Jacksonville Jaguars Chris Conley has made an immediate impact on the wide receiver room during OTAs and training camp this offseason.
Is it possible the Jacksonville Jaguars found their No. 1 wide receiver when they signed Chris Conley in free agency this offseason? Will the former third-round pick out of Georgia become the go-to pass catcher his good friend Nick Foles will look to in finding success in the Jaguars passing game?
Conley was the topic of conversation in a recent story on ESPN.com of each NFL team’s biggest surprise of the offseason. With the Jaguars dealing with issues off the football field – the decision of Telvin Smith to take 2019 off and the contract situation of Yannick Ngakoue – it was the 26-year-old who turned heads on the practice fields outside TIAA Bank Field.
"“He might turn out to be one of the best under-the-radar free-agent signings this year. Signing QB Nick Foles was obviously big, but the Jaguars added Conley three days later and he has been the best receiver during OTAs and minicamp,” Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com wrote. “He has previously been teammates with Foles, who made a brief stop in Kansas City, and Foles is very comfortable with Conley.”"
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From the moment he stepped on the practice field, Conley’s presence was felt. He and Foles connected on several pass plays that looked effortless. The Jaguars had issues last season with its passing game and its receiving corps. Adding a veteran who is looking to show his is better than his stats of the previous four seasons would indicate might be the reason Jacksonville has an under-the-radar passing attack.
In 53 career games, Conley has 104 catches for 1,238 yards and six touchdowns. Last season he grabbed 32 passes for 334 yards and five touchdowns. The Jaguars and the player are looking for more productivity this coming season.
The familiarity with Foles should be a big help in what offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is trying to design down here in North Florida.
The offense does have other wide receivers in camp they hope to count on this coming season. Dede Westbrook led the team in catches last season. DJ Chark is another wide receiver who can spread the field with his size and speed. Terrelle Pryor is a player who just joined the team, but the veteran gives DeFilippo a big body who can be an aggressive pass catcher.
"“The Jaguars don’t have a clear No. 1 receiver, but with Marqise Lee not expected to return from a knee injury until several weeks into training camp it could be Conley,” DiRocco added."
Keelan Cole has looked good in camp, hoping to erase a poor 2018 campaign. If he can find the same rhythm he had in his first season in 2017, the team’s wide receivers could be better than we anticipate.