With the Jacksonville Jaguars letting Bryan Walters leave, which wide receiver will step up as a sure-handed target in key situations?
The Jacksonville Jaguars were twenty-ninth in the league on third down last year. Attempting 221 and converting just 78 third downs is an abysmal record. Improving on third down should be a point of emphasis this offseason.
Unfortunately the Jags have a hole to fill with the departure of Bryan Walters. Waters was quietly one of the better slot recovers in the NFL. His ability to convert third downs was an asset for an offense that lacked consistency at times. With Walters’ departure which recover will set up in his place?
The first receiver who could step up on third down is Allen Robinson. He will be looking to bounce back from a down 2016 season. Robinson needs to be a candidate to take over this role because of his athletic ability. Sure he had drops last season but that shouldn’t carry over into this season. Robinson will be looking to improve and showcase his talent as the Jags’ number one receiver this season. Part of that title is an ability to convert when given the opportunity.
A second possibility to improve on third down. Allen Hurns’ skills and talent have been on display since he joined the Jags as an Undrafted free agent in 2014. Injuries hampered Hurns in 2016, but make no mistake, his ability to run routes and his hands give him a chance to help take over when the Jags pass on third down.
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A third option is the rookie fourth-round pick from Oklahoma. Barring any setbacks through training camp, Westbrook has a real possibility to come in as a rookie and make an impact. Unfortunately, Injuries have limited his participation though OTAs and minicamp. However, Westbrook’s speed and ability is documented as college’s best receiver, winning the Biletnikoff Award in 2016. This season Westbrook has an opportunity to showcase his talent and gives him the chance to replace Walters in the slot and third down.
Finally, each of these receivers have an opportunity to showcase their talent this season. Allen Robinson’s strength and athleticism gives him a chance to improve. Allen Hurns’ route running and hands will help him bounce back from injury. And Dede Westbrook will use his speed to create separation. Overall each of these players has a chance to replace Walters and take over when the Jags decide to pass on third down.