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Jaguars 2019 position group breakdown: Wide Receivers

Brandon Carroll



Dec 6, 2018; Nashville, TN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Dede Westbrook (12) celebrates after a first down during the first half against the Tennessee Titans at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

In 2018, the Jaguars had weak spots throughout the entire offensive unit. One of the biggest was the wide receiver corps. With a mixture of injuries and lack of talent to spread out the field and get open, it caused the Jaguars offense to produce lackluster yardage and ultimately lose games. While it may not have been all on the wide receivers for the lack of offensive production, they certainly played a big role. Without developed weapons to get the ball to it’s hard for any team to be successful.

Bringing in new players to pair with returning veteran receivers will help the Jacksonville offense tremendously. Jaguars offensive coordinator John Defilippo is very pass-oriented and mixes in runs to keep the defense honest about the next move. Having weapons outside and in the slot will only help when it comes to play-call variety.

Projected Depth Chart: 

WR: Dede Westbrook, Chris Conley, Terrell Pryor 

WR: Marquise Lee, D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole 

Dede Westbrook

Westbrook may be the most talented player within the Jaguars wide receiver group. Last season, Westbrook brought in 66 catches for 717 yards and five touchdowns including a 61-yard touchdown in week two against the Patriots. A play that sealed the deal for the Jaguars to upset the team that knocked them out of the playoffs a year prior. 

Coming out of Oklahoma, Westbrook was one of the most electrifying prospects in the draft. The major concern surrounding him was his durability given his smaller stature.  Despite the concern for injury, the Jaguars proceeded to select him in the 4th round of the 2017 draft. Last season, Westbrook played in all 16 games and saw extensive action as a slot receiver where he was a reliable option. He even showed off his talent as a punt returner taking one back 74 yards for a touchdown against the Redskins. 

Westbrook, 6’0, 178 pounds, has all the tangibles to become a major weapon in the Jaguars offense as the top slot receiver and can stretch the defense and create space for other receivers on the field. His speed allows him to burn opposing defenses. As he continues to develop as a route runner, he will become nearly unstoppable.

Westbrook’s ceiling is very high, and with the new offensive system, he has a chance to play a large role for Jacksonville if used correctly. 

Marquise Lee

Entering his sixth year in NFL, Lee is looking to return from a knee injury — which included an ACL tear —  he sustained last preseason. An injury that majorly shifted the Jaguars receiver group as they found themselves without a solid leader the entire rest of the season. 

Not having him in the game caused a stunt in development for the young core due to no other receiver having experience within the system for more than a year. With a lot of young talent, Lee’s return could lead to an increased amount of production as those around him got a chance to play without him. Having to pick up on little nuances by themselves will only help them when Lee returns and can aid them accordingly. First and second-year players Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark, and Keelan Cole didn’t have the opportunity to pick his mind or watch his play to gain knowledge on situations they had never been in before. 

Following the 2017 season, the Jaguars took a chance on Lee and kept him over Allen Robinson. So far that decision has not lived up to the expectations the Jaguars front office had. Robinson played a major role in the rebirth of the Bears’ offense, and Lee was sidelined all season. 

In 2017, Lee caught 56 passes for 702 yards and 3 scores as he led the team in receiving and was without a doubt Blake Bortles’ favorite target. His veteran experience and playstyle should suit well with Foles. 

When he returns — barring any sort of setback — Lee should have a large role in the receiving game once again in 2019. 

Chris Conley

Coming over from the Chiefs, Chris Conley is a huge addition to the Jacksonville offense. In his fifth year out of Georgia, Conley has played behind some of the games most talented receiving weapons Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The knowledge he has retained from his time in Andy Reid’s offensive system companied by the chemistry he built with Nick Foles during Foles’ time in Kansas City has him destined to be a sneakily dangerous threat for Foles to take advantage of. 

Conley offers a unique skill set that hasn’t been brought to the team in a large capacity since 2016. He is a large outside receiver that creates matchup problems for smaller corners. While he doesn’t have the speed to accelerate past those smaller corners, his ability to track down the deep ball and haul in catches down the field has been a large plus for the unit as a whole thus far in training camp. 

While he has yet to live up to his full potential due to injury, Jacksonville took a chance on him and want to see him emerge as the number one outside receiver for years to come. Being able to get a fresh start after years of disappointing seasons and injury can be good for any player. 

The physical prowess he brings to the table will allow him to get more targets giving him more opportunities to showcase what he can do on the football field. 

D.J. Chark 

In his second year out of LSU, D.J. Chark has shown flashes of star power with Jacksonville. Chark is unique in terms of his physical attributes. Standing at 6’4″ with a 79-inch wingspan, Chark is a long and lengthy wide receiver that is a big target for a quarterback. Mix that with his electric speed (4.34 40 yard dash) and you have a gifted weapon lining up at the line of scrimmage. 

Chark struggled to transition to the NFL and couldn’t seem to find his role in the offense last season. As the year progressed, Chark became more comfortable and he continues to develop into an intriguing young talent in only his second year. Continuing to work hard and elevate his game, Chark has gained a shot to be very involved in the offense and not just by way of catching the football. 

While at LSU, Chark was given the ball in any way you could think of. He was given the rock by way of run, pass, kickoff return, and punt return over his collegiate career. He’s an elite player that excels when the ball is in his hand. 

Chark’s potential is unmatched. Getting him involved early and often will allow him to grow as a player and have the chance to reach his ceiling. The Jaguars will look to include him in as many packages as possible and feed off his big-play ability not just on offense, but on special teams as well. 

Terrelle Pryor Sr. 

