The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the league’s biggest disappointments last season. They were unable to make the playoffs after making the AFC championship the year before. The offense regressed in a major way last season and changes needed to be made. Jacksonville mercifully moved on from inconsistent quarterback Blake Bortles this offseason and upgraded with Super Bowl champion Nick Foles. They drafted pass-catching tight end Josh Oliver in the third round to shore up that position, drafted Jawaan Taylor to beef up the offensive line and are hoping for a bounce-back campaign from Leonard Fournette. One of the surprising moves Jacksonville made on offense was their decision to not do much with their wide receiving core. They signed former Chiefs receiver Chris Conley and journeyman Terrelle Pryor, but that’s it. Here are my predictions on how the Jaguars receiving depth chart will pan out come week one.
Predicting the Jaguars Wide Receiver Depth Chart
X Receiver(WR1)- Marqise Lee
Marqise Lee is coming off a torn ACL, but assuming he gets a clean bill of health, he should regain his spot as the number one wideout in this offense. While he has struggled with drops in the past, Lee’s playmaking ability cannot be taken for granted. He’s only 6”0, but he has the speed to burn and can play either inside or outside. The slot should be run by Dede Westbrook, but Lee’s versatility is key for this offense to thrive. As the longest-tenured receiver on the roster, he has the trust of the coaching staff as well.
Y receiver(Slot/WR2)- Dede Westbrook
Westbrook is coming off somewhat of a breakout season. He went for a team-high 717 yards and added five touchdowns as well. Westbrook has the potential to be a human highlight reel, as he proved in college. He also showed this highlight potential last season with this game-clinching score against the Patriots. Westbrook is a former Brinkenhoff award winner and has the game-changing speed to turn any catch into a huge play. With a consistent quarterback throwing him the ball, do not be surprised if he goes for over 1,000 yards in his real breakout season this year.
Z Receiver(WR3)- D.J. Chark
This was a toss-up between D.J. Chark and Chris Conley, but I will give the edge to the second year wideout from LSU for now as a result of size (6”4) and speed (4.34 40 at the combine). Chark recorded just 14 catches in his rookie campaign, making most of his impact on special teams. However, there is reason to believe that he can be a huge part of this Jaguars offense in 2019.
Tom Coughlin was asked if he could be Jacksonville’s version of Alshon Jeffery, Foles’ big-bodied receiver in Philadelphia. Coughlin’s response? “I certainly do.” While this could just be a front office member supporting a young player, I believe there could be more to it. Chark was a highly regarded prospect coming out in 2018, and last season he was derailed by injuries. If he can stay healthy, watch out.
WR4- Chris Conley
The former Chiefs wideout has experience with Nick Foles and was brought into Jacksonville about a month before the draft. He is an absurd athlete, registering a 45 inch vertical and 4.35 40 time at the NFL Combine. If he has a good camp (early reports are positive), he could easily overtake Chark for the starting spot in the lineup, especially with Chark’s spotty injury history.
WR5- Keelan Cole
Cole was once thought of as a steal of a prospect after signing as an undrafted free agent with the Jaguars. He made the catch of the year in Week Two against the Patriots, but it was all downhill after that. He struggled with ball security and drops and hardly saw the field late in the season. Cole will make the roster because of lack of other options, but he shouldn’t see the field unless injuries occur.
WR6- Terrelle Pryor
Remember when Pryor went for 1000 yards with Cody Kessler as his quarterback? Boy, have we come a long way. After converting from quarterback and having a breakout season in Cleveland, Pryor has been looking for a home. He has played for four teams in three years after signing with Washington the offseason following his breakout with the Browns. He’s a low risk, high upside signing that may not even make the final roster. If he does, he could provide a spark if he sees the field.
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