DJ Chark Is The Right Fit For The Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiving Unit
After watching rookie DJ Chark the first week of Jaguars OTAs, I have come to the realization the former LSU star and the second-round draft pick could become a huge factor in the team’s passing game this season.
I have also grown intrigued by a story on Bleacher Report claiming the Jaguars did not need Chark and therefore he was drafted by the wrong team. Now I realize everyone is entitled to an opinion and there may be some credence to the fact Jacksonville had other needs to fill than grab a wide receiver with the 61st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. But, if you look at the makeup of this team, Chark was the right pick at the right time.
“The Jacksonville Jaguars have overcompensated for wideout Allen Robinson‘s departure to the Chicago Bears. The front office re-signed Marqise Lee, inked Donte Moncrief to a one-year deal and drafted D.J. Chark Jr. in the second round,” Moton writes.
The story by Moton picks out random rookies who should have been drafted by other teams to fit a need. Moton makes the argument another pick on this list, Mike Hughes, a cornerback taken by the Minnesota Vikings, should have been part of the Jaguars’ OTAs this week, filling the void left by the departure of Aaron Colvin.
Um, I think that’s why the team signed D.J. Hayden in the offseason.
“By the way, Keelan Cole led the team with 748 receiving yards in the previous season,” Moton added. “Dede Westbrook spent half of his rookie year on injured reserve but flashed as a reliable target through November and December.
“Did the Jaguars need a receiver in the second round with four capable playmakers at the position? No.”
If Moton’s theory is correct, then he should also question the choice of Taven Bryan in the first round and Ronnie Harrison in the third round. Both selections, which weren’t “need picks” added depth for the future of this franchise. They also fall in line with what Tom Coughlin, Executive Vice-President of Football Operations, did as the head coach of the New York Giants.
By stockpiling picks at key areas on this roster, the Jaguars are preparing for the present and the future. Winning franchises do that. Ask the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers or the Green Bay Packers if they only focus on the here and now. Ask Bill Belichick if drafting the best player on his board, no matter what the position, is a good idea.
And by the way, when you talk to him, tell him Myles Jack wasn’t down.
While in New York, Coughlin made a habit of taking players to beef up the offensive and defensive line. It’s one of the reasons he won two Super Bowls in 2007 and 2011. In Jacksonville, Coughlin, general manager Dave Caldwell and head coach Doug Marrone are building for a run to the Super Bowl and building depth for the next few years.
Moncrief is playing on a one-year deal. Westbrook still must show if he can play a full season at full speed. Cole will be asked to take a larger role in this offense. Can he handle that?
There are five wide receivers who I think are locks to make this roster. None are a true No. 1 pass catcher. That said, with Chark’s size and speed, he has a chance to be special.
Another argument could be made the Jaguars were so intrigued by Chark, as Caldwell explained after the selection, the Jaguars may have had to trade up to grab him, but found no takers in pulling off such a move. Standing pat paid off.
Now, Chark must deliver.
There were other areas of need Jacksonville could have looked at in the second round. Quarterback Mason Rudolph was available. So was linebacker Lorenzo Carter. The team could have reached for tight end Mark Andrews, a player who was slotted to the team in many mock drafts.
If anything, the NFL Draft is as much of a crapshoot as any sports selection process. Moton has his opinion and makes a case for why he thinks he is right. I have mine and make my case for why this was the best pick where the Jaguars were slotted.
Now, Chark must prove my theory right. There are 16 regular season games for him to prove Moton’s notion is wrong, to begin with.