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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Film Room: Breaking Down D.J. Chark’s Tape

Zach Goodall

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Oct 7, 2017; Gainesville, FL, USA; LSU Tigers wide receiver D.J. Chark (7) during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars used their first of two picks on Day 2 of the 2018 NFL Draft on adding electricity to the offense in selecting LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark.

The 6-3, 199 lb receiver brings true playmaking ability and athleticism to the table. The former Tiger ran a 4.34 40 yard dash, jumped 40 inches vertical and 129 inches broad, and possesses a 79 inch wingspan. That ranks him in the 95th, 92nd, 91st, and 84th percentile among NFL wide receivers, respectively.

Chark didn’t catch a single pass in his first two years at LSU, but he recorded 66 catches for 1351 yards (that’s 20.5 yards per catch!) and four touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons combined. He also returned 18 punts for 190 yards (10.6 yards per return) and two touchdowns during his final season in Baton Rouge.

Jaguars GM Dave Caldwell was vocal about wanting to trade up to secure Chark, so he was clearly a fron-office favorite during this draft process. What does the team see in Chark? Let’s dive into his film to find out.

Strengths

  • Size and speed combo is salivating. Possesses measurables that wide receiver coaches dream of.
  • Game speed is evident. Can get open/separation with speed alone.
  • Playmaker. Out-jumps defenders in 50-50 situations and utilizes frame.
  • Adjusts to bad passes very well. Was often underthown at LSU, and was able to adjust with quick hip flipping and coming back to the ball.
  • Breaks into deep routes cleanly. Utilizes doubles moves against man coverage.
  • Dynamic punt returner with great field vision.

Chark’s testing speed translates to his game speed. The route above is a solid example of his game speed and feel for route-running, as he utilizes speed into his cuts and breaks and not as much hand usage and technique. In order to advance his game and grow as a receiver, he will need to incorporate more hand usage and technique to win against NFL cornerbacks, but this type of speed on it’s own can be deadly in the pass game.

Adjusting to poor passes is a major strength of Chark’s, and if you’ve paid attention to the Jaguars’ passing game in the past couple of years, adjustment has often been a necessary skill for the team’s wide receiver corps. Every year I usually walk away from my prospect scouting with a player or two who’s biggest weakness was who was throwing him the ball, and Chark fits that bill.

Former LSU QB Danny Etling frequently failed to hit Chark in stride on routes, and Chark normally had to work his way back to the ball. Despite Blake Bortles’ growth in the past season, he still has placement issues, and Chark provides the ability to bail him out.

As if his 4.34 speed isn’t good enough, Chark’s field vision as a punt returner is extraordinary and let’s him attack his punt returns with a plan. He will most likely compete with Jaydon Mickens and Dede Westbrook for punt returning duties in training camp.

Weaknesses

  • Route sharpness and hand usage to separate is inconsistent, needs to add more routes to arsenal.
  • Doesn’t sink hips into breaks, making routes easier fornerbacks to play.
  • Often uses body/alligator arms to catch the ball, needs to attack better at high point.

Chark was mainly a deep threat in the Tigers’ offense, and didn’t boast a large route tree. Part of this comes from a lack of sinking his hips into his breaks, which limited the sharpness of his short/intermediate routes where he’d cut or comeback to the ball.

Chark rounds out at the top of his curl, which is less than optimal for maintaining separation going back to the ball. NFL cornerbacks play the ball much quicker than the cornerback in coverage here, and potentially even intercept the pass despite it being a well timed throw. Chark needs to drop his hips and make his curl sharper to utilize this route at the next level and continue to create yards after the catch.

Body catching is one of the most noticeable faults in Chark’s game. He had plenty of time with his head back to the QB on this pass to extend his arms and attack this ball, and he let it go right into his chest.

In this clip we see Chark display his ability to adjust to poor placement, but again, he lacks arm extension to attack this ball in the air. He had the ball in his possession while the cornerback was mid-hip flip, but if he extended and attacked this ball he would have created even more leverage and separation to find more yards after the catch.


D.J. Chark possesses the measurables that wide receiver coaches dream of, but he is certainly a project type of player with the potential to be a star. Jaguars WR coach Keenan McCardell needs to develop Chark’s sharpness in route running and eliminate his body catching to turn him into an all-around threat as a receiver, but his floor is a true deep threat in the Jaguars offense.

However, if he develops properly, Chark could ascend into being one of the most electric receivers in the league.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Locked On Jaguars Podcast and on BigCatCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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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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