Jacksonville Jaguars Draft: 3 Early Possible WR Targets in 2023

Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke at the 2022 NFL Combine. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars general manager Trent Baalke at the 2022 NFL Combine. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Jacksonville Jaguars need help at wide receiver, but the real question is, what type of wideout should they draft to complement Trevor Lawrence? There’s still more football left to play in 2022, but it’s becoming clear that Lawrence’s arsenal of weapons isn’t up to par yet.

The Jags certainly have their running back of the future, but what about passing offense? There’s quite the drop-off after Christian Kirk. No. 13 has been a solid addition, proving he can consistently move the chains with his big play ability. The slot receiver is averaging 14.3 yards per reception heading into Week 8, so it’s fair to say that Trent Baalke nailed that acquisition.

Unfortunately, the wide receiver corps leaves a lot to be desired after Kirk. Zay Jones definitely has speed, but it takes more than that to be a reliable NFL receiver. Lawrence is targeting him, but Jones just isn’t hauling them in.

Just look at the Jaguars’ last game against the New York Giants. Four for 10 on Jones’s catches doesn’t scream elite. Exceptional pass catchers don’t grow on trees, especially ones that check off the following prerequisites: speed downfield, reliable hands, a large frame, and, more importantly, physicality with the willingness to make the tough catches.

Luckily for Baalke and the Jaguars, though, there are some interesting options to be had in the first round of next year’s draft.

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Target No. 3: A.T. Perry, Wake Forest

Jacksonville Jaguars
A.T. Perry #9 of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons/Jacksonville Jaguars. (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

A.T. Perry broke out last season for Wake Forest, hauling in 1,293 receiving yards and an exceptional 15 touchdowns. Even more impressive is that he averaged nearly 20 yards per reception (18.2). So far in 2022, the Demon Deacon still proving to be a weapon downfield with a similar average of 16.4 yards.

A concern surrounding Perry is how he’s used in college. He doesn’t work out of the most complex route tree, which, in some people’s eyes, limits him. However, the Jaguars need speed and toughness, and Perry has plenty of both.

Once the NFL Combine season gets underway, Perry’s hands will likely be catching scouts’ eyes. If Lawrence can get him the ball quickly, Perry will do tons of damage with his acceleration, and if need be, he can easily adjust with excellent body control even if the throw isn’t perfect.

Out of the three prospects on this list, Perry’s profile fits the closest with regard to physicality. He’s not afraid of contact. Perry will make the most of any situation, and yes, he’s a true “ball winner” that can snatch the ball away from any defender. He’ll win the possession battle in most cases.