Even though the Jacksonville Jaguars are 2-6 following the loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 8, they’re not ready to throw in the towel just yet. In fact, they could be looking to add reinforcements to their wide receiver corps before the Nov. 1 trade deadline.
Mia O’Brien of 1010 XL reports that the Jags are monitoring what receivers “could be available ahead of the deadline as well as going into the offseason, which she describes as “a huge development for an offense that is still lacking that X receiver that can stretch the field, that can be a possession receiver, and also can win individual matchups independent of scheme”.
“As recently as five or six weeks ago, there were people in the Jaguars front office that said this team did not need that player, this player was already here. This is a huge development that this team is acknowledging the void and that they need to address it in the near future”, O’Brien said.
Currently, Christian Kirk is leading Jacksonville with 35 catches for 498 yards with four touchdowns but he isn’t the kind of receiver that can stretch the field and the offense sorely needs. Zay Jones, who signed a three-year deal worth $24 million in free agency, was supposed to add an element of speed to the offense but he’s been more of a safety blanket so far, catching 34 passes for 309 yards with an average of 9.1 yards per reception.
Trevor Lawrence would certainly benefit from having a receiver he can trust will get open deep. As Laurie Fitzpatrick of Touchdown Wire recently pointed out, Lawrence hasn’t thrown a pass exceeding 30+ yards since Week 5. While matchups do dictate where he should go with the ball and he might not have had enough opportunities, having someone who can take the top off defenses would make him feel comfortable taking deep shots. Here’s O’Brien’s report on the Jaguars potentially interested in trading for receiver help before the deadline:
Which receiver could the Jaguars target before the trade deadline?
There are several receivers that could be had before the deadline and others that might be off the market. Jordan Schultz reports that the Pittsburgh Steelers want a second-round pick for Chase Claypool, who has tallied more than 800 receiving yards in each of the past two seasons. That’s a reasonable price and one the Jags should be willing to pay if they really want to upgrade their wide receiver corps.
Brandin Cooks could also be available but it’s unlikely that the Houston Texans would trade him to a divisional rival. Similarly, the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers say they aren’t entertaining offers for Elijah Moore and D.J. Moore, respectively. The same is true for Denver Broncos, who aren’t planning on trading either Jerry Jeudy or K.J. Hamler.
Of course, plans can change at any time. But for that to happen, the Jaguars or any other team interested in any of those receivers would need to give up a pretty good player or a first-round pick. If that’s the case, general manager Trent Baalke should consider hanging up the phone and waiting for the draft, as Jacksonville isn’t just one player away from turning the corner this season.
Wide receiver is certainly a need for the Jaguars eight weeks into the 2022 season and if they have the chance to get one before the deadline, they should definitely pull the trigger. On the other hand, they can’t afford to overpay for one when you take into account that they will have several needs to address next year. Also, there will be some pretty enticing options in the 2023 NFL draft, so they might be better off waiting.