I know right?! He was once one of the top receiving prospects the NFL had seen. And the Jaguars had him. Definitely a player to build your offense around. He had some phenomenal games early in his career, (I know because he helped me win my fantasy football league one year!), and then he fell off the face of the planet with a plethora of suspensions. He has yet to be reinstated by the NFL actually and the Jaguars seem to have moved on.
They seem to be doing quite well too even though it’s always hard to figure out the Jaguars. Especially when they’ve been so mediocre for so long, but the future looks bright. With Blackmon’s suspension, it seemed like the Jaguars would have a hard time finding talent but they invested draft selections on WR Allen Robinson and USC star Marqise Lee and scouted a gem in Allen Hurns. These prospects played out so well that the once thought to be a star Cecil Shorts ended up without a spot in the team.
Allen Robinson is certainly the man to watch for. His connection with rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert definitely showed during the season since the moment he stepped onto the field. The Jaguars offense was as terrible as it has always been, but Robinson showed great route running, discipline, hands, and aggressiveness every play he was involved in. It’s not hard to get the upper hand against a cornerback when your 6’3″ frame puts you on a vertical advantage almost immediately. Most definitely the main man for the Jaguars, he will be looking to record his first 100 yard game in his career, and I would not be surprised if it comes early.
The surprise of all the receivers however was Allen Hurns. And he did not waste any time making his presence known in the NFL. The first week of the season he exploded for 110 yards and 2 touchdown against Philadelphia. Numbers unprecedented for a player nobody had even heard of. Still trying to find out if his teammates knew who he was. He repeated the feat later on in the year on an even more impressive game and teams where starting to notice his potential. He is staying in Jacksonville for now but he is no longer under the radar.
One hailed as the best receiver in college, USC Marqise Lee was drafted before Robinson but has been plagued by injuries in his rookie year and failed to make an impact. The potential however is still there just like it always has been. His hands and acceleration make him a good bet to become a deadly slot receiver if the Jaguars use him right. He still has a chance to beat Allen hurns for the starting position but even then Lee will probably be used from the slot which fits him right.
Of course those aren’t the only weapons the Jaguars offense has provided for promising quarterback Blake Bortles to develop with. Pro Bowler TE Julius Thomas decided to leave the Broncos for a the promise of being an integral part of the Jaguars offense. Certainly a big asset for them. The ever reliable Mercedes Lewis is still showing his leadership skills, and a duo of dangerous running backs will allow Bortles a nice safety option. Running back Denard Robinson emerged as a great threat for the team down the stretch, and rookie T.J. Yeldon from Alabama is a great weapon that defenses will soon recognize needs to be taken care of.
It has been over 10 years since the Jaguars had a wide receiver surpass the 1000 yard mark for a season. Sounds Incredible and unbelievable but it is true. With Blake Bortles at quarterback it seems they found a franchise quarterback, now lets see if they have found their receiving core.