Julius Thomas is getting a lot less attention than some of the other Jacksonville Jaguars players lately. Young quarterback Blake Bortles is rightly getting most of the spotlight as he tries to overcome a weak rookie season with an excellent offseason, wide receiver Allen Robinson is dominating the coverage as he is projected to make massive progression this offseason, and even some offensive line battles seem to be gaining more attention than the team’s new star tight end.
And maybe that’s a good thing for Thomas.
Robinson is getting a lot of attention as the next big star for the Jaguars, but Thomas is already a star. He’s coming to the Jacksonville offense to help turn it around. In fact, between him and Robinson, there may finally be a 1000 yard receiver on the roster. Chris Wesseling of NFL.com expounds:
"If Blake Bortles can fix his faulty throwing mechanics, Thomas and Robinson have a chance to join Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell as the only 1,000-yard receivers in franchise history."
Having just one 1000 yard receiver would be huge for the Jaguars. Having two would be a near miracle. A very welcome miracle.
Bringing Julius Thomas to Jacksonville was widely hailed as a positive move for the franchise, even if they did overpay for the star tight end. He’s expected to be a major focus off the offense and his roles range from being the red zone target to creating mismatches for himself and other receivers. All in all, he’s going to be a bit of a renaissance man for the receiving unit.
Perhaps his role more than anyone else’s will be most important in the Jags offense seeing success. If he can create mismatches on the field it will help open up opportunities both in the passing game (for himself and other receivers) and also for the running game as the opposing defense will have to respect what he can do wherever he is lined up. In that way, Julius Thomas may prove to be the most valuable 2015 offensive player for the Jags. If he can effectively perform his duties then the Jaguars’ offense will be significantly improved in year two under Bortles.
Keep in mind that it isn’t all rainbows and pleasant thoughts, though. Whether Thomas, who has just two years of major experience under his belt, can effectively do that is still up in the air. While I firmly believe that he helped Peyton Manning more than Manning helped him, with the Denver Broncos he wasn’t the guy that opponents had to account for. He was one of many on an offense teaming with talent.
He’ll have to prove to the NFL that he can step up even without such a stellar supporting cast while with the Jaguars. Personally, I think he can do it.
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