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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Wide Receiver

Ruairi Songer

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Jan 14, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee (11) carries the ball in front of Pittsburgh Steelers free safety Mike Mitchell (23) during the first quarter in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in recent years, there is some uncertainty surrounding the Jaguars wide receiver group entering the 2018 season. Marqise Lee’s injury history and inconsistent level of play has made it difficult to place a verdict on his value. 2018 second round pick D.J. Chark and free agent -signee Donte Moncrief will be playing their first season with the Jaguars, while Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook have only one season of playing time under their belt. Rashad Greene and UDFA Allen Lazard will likely battle for a roster spot.

Projected wide receiver depth chart

*Note: Italics = starter, Underline = Acquired in 2018 FA/draft*

WR: Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole, Donte MoncriefDJ Chark, Dede Westbrook, Rashad Greene

The depth chart begins with Marqise Lee, who the Jaguars recently re-signed to a 4-year, $34 million dollar contract.

When healthy and capable of reducing mishaps, Lee is decent possession receiver. He is able to consistently get open on underneath routes, and is evasive enough to add some yards after the catch. While Lee most likely will never be a top-tier WR1, his presence as an easy checkdown option for quarterback Blake Bortles is relied upon.

Unfortunately for Lee, his size isn’t conducive to being a high-volume possession receiver.  He is frequently listed on the Jaguars injury report for ankle and hamstring issues. Additionally, his poor hands have led to blown opportunities and unnecessary turnovers. Lee will have to stay healthy and improve his catching to warrant his sizable contract.

Keelan Cole, joining the Jags as an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky Wesleyan, ended 2017 leading as the Jaguars’ leading receiver with 748 yards . His ability to get over the top of cornerbacks and create separation made him a dangerous deep threat. Hopefully, Cole will build on this heading into his sophomore season and add more routes to his arsenal.

Donte Moncrief landed a contract with the Jaguars worth $9.6 million for one year, well more than his production justifies. The ex-Indianapolis Colt has had issues with durability and production during his four seasons in the league. However, Moncrief still has intriguing potential. Moncrief has all the physical and athletic traits needed to be a WR1, standing at 6-2, 221 lbs, and possessing 4.4 second 40 yard dash speed. He was also utilized incorrectly in Indianapolis as a possession receiver in a West Coast offense, when he would be more likely to succeed in a vertical passing scheme. If Moncrief is used to stretch the field rather than as a possession receiver, he could improve during his time in Jacksonville.

D.J. Chark, rookie out of LSU, is another receiver that can win by stretching the field vertically and will benefit from the Jaguars running game. Chark has ridiculous physical attributes, including an eye-popping 4.34s 40-yard dash. I don’t expect big numbers from Chark for a couple of years, but I am expecting to see improvement on his fundamentals. Look for Chark to expand his route tree and improve his general technique in his first NFL season, specifcally in his route breaks and creating separation with more than just his speed.

After returning from injury halfway through the 2017 season, Dede Westbrook had big games against the Seattle Seahawks (5 receptions-81 yards-1 TD) and Indianapolis Colts (6-78-0), before ending the season quietly. Westbrook does a lot of things correctly, and showed the ability to be a star wide receiver during his prolific college career at Oklahoma. With a full season, and a higher volume of targets, I believe Dede has the chance to see a serious uptick in production. He could regain a starting role early on.

Finally, Rashad Greene has a small chance at hanging onto the Jaguars 6th wide receiver spot. Although he has only posted 125 receiving yards in 17 career games, his special teams value may give him a chance to stay with the team over Allen Lazard. Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett praised Greene in recent interviews, saying he has looked “bigger, stronger, [and] more confident” in OTAs.

Ruairi Songer is a lifelong Jags fan and Duval native. You can follow him on Twitter (@ruairi_s) for Jags news, Draft information, and off-season updates.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots Week Two Inactives: Fournette Out, Campbell Starts

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Calais Campbell (93) reacts during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have released their inactive lists for the game today.  For the Jaguars star running back, Leonard Fournette is out today with a hamstring injury. However, Calais Campbell who was added late to the injury report with a knee injury is expected to start today.

There was speculation before the game that Campbell could be out. It is possible the Jaguars limit his snaps this week.

Jaguars running back TJ Yeldon will start ahead of Fournette. Corey Grant will also look to get in on the fun after only having one touch last week against the Giants.

JAGUARS INACTIVE REPORT

One surprise on the Jaguars inactive list is rookie linebacker, Leon Jacobs. Although he was injured this week with the ankle injury, he was thought to have been progressing. Look for linebacker Larentee McCray to take his place at SAM linebacker.

 

PATRIOTS INACTIVE REPORT

 

For the Patriots they are without their starting right tackle in Marcus Cannon. They also get back their starting running back in Rex Burkhead as well as their first-round pick, rookie running back Sony Michel.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Promote Running Back Brandon Wilds, Release WR Rashad Greene

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back runs the ball Brandon Wilds (38) in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, the Jacksonville Jaguars today have promoted Running Back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released veteran Wide Receiver Rashad Greene Sr.

This move should not come as too much of a surprise as starting running back Leonard Fournette has been nursing an injured hamstring all week, and TJ Yeldon was added to the injury report yesterday with an ankle injury.

The move might indicate that either Fournette will not be playing in tomorrows matchup against the New England Patriots, or Wilds will simply be insurance in case the star running back goes down again. Either way, it is something to keep an eye on as the Jaguars announce their inactive report around 90 minutes prior to kickoff tomorrow.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots: Friday Injury Reports, Fournette Questionable

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) takes a handoff from quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have officially released their Friday game status injury reports ahead of their week two matchup in Jacksonville, Florida. For the Jaguars coming into this game against the Patriots, all eyes have been on star running back Leonard Fournette as he nurses a hamstring injury. Today, the Jaguars officially listed him as questionable. Fournette has not been able to practice the entire week and will have to prove to the Jaguars training staff as well as the coaching staff he is good to go.

If Fournette is not cleared look for TJ Yeldon to take over as the Jaguars starting running back this weekend. It is also likely the Jaguars would elevate running back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad as they currently only have two running backs besides Fournette on the 53-man roster. Corey Grant would also more than likely receive his bulk of the carries in the event Fournette cannot go.

As for the rest of the Jaguars players, the only player who was a late addition to the Jaguars injury report was running back TJ Yeldon. He, however, will play this Sunday as that injury has seemingly been deemed minor.

Below are the Jaguars and Patriots official gameday statuses:

JAGUARS:

 

PATRIOTS:

QUESTIONABLE
RB Rex Burkhead – Concussion (Limited participant)
T Marcus Cannon – Calf (Limited participant)
DB Keion Crossen – Hamstring (Limited participant)
RB Sony Michel – Knee (Limited participant)

For the Patriots their most notable players on the injury report are running backs Burkhead and Michel along with tackle Marcus Cannon. Burkhead being out this week against the Jaguars for the Patriots is notable due to the lack of weapons at the running back position. If Burkhead and Michel cannot go the Patriots will likely lean on running back James White for the bulk of the carries. I would, however, anticipate at least one of the two running backs to be active this Sunday.

If Marcus Cannon is out this week, then the Patriots will turn to LaAdrian Waddle at the right tackle position. Waddle is a journeyman and more than likely would struggle against the Jaguars front four.

For the Jaguars as well as the Patriots both teams are relatively healthy. The areas to watch will continue to be the running back positions and how the Jaguars, as well as the Patriots, handle the situation. With Fournette as a true game-time decision, keep a close eye on the Jaguars inactive report 90 minutes before kickoff this Sunday.

 

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