The Jacksonville Jaguars have an underrated wide receiver room
The Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers are better than the 32nd ranking PFF has given them this season.
I’m not sure I agree with Pro Football Focus after the publication name is Jacksonville Jaguars is having the worst wide receiver corps in the NFL this season. Once again these kinds of stories are subjective, which leads me to wonder whether this group was more underrated for yeoman’s work it did last season.
While the explanation starts off by stating that Jaguars had the worst group of wide receivers but they were quick to praise DJ Chark for his breakout season.
Chark, who had 73 receptions for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns, was just part of a quartet of past catchers who in my opinion fared pretty well given the circumstances of the Jaguars offense in 2019.
Running back Leonard Fournette led the team with 76 catches out of the backfield, and was a major part of this offense, gaining almost 1,700 yards from scrimmage last season.
The former LSU star and the fourth pick in the 2017 NFL draft, does not figure to be as big of a part of Jay Gruden’s game plan this year. But that doesn’t mean that the running back won’t have a large part in the success of the team’s ground game.
In addition to Chark having a breakout season, fourth-year wide receiver Dede Westbrook caught 66 passes last year, the same total He hauled in and 2018 while leading the team in that category. Westbrook, who is in the final year of his rookie deal, was also injured last year.
Had he been at full strength, he may have led the team in pass receptions. It will be interesting to see whether he has an expanded role this year in three and four wide receiver sets.
Chris Conley caught 47 passes last year for 775 yards. That may not seem like a lot, but the veteran had a career year after spending the first part of his NFL days in Kansas City. Conley was supposed to be the potential go-to wide receiver for quarterback Nick Foles as the two played together on the Chiefs roster.
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This season should be an even bigger year for Conley, as he is playing on the last year of his contract. I’ll be interested to see if the Jaguars keep him after this season. He should become a valuable commodity as a leader on the field and in the locker room.
Keelan Cole was retained this off-season and when he was called upon, he produced. But he is clearly the fourth or fifth wide receiver in the group this coming season. If there is a player who is on the outside looking in it might be the three-year veteran.
The Jaguars were able to add more depth through the NFL draft this year. Laviska Shenault gives this team more size that it has not had and creates matchup problems for defenders. Look for Gruden to use him in multiple sets this season. And if the Jaguars are looking for another red-zone threat, look no further than Collin Johnson, a fifth-round draft pick out of Texas.
At 6-foot-6, he gives the Jaguars a definite red zone and end zone threat, something that they have lacked. He and Chark could make things interesting for opposing secondaries based on their height alone.