Could the Jaguars have two 1,000 yard receivers in 2015?


Former senior writer Vic Ketchman used to say wide recievers were “a dime a dozen.” The Jacksonville Jaguars certainly tested that theory in the mid-2000’s after the departure of franchise great Jimmy Smith.

From 2004-2007, the Jaguars spent 6 draft selections on wide receivers, including two first round picks (Reggie Williams and Matt Jones in back-to-back seasons). The most productive player from those drafts was probably 2007 third round pick Mike Sims-Walker out of UCF. “Productive” is a generous term, as Sims-Walker’s best season in 2009 capped out at 869 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Sadly, the Jaguars haven’t had a 1,000 yard receiver since Jimmy Smith in 2005. Heading into 2015, the Jaguars finally have a crop of pass catchers that could break that arbitrary barrier. In fact, they might be able to get two receivers past that threshold.

There are realistically 2 candidates to reach this goal: Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Tight end Julius Thomas was also a realistic candidate, but his hand surgery will keep him out enough to make it fairly difficult to amass that many yards.

As rookies, Hurns and Robinson both played like 1,000 yard receivers. While the yardage totals made it seem like they have a long way to go to become 1,000 yard guys (Robinson with 548 yards and Hurns with 677 yards), those are actually fairly impressive considering the struggles Blake Bortles had as a rookie. Behind the worst pass-protecting unit the entire NFL, Bortles only managed to throw for 2,908 yards in 13 and a half games.

If you factor in a substantial improvement in Bortles’ play in 2015 (not a farfetched idea given his play in the preseason), the chances of seeing a 1,000 yard receiver in a Jags uniform seems likely, right?

Receivers coach Jerry Sullivan thinks so… sort of?

"It’s not beyond the realm of happening.– Jaguars’ wide receiver coach Jerry Sullivan"

That’s not a very strong endorsement, but I think it’s a possibility this year. The main reason it might not happen isn’t on the receivers, but it’s actually on Blake Bortles. Looking back at his play in the preseason, it appears Bortles is intent on spreading the ball around and getting a lot of receivers involved. In the third preseason game, Bortles completed passes to 8 different receivers and targeted 10 different guys. Part of that is a product of rotating players in and out during the preseason, but Bortles showed the same willingness to spread the love in his rookie year.

Ultimately, 1,000 yards is a random threshold that shouldn’t matter too much, but it carries weight. The Jaguars finally have a couple of guys who could finally get into that discussion.

Next: Bortles a preseason superstar

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