Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook will build on his best season in 2018. Can the pass catcher become an elite target in the team’s passing game?
After reading the latest story by Reggie Wayne on NFL.com regarding young wide receivers he believes will have a breakout season in 2019, I cannot help but think Jaguars pass catcher Dede Westbrook should have been added to that list.
I am not one to believe in bulletin board material for motivation, but Westbrook has a chance to have an even better season than the one in 2018 when he caught 66 passes for 717 yards and five touchdowns. Remember Westbrook played in a broken offense with a passing game that was MIA many times last season.
The fourth-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2017 is a player to watch, one to add to fantasy football teams as a mid-round selection and could amass 1,000 receiving yards with Nick Foles slinging the pigskin around the yard at TIAA Bank Field.
For Westbrook, it may not be a better time to have a career season as he marches into his third year in the NFL and a solid campaign with big numbers should help him with negotiating a new deal with the team in the future.
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Westbrook signed a four-year, $3.76 million deal his rookie season and will make $645,000 this season. A bargain by any standard and momentum to go out and play his best football. The former Oklahoma star, along with DJ Chark and Chris Conley, could make the Jaguars one of the more underrated receiving units in the league.
It’s not just Westbrook that has the Jaguars coaching staff excited, rather the entire room of players, who add different skill sets to this offense. It was a topic that offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was pleased to talk about during minicamp.
"“We have a lot more speed there than I thought. We have some guys in that room that can fly, some big guys that can fly. I’m a big believer in the receiver room and diversity. When I say diversity, it doesn’t have anything to do with where you’re from or your race or whatever,” DeFilippo said.“Different body types, different skill levels, in terms of [us having] a bigger guy that can body someone up and maybe a guy like Dede Westbrook that is a little bit of a smaller guy, but can wiggle and get himself open in different ways. You don’t want all big guys. You don’t want all small guys. You want a good, diverse group in that room that brings different skill sets to the table.”"
Westbrook’s ability to play inside in the slot or outside as a deep threat should help stretch the field. Also, when the 6-foot, 178-pounder catches the football, he makes things happen in open space. The new game plan the coaching staff is installing could take more advantage of that this coming season.
It could help Westbrook to have his best season, continuing as the Jaguars top deep threat. It could also mean the Jaguars wide receiver belongs on the list Wayne left him off of prior to the start of training camp.