The offseason is the time for optimism and the Jacksonville Jaguars have plenty of that to go around after a putting together a terrific haul in free agency and a solid draft by most accounts.
Still, the success of the Jaguars in 2015 lies on the shoulders of one man – Blake Bortles. Luckily, he has a lot more help around him than he did as a rookie, and he also has his favorite target returning from injury in 2nd year receiver Allen Robinson. Before a foot injury sidelined him for the remainder of his rookie year, Robinson developed a strong rapport with Bortles and he emerged as one of the most promising young wideouts from a stacked receiving class.
The Bortles-Robinson connection is one that’s gotten a lot of play in Jacksonville, but it’s started to leak out into the national spectrum. Bucky Brooks over at NFL.com recently listed Bortles and Robinson in his piece about the top 10 rising pitch-and-catch combos:
"Jacksonville Jaguars: Blake Bortles to Allen RobinsonThe Jaguars have their franchise quarterback in place, but they are waiting on one of their young pass catchers to emerge as a legitimate WR1. Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns are certainly viable candidates for the role, but Robinson’s game is ideally suited for the top spot in the pass game. The second-year pro is a fine route runner with outstanding hands and ball skills. Robinson excels at doing the dirty work between the hashes, yet is also effective sneaking down the boundary on vertical routes. Although injuries limited Robinson’s role as a rookie, the fact that he made a solid impact early in the season (48 receptions for 548 yards with two scores in 10 games) suggests he is ready to make his mark as the Jaguars’ WR1."
The player who has more to prove in this combo is Bortles, as Robinson is already flashing big time ability in the OTAs. Bortles has done plenty of work this offseason to hone his mechanics, and his ascension into even average quarterback play could mean monster numbers for Robinson.
There’s plenty to get excited about on the offensive side of the ball (Julius Thomas anyone?), but the budding connection between Bortles and Robinson might be the most important aspect moving forward.
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