The Jacksonville Jaguars need a resurgence on offense in 2017. Which player will break through and provide a spark for the team?
It is an important year for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017, and it’s no secret that the offensive unit needs to step up in a major way for the team to have a chance at unfamiliar success. With this emphasis on the offense to provide a boost, individual players will need to come up big for Jacksonville.
With that in mind, we take a look at a player with a big opportunity to have a break through season for the Jaguars. It is easy to say a guy like Leonard Fournette will bust on the scene for the Jaguars, but it’s an under-the-radar player who is primed to have a major impact on offense, and he too has yet to play a single snap for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tight end Mychal Rivera was a free agent acquisition that didn’t garner much attention when he was signed in March. Lost in the excitement surrounding the additions of A.J. Bouye and Calais Campbell, the Rivera signing wasn’t much more than a afterthought. But despite the lack of hype, Mychal Rivera possesses a skill set that will prove to be a valuable commodity for Jacksonville, and look for him to be a factor in the success of the Jaguars offense.
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Rivera’s stats dipped in last two seasons with the Raiders due to a minimized role, but in his first two years in Oakland, Rivera raked in a combined 96 receptions for 941 yards and eight touchdowns. With an aging Marcedes Lewis, Rivera will have a much more featured role for the Jaguars.
Rivera has exceptional athleticism and range, which allows him to be an effective weapon over the middle of the field. With much of the attention sure to be on receivers like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, Rivera will exploit defenses by challenging the defense up the seam while also finding the open spots on the field.
In addition to keeping defenses on their toes, another attribute for Rivera is being a dependable and consistent target for Blake Bortles, who is in a season in which he has to play at his absolute best. Bortles needs a safety blanket to rely on to stay poised behind center and keep drives alive, and Rivera could very well play that role.
Mychal Rivera wasn’t viewed as a big splash addition when he was signed in free agency. But in a season with offensive production desperately needed, Rivera has the skills to surprise everyone and be a key factor for the Jacksonville Jaguars.