Jaguars WR corps in good shape following the return of Laquon Treadwell

Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (18) at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union]
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Laquon Treadwell (18) at TIAA Bank Field. [Bob Self/Florida Times-Union] /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have taken several steps to upgrade their wide receiver corps this offseason. First, the Jags signed Christian Kirk and Zay Jones in free agency, and more recently, they’ve re-signed Laquon Treadwell, who was one of their top offensive targets last season.

The Jaguars announced Monday that they’ve brought back Treadwell on a one-year deal and signed kicker Ryan Santoso. While neither signing will move the needle, Treadwell should add depth to Jacksonville’s wide receiver room. A first-round pick in 2016, the Mississippi product spent time with the Minnesota Vikings and the Atlanta Falcons before signing with the Jags last offseason.

At the time, it seemed like Treadwell would struggle to make the team. However, he ended up impressing the coaching staff in training camp. Although he was ultimately released just before the start of the season, he was signed to the practice squad almost immediately and joined the 53-man roster in November.

Once Treadwell was signed to the active roster, he became one of Lawrence’s favorite targets, hauling in 31 receptions for 405 yards with one touchdown from Week 11 to 18. While those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, they’re noteworthy when you take into account that the Jags had the worst offense in the NFL and lacked direction under Urban Meyer. Also, Treadwell’s receiving yards in 2021 were a career-best.

Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence will have better weapons in 2022.

Make no mistake. Laquon Treadwell isn’t a bonafide number one wide receiver and is better suited as the third or fourth option in a passing game. However, he developed a good rapport with Trevor Lawrence last season and it was a smart move by the Jags to have some carryover for the 2022 season.

In fact, after signing Christian Kirk, Treadwell could be relegated to the fourth or fifth spot on the Jaguars’ receiver depth chart. After all, Marvin Jones Jr. and Laviska Shenault Jr. are still on the depth chart. Also, general manager Trent Baalke didn’t give Zay Jones a three-year, $24 million contract to sit on the bench, so Treadwell might need to compete with him for playing time.

All things considered, it’s a good sign Treadwell will no longer be the top option in the Jaguars’ passing game because it means that their wide receiver corps has more talent than it did in 2021. Last season, he was pushed into the spotlight because they didn’t have anyone else but after all the moves the team’s brass made in free agency, he can step into a complementary role. Having said that, he’s proven he can step into the starting lineup if called up, which makes his return to Jacksonville a good move by the organization.

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