Where do the Jaguars wide receivers rank in the NFL?
According to a story on Bleacher Report, the Jaguars have one of the worst groups of wide receivers in the NFL this coming season.
How good can the Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers be? How will a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback change the fortunes of this group in North Florida? Is the collection of pass catchers the team has on its roster really as bad as Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski believes they are?
In his story which ranks the 32 wide receiver groups in the NFL, the Jaguars aren’t the worst in the NFL, but they almost there, coming in at 31st in the league. It’s hard to argue about Jacksonville’s lack of production last season and the number of dropped passes (which led the NFL) receivers had. But shouldn’t there be an asterisk added to this ranking?
Quarterback play was less than mediocre. There were injuries all over the offense. The Jaguars lost their veteran leader, Marqise Lee in the preseason. And the front office made a coaching change during the 2018 season by firing offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. That’s a lot to overcome in a single season. But as one might say, the good teams make adjustments and move on.
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No one expected the drop in the production from Jacksonville last year. Now, with virtually the same unit back and a new game plan in place, these Jaguars have a chance to dispel the belief in how weak this group is.
"“The Jacksonville Jaguars did everything in their power to secure Nick Foles’ services at quarterback,” Sobleski writes. “The franchise got its guy yet failed to provide him with an adequate surrounding cast.”"
I personally beg to differ. Dede Westbrook caught 66 passes with Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler throwing passes that were exactly dimes last year. Lee’s absence was more of a blow than many may have thought. Keelan Cole regressed in his second season. Free agent signee Donte Moncrief collected $9.6 million for 48 catches and three touchdowns. He is now in Pittsburgh.
Could the changes the team made under center and to the coaching staff make the difference?
"“General manager David Caldwell signed [Chris] Conley to supplement the group, but he hasn’t managed more than 530 yards in any of his four seasons. Lee’s return from a season-ending knee injury will provide the biggest boost,” Sobleski added."
If the Jaguars do change their offensive philosophy, the tight ends will have to get more heavily involved. That is not something the writer believes will get better.
"“Tight end is suspect at best,” he adds. “Jacksonville invested a third-round pick in [Josh] Oliver, but expectations should be tempered for any rookie tight end. [Geoff] Swaim and [James] O’Shaughnessy don’t threaten opposing defenses.”"
There is a point to this assessment, but the ranked can easily be disputed if the team improves its passing game and players step forward and deliver more than they did a season ago.