The Jaguars don’t make a move at wide receiver in the NFL Draft
The Jacksonville Jaguars filled many needs in the NFL Draft this weekend but did not select a wide receiver. Can this unit improve from last season?
The Jacksonville Jaguars did a good job of identifying major needs this past weekend and addressing them in the NFL Draft.
Like they discussed at the Pre-Draft luncheon, the team knew it had areas of concern they wanted to fill, finding the best player available at each position.
Passer rusher, check.
Offensive lineman, check.
Tight End, check.
The thought was the team may take a safety to provide depth, and the front office may explore the decision to bring in another playmaker at wide receiver to add speed on the outside or depth at one of the weakest positions on the team last year. The Jaguars led the NFL in dropped passes last season.
With a new quarterback under center in Nick Foles, did the team make the right move by not doing anything to beef up the group already on the roster?
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The Jaguars signed former Kansas City wide receiver Chris Conley in free agency. The former Georgia star has some familiarity with Foles from their time together in Kansas City. Looking at the current roster, can this team, with Conley the only major addition, improve drastically over the 2018 season?
Is there enough strength in numbers for head coach Doug Marrone and wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell to feel comfortable going into the 2019 season?
The truth is, as the team’s general manager David Caldwell explained after the Draft was complete on Saturday, is there are only a handful of team’s that have a superstar No. 1 wide receiver. This group as a whole could improve to the point where having such a player isn’t necessary.
Also, given the team’s decision to add Foles to replace Blake Bortles at quarterback, the thought there is the former Philadelphia Eagles star will elevate this unit on the field.
Something has to happen if the passing game is going to improve in 2019. Jacksonville was ranked 26th in passing offense in 2018 with just over 194 yards per game. That is unacceptable for any team in this league.
Conley came over from Kansas City, looking to be reunited with Foles to create magic. The return of Marqise Lee and the development of Dede Westbrook and DJ Chark are crucial to the game plan offensive coordinator John DiFilippo is drawing up. Speed will be the key to more success on certain passing downs.
Playing more to Foles’ strengths will be important as well.
If Conley can contribute and is fully healthy, Lee comes back from his knee injury that knocked out the entire 2018 season and Westbrook builds on a breakout season, the need for another pass catcher is eliminated.
If the Jaguars have the same offensive woes in the passing game like last season, then another list of questions will need answers.
The Jaguars are booking on this being a better season for their pass catchers. Being worse would mean nothing has worked after trying to bury the 2018 season altogether.