Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark continues to impress the coaching staff with his skill set and ability to make big plays at the right moment.
The Jacksonville Jaguars 2019 season is going to have its ups and downs, but so far it has shown that the team has a developing wide receiver for the future in DJ Chark.
In the teams 34-27 lost to the Carolina Panthers, Chark caught eight passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He has proven to be the top target in a growing passing attack under offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.
After being selected in the second round by the team in 2018, Chark fell short of expectations with only 14 catches for 174 yards. Chark and the Jaguars received heavy scrutiny for the pick. He did show promise on special teams but did miss five games due to injury.
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Now, in five games, Chark has 27 receptions for 485 yards and five touchdowns and leads the AFC in receiving yards. While one of his touchdowns comes from quarterback Nick Foles, rookie starting quarterback Gardner Minshew II has turned Chark into a priority target.
The second-year player from LSU has shown his ability to extend the field for the Jaguars offense. At 6-foot-4 with a 4.34 40 time, Chark is a down-field threat who can also go up and get it in the red zone. It’s something the Jaguars lacked last season.
Four of Chark’s touchdown receptions have come from deep balls; 37-yards, 35-yards, and 22-yards.
The performance this season by Chark has put up has earned him consideration as one of the best young (23-years-old) receivers in the league. The tandem of Minshew and Chark should be harassing defenses for years to come.
At the rate he’s going, Chark is slated to catch 86 passes for 1,552 yards and 15 touchdowns. Those stats would put Chark in elite company, just behind Jimmy Smith‘s 1999 season (1,636 yards) and ahead of Allen Robinson‘s 2015 season (1,440 yards). It would also place Chark in first with most receiving touchdowns.
With how the Jaguars season started this season with Foles under center, it’s hard to believe that Minshew and Chark would be breaking records, showing a glimpse at the potential these two will have together for seasons to come. It also raises a few questions about the team’s offense in the future.
This week, Chark and the Jaguars offense will face the New Orleans Saints. The Saints’ defense is ranked 19th in passing yards allowed, giving up 255 yards per game. He could draw a matchup against cornerback Marshon Lattimore, who held Pro-Bowl wide receiver Mike Evans to zero catches last week.
But, with the continued success and growing camaraderie between Minshew and Chark, chances are high that he will have a big game.