Nathaniel Hackett has followed Doug Marrone around dating back to when he was the quarterback’s coach at Syracuse in 2010. As a definite member of the Marrone coaching tree, Hackett has always used many Air Coryell concepts as the heart of his passing game. This scheme involves timing routes that usually break at least 10 yards downfield. In addition to receivers that can get open down the field, Hackett also values receivers who can pick up a large percentage of their yardage after the catch.
The intersection of these two points of preference are absolute burners. For the first time, after casting off slower receivers like Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, Hackett has the personnel to throw the ball down the field a ton. Due to limitations at the QB position and a run/pass split that is very likely to be dominated by power and dive plays with Leonard Fournette, the Jaguars may not throw enough to make multiple receivers viable in a given game.
Hackett’s scheme and personnel make the Jaguars have one of the most boom-or-bust receiving corps in the league. Someone is going to make plays down the field. Who that receiver is may depend on the situation or even who has the best matchup in a given game. – Foreword by Andrew Moss
Marqise Lee had 52 receptions (101 targets) in his first two years in the league. The next two years he nabbed 119 receptions on 201 targets. Is this simply explained by his nine starts vs. 20 starts? Is it health/availability related (23 games vs. 30 games)? Or is it true progression? If the latter is the case, is he still rising? Was his breakout year in 2016 63/851/3 (13.5 YPC) a result of a healthy Allen Robinson protecting from him quality coverage?
Not to mention a banged up Allen Hurns opening up the way to more targets. Can 2017’s 56/702/3 (12.5 YPC) be explained by 2,262 total team rushing yards (1,040 by Leonard Fournette)? Or by teams not respecting Blake Bortles ability to win by throwing, so they stacked the box? Lee also has eight measly career TDs in 53 games. If you are banking a Lee to have a career year in 2018, I hope it wasn’t at the expense of any of your 2019 picks.
Some people live in this bubble where they constantly repeat to themselves “Donte Moncrief is 6-foot-3/220 pounds, and he ran 4.40 40-time.” Their argument became stronger when Moncrief scored 7 TDs on 30 receptions in 2016. He will turn 25 in August and tables will continue to get beat. Now the chant is “his peak is still coming” or “the best is yet to come.” Really I say, are you “really” trusting in Blake Bortles to garbage time Moncrief’s way to legitimize a WR1 dream? The very mention of garbage time Bortles marrying with Moncrief downfield has his band of dedicated zealots in a tizzy.
For all his speed Moncrief has a career YPC of 12.3 yards. New scenery usually breathes new life into hungry and talented players. If you still believe in Moncrief hold him because his value is nowhere near where it was when you drafted him. A hot start, like a TD in three of the first four games, could ignite his value. If you wish to trade for him, now is a good time to get him at a discount since the depth chart is loaded with seemingly marginal talent.
So much promise was shown by Keelan Cole in 2017. The 2017 UDFA from Division II Kentucky Wesleyan stormed onto the scene as a rookie with 42/748/3 (17.8 YPC) on 83 Targets. Only Lee out targeted Cole! Not bad for a player nobody knew a thing about until last August. Dynasty dorks know Cole can ball. But why oh why did the Jags draft D.J. Chark and sign Moncrief. Cole’s value saw a slight surge after Allen Hurns was released and when it was made apparent, Allen Robinson would not be re-upped. Moncrief spoiled the party during free agency.
It should be noted Moncrief signed a one-year deal. However, that deal was worth 9.6 million dollars. Then the Jags tried to trade up to draft Chark? They supposedly had a first-round grade on him. I do not view Chark or Moncrief as Cole replacements. They are both bigger outside WR who are likely in competition with each other. Cole is the Victor Cruz/seam buster in Jags scheme. Cole’s role moving forward may be limited/specialized.
Is D.J. Chark much ado about nothing? I am not saying he is worthless I was merely trying to be Shakespearean. But… in a sense isn’t he just a workout warrior? Now I know and fully understand the history that LSU WRs typically have better pro careers than college ones. However, for every Dwayne Bowe, Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham there is an Early Doucet, Malachi Dupre, and a Travin Dural. In 25 games for the primarily I-formation LSU Tigers Chark produced 66/1351/6 (20.5 YPC)! Also, he also had 25 rushing attempts for 264 yards and another 4 TDs! His current rookie draft ADP is hovering around 27th overall or 3.03 in a 12 team league. That is great for a player that dazzled with 4.34 40-time, a 40 inch vertical (both 1st among WRs) and 129-inch broad jump (4th amongst WRs). I do like Chark, but I would preach patience as he will need time to mature.
