From the brink of being traded to now being the focal point of the passing game, Allen Hurns needs to shake off a crazy few weeks and become a number 1 WR.
The Jacksonville Jaguars made it clear what they wanted to do in 2017 when they selected Leonard Fournette at the top of the first round in this year’s draft – they wanted to run the ball down the opposing defense’s throat.
That’s all well and good but football in it’s current state requires a functional passing game and that’s something that has eluded the Jaguars for the better part of the last 18 games.
While a majority of the lack of productivity in the passing game can be attributed to Blake Bortles, some blame can passed on to the pass catchers. Both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, Bortles’ top targets in a breakout 2015 season, had a down year in 2016. Now Allen Robinson is out for the rest of the 2017 season with a torn ACL and the team suddenly looks very thin at receiver.
If the Jaguars want to have any semblance of competency through the air on offense they are going to need Hurns to step up and play like he did in his first two seasons. So far he’s shown flashes of that, albeit a majority of it in the garbage time portion of a loss to the Titans last week. Regardless, Hurns being productive is a net positive for the offense.
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Brent Sobleski over at Bleacher Report highlighted Hurns as his biggest surprise from the Jaguars so far in the 2017 season.
"What a strange trip it’s been for Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns. The undrafted free agent burst on the scene as a rookie, posted a 1,000-yard campaign in his second season, had his worst year in his third and signed a four-year, $40.7 million contract extension in June before becoming the subject of trade rumors.Despite his rollercoaster career to date, Hurns leads Jacksonville with nine receptions for 124 years. His performance is important on two levels.First, Hurns appears to be in the midst of a bounce-back campaign after he managed only 477 yards on 35 catches last season. Second, the Jaguars needed someone to fill in for Allen Robinson, who suffered a torn ACL in the season opener against the Houston Texans.Jacksonville may not feature a potent passing attack. Still, the Jags can rely on Hurns to again provide big plays."
Hurns was a pleasant surprise as an undrafted free agent and he earned the contract extension he got last offseason, but he now has to step it up another level since he’s going to see a lion’s share of the targets Robinson would have gotten.
Hurns’ last “wow” play was a herculean effort on a touchdown last year in London against the Indianapolis Colts to seal the victory, so maybe he can recreate that magic this week in his return to London.