Is WR Collin Johnson the Jaguars best-kept secret?

Collin Johnson #19 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports)
Collin Johnson #19 of the Jacksonville Jaguars (Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars didn’t have much talent last year. One of their few bright spots was their wide receiver corps, led by DJ Chark Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. Although they were both hindered by the team’s inconsistent quarterback situation, they still finished the year with solid numbers. Nevertheless, they weren’t wideouts to play at a high level. Collin Johnson showed flashes as a rookie and could have a bigger impact in 2021.

Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report recently wrote about every team’s best-kept secret and believes Johnson fits the description for the Jaguars. He mentions that Jacksonville has a well-rounded wide receiver corps and highlights the fact that Chark reached the 1,000-yard mark in 2019. He also adds that Shenault displayed potential as a rookie, hauling in 58 receptions for 600 yards and five touchdowns in 2020.

Knox goes on to say that even though Johnson had a smaller role last year, he could turn into a playmaker in 2021. He then points out that he was highly productive from Week 11 to Week 13. In that stretch, the 2020 fifth-round pick caught ten passes for 195 yards and a touchdown. If Johnson hadn’t missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, it’s possible that his numbers would have been even better.

Keep in mind that Jaguars legend Jimmy Smith has previously endorsed Johnson. Even though the sophomore may be the team’s best-kept secret, it’s clear others see the kind of player he can become. The problem will now be getting him the ball, as Jacksonville’s wide receiver unit is crowded. On the bright side, there’s a new regime and if the Texas product can impress the coaching staff, it won’t matter who’s ahead of him on the depth chart or where he was drafted.

Is Collin Johnson the best-kept secret in the Jacksonville Jaguars’ roster?

Johnson certainly has the talent to have a breakout season in 2021 but he’s not the only player on the Jaguars’ roster that could become a key contributor in a not-too-distant future. Last season, then-rookie defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton worked his way up the depth chart.

By Week 7, the Ohio State product had already joined the starting lineup and from Week 6 to Week 11, he logged 17 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, and one sack. Moreover, Hamilton posted the highest Pro Football Focus grade of any Jaguars’ player against the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 8 and against the Houston Texans in Week 9. Nevertheless, he sustained a knee injury in Week 11 that cut his season short.

After drafting Jay Tufele and trading for Malcom Brown, it’s easy to forget Hamilton is still on the roster. The sophomore defensive tackle should compete for playing time in training camp. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the starting lineup in the season opener but even if he isn’t a starter, he will have a big role in the Jags’ defensive line rotation.

Both Johnson and Hamilton are talented players. Although they will have to prove themselves to the new coaching staff, they may not be a well-kept secret for much longer.

Next. 3 new players in the AFC South to worry about. dark