Allen Hurns burst onto the scene in 2014, going from an underrated and undrafted rookie to the leading receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
2014 was a big year for Allen Hurns and if he wants to top it, then he’ll have to get better.
For my money, Hurns is the most exciting wide receiver on the Jags roster. I love Allen Robinson and think he’ll be the top wide receiver for the team going forward, but there’s something about the way Hurns plays the position that adds a level of excitement to each play. Whether it’s boggling far too many catches, outmuscling a defender, or launching himself in the air to get a high ball, Hurns provided more exciting moments than anybody else in 2014.
That said, Hurns has a lot to work on. He was a rookie last season and he was far from consistent. Some games he would blow up and then disappear for the rest of the game. In other games he would be seemingly nonexistent. His 677 yards and six touchdowns led the team, but he could have had so many more if he could keep his hands on the ball and be a consistent threat.
With that in mind, we have four questions for Allen Hurns heading into 2015.
May 16, 2014; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns (88) catches a pass during rookie minicamp at Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. Mandatory Credit: Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
1) Can Allen Hurns be consistent?
We’ve already touched on this a bit above, but it’s worth hammering on for Hurns. While he can certainly be a big play threat, he is far from consistent.
Tied with departed veteran receiver Cecil Shorts for the team lead in dropped passes with seven, Hurns needs to keep his hands on the ball and complete the catch. Sometimes it seemed like he was focusing too much on getting his legs going before he secured the catch and came down with it. One particular bungle saw him bobbling the ball while running forward for a few yards on a massive gain before ultimately dropping the ball.
We can’t keep that happening.
In only four games last season did Hurns catch above 50% of passes targeted toward him. While not all balls are catchable, that number needs to climb up if Hurns can wants to be a consistent threat for the passing attack. In three other games he caught exactly 50% of his targets, but we’d still like to see that number climb in 2015.
His scoring was also inconsistent. While his six touchdowns did lead the team, four of those scores game in two games. Week 1 and Week 9 both saw Hurns go for two touchdowns and over 100 yards (also his only 100 yard games). Between those two games he had just one other touchdown (a 63 yard bomb in a blowout against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3. It was his only catch that game).
With just four scoring games out of 16 played, Hurns could certainly improve. His opportunities to score may increase with an improved Jaguars offense in 2015. While Julius Thomas figures to be a prime target along with Allen Robinson, there should be a lot less pressure on Hurns and he may be able to slip open for some more scores on a more regular basis.
Next: Can Allen Hurns put up big plays?