Who the hell is Rashad Greene? If you are familiar with Florida State, you will remember Greene as being the “Johnny on the spot/safety valve” for Jameis Winston. Greene always found a way to get open in college. He never had less than 596 receiving yards in any of his four seasons at Florida State. He topped off his collegiate career with 76/1,128/9 (14.8 YPC) as a junior and 99/1,365/7 (13.8 YPC) as a senior.
In fact, Greene is the all-time leader in both receptions (270) and receiving yards (3,830) for Florida State. He finished with a comfortable 59 reception lead. So yes I was super intrigued by what he could be in the NFL. Greene had a respectable combine as he dropped 4.53 40-time and 6.88 3-cone. You gotta be intrigued as me by now, right?
Welp his pro career has been quite quiet. He caught 19 of 35 targets as a rookie for 93 yards (yep you read that right, it’s a 4.9 YPC. Take that Jarvis Landry). Okay now before you clean the vomit off your feet let me tell you about year two. His catch percentage was 62.5% but he only had 5 receptions on 8 targets for a spicy YPC of 6.4 yards. Greene missed all of 2017 with an undisclosed injury. It was rumored that a injury settlement was going to be reached and Greene would be released. That did not happened. Greene’s chances in Jacksonville moving forward are pretty bleak. Barring a rash of injuries Greene should not be on dynasty rosters. He has only been active for 17 games during his three-year NFL career.
The 6-foot/180 pound Dede Westbrook was a 4th round pick (110th overall) in the 2017 draft. He had an encouraging pre-season, but a core injury landed him on IR for first eight games of 2017. In just seven games Westbrook had 27 receptions on 51 targets for 339 yards (12.6 YPC) and 1 TD. My major concern is the 4th round draft position. How does the 2016 Big 12 OPOY/first-team all-American slip to day three? Surely it can’t be all size related? Is it the Big 12’s no defense policy that causes us to take undersized talents like Westbrook lightly.
Westbrook is a humble/hard worker who impressed the majority of the dynasty community. His value is not as high as it was at the end of the season. Still, there will be a role for Westbrook in Jacksonville. I am looking to buy low on him, as I believe, 2019 will be his true breakout campaign.
Why would a 6-foot-4/227 pound WR who runs a 4.55 40 go undrafted? I am of course speaking of Iowa State product Allen Lazard. Is this another case of Big 12 playmaker bias? Personally, I believe it might be mental. He is big and physical, but that does always work versus the inhuman DBs in the NFL. Therefore Lazard’s future as a #1WR or “X” is very much in doubt.
He will need to show more versatility and craftier to find space in the NFL. You will get mixed emotions when watching his tape and combing through his stats. Lazard ended his historic career at Iowa State with nearly 300 more receiving yards (3,360) than any other Cyclone ever. He also has 65 more receptions (241) then the #2 player on the Iowa State all-time leaderboard.
He makes it look easy with his skyscraper like arms. I cannot help but wonder if he hurts his YPC by constantly leaving his feet to make such dynamic catches. This could be attributed to the level of QB play at Iowa State. Does Blake Bortles help this matter? As a UDFA Lazard, his work cut out from him. He cannot rely upon size and speed alone.
Jaydon Mickens seems like a long shot to make the Jaguars. However, he recorded 27 punt returns in 2017. At just 5-foot-11/166 pounds Mickens doesn’t even scream slot WR. In a limited offensive role last season he saw 11 targets which he turned into six receptions for 77 yards and 2 TDs. He also returned a punt for another score. Mickens averaged 10.6 yards per punt return which ranked 5th amongst punt returners in 2017. I focus on Mickens return skills because that may be the main reason he makes the team (plus his diminutive stature is a durability concern).
Cole, Westbrook and RB3 Corey Grant may also be used in the return game. Mickens has been in the league for two years. He bounced back with Oakland and their practice squad in 2016. He finally reached an injury settlement (undisclosed) in September of 2017 and was waived. Jacksonville snatched him up the same day and placed him on their practice then activated him a month later.