoubtedly make a huge impact on the offense. Blake Bortles has had no reliable, experienced targets so far in his NFL career, and Thomas’ presence should help in numerous aspects.
With the Jaguars potentially employing some 3 tight end sets in 2015, it wouldn’t be surprising to see 3 players on this list next year.
Next: Miller Ranks Wide Receivers
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