While playing in the NFL, Terrelle Pryor has experienced his fair share of adversity. Having to switch from playing quarterback to wide receiver is no easy task for someone to do at any level nevertheless the highest level of them all. 

Pryor did that successfully after being drafted by the Oakland Raiders to play quarterback. He saw the opportunity to further his career by adapting to a new position. Since doing so, Pryor has had his fair share of ups and downs. While many of his seasons have been cut short due to lackluster play on the field, one season, in particular, stands on Pryor’s resume. 

In 2016, Pryor had a breakout season for the Cleveland Browns where he hauled in 77 catches for over 1,000 yards and led the Browns in receiving. That season allowed him to secure a large contract with the Redskins where he yet again underperformed and was cut just a year later. In 2018, Pryor jumped from the Bills to the Jets to play a combined 8 games and had very little impact on either squad. 

Looking to revamp his career yet again, Pryor has found himself with Jacksonville and looks to get a fresh start in Duval. The potential to be a legitimate threat is there, but can Pryor piece together a season like the one he had in 2016 or will he continue to fall short of expectations? 

Pryor has shown out thus far in camp working with the second-team offense and given his veteran background, he looks to be a viable backup in case of injury or fatigue this season for the Jaguars. 

Keelan Cole

At the beginning of last season, there were talks of Keelan Cole taking over as the number one wide receiver for the Jaguars. Receiving an abundance of targets along with a spectacular one-handed grab week two against the Patriots, Cole seemed to be living up to that expectation.

Instead, Cole seemed to take a step back instead of taking a step forward. As he continued into the season, he gradually fell out of the scheme and had less impact in the offense. Not being able to show he could get it done when needed most and squandering the opportunities he was given, Cole finds himself barely making the roster in 2019. 

Cole tallied seven drops (according to playerprofiler.comand struggled to sustain consistency while on the field. Cole is looking to get back on track but will have very little opportunity to do so. His biggest chance at showing he deserves a chance on the team will be through special teams. During the first preseason game last week against Baltimore, he returned a kickoff for a touchdown that was called back due to a hold. Nevertheless, the ability to take the ball to the house in any situation doesn’t go unnoticed no matter the circumstance. 

Showing he deserves a roster spot is Cole’s main focus at the moment. As he continues to work on his hands and other parts of his game, he has a higher chance of remaining with the team. 

Bottom of the barrel: 

Tre McBride, Tyre Brady, Raphael Leonard, Quadree Henderson, C.J. Board, and Michael Walker. With not many roster slots being available, talented receivers such as Tre McBride and Tyre Brady, along with the others, will miss out on earning a spot with the Jaguars. 

Going into 2019, Jacksonville looks to be in good standing with their wide receiver corps. With a mixture of veteran presence and fresh new talent, the Jaguars look to cross the wide receiver group off the list of weak spots for the franchise.

Brandon Carroll is a 19-year-old college student aspiring to be involved in sports media. He has been writing for Locked On Jaguars for about many months now and has published multiple articles during his time. His love for the game of football is apart of who he is as a person and he continues to showcase that love through writing.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Texans: Five observations, red zone issues remain

Demetrius Harvey



Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws under pressure from the Houston Texans defensive line men during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) will be left with a lot to work on during their bye week. There was plenty to gather from the team’s 26-3 loss against the Houston Texans (6-3) in London.

1. Jaguars red-zone woes are still prevalent and have no fix in sight

In the red zone this season, the Jaguars have completed 34.5% (10/29) of their opportunities for touchdowns.  This ranks only better than the Cincinnati Bengals (33.33%) in the entire NFL.

While quarterback play is an issue in this area, the Jaguars have not made the most of their play-call opportunities either. The Jaguars entered the Houston Texans’ red zone only twice in 11 drives on Sunday.

During the two drives in the red zone, the Jaguars completed 0 passes and ran the ball one other time with Leonard Fournette for three yards. Simply not good enough.

Jaguars’ offensive coordinator John DeFilippo has spoken about the team’s ineffectiveness on red zone opportunities. “We moved the football well, but we need to do a better job in the red zone,” DeFilippo said on Thursday following the team’s week seven victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. “I need to do a better job of helping our guys get open. We need to do a better job executing and being more detailed and throwing the ball on time and all of those things. Again, all of that starts with me, and I will do a better job with that.”

Two weeks later and the team’s struggles have continued.

2. Gardner Minshew might take a backseat

Already discussed, the Jaguars might be in for a quarterback change coming out of their week 10 bye week. Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew struggled mightily in Sunday’s game, and head coach Doug Marrone will have a tough decision to make.

Although Minshew was playing with a sore right shoulder, he was able to practice in full all week leading up to their matchup at Wimbley. Regardless, the Jaguars will have to make a decision, and everything points to Nick Foles being the team’s starting quarterback against the Indianapolis Colts in week 11.

Now completely Minshew’s fault, his struggles in the red zone have been evident for the past several weeks. Foles — during the 2017 and 2018 seasons when he started for the Philidelphia Eagles — was efficient in the red zone, which could point to his maturity as a passer more than anything.

The Jaguars will want to see what they can get out of their veteran quarterback, and there is a reason to believe the Jaguars’ head coach is leaning in this direction. If Foles is not named the starting quarterback next Sunday, it is very likely the veteran will never start for this Jaguars team, at least not under the current staff.

3. Jaguars’ run-defense regressed

Without starting nickel corner D.J. Hayden and SAM linebacker Leon Jacobs, the Jaguars were forced to remain in their nickel package for much of the day. Rookie cornerback Breon Borders replaced Hayden in the starting lineup and while he was not the reason why the run defense suffered, not having a competent linebacker on the strong side of the ball impacted the team greatly.

Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde gashed the Jaguars’ defense 19 times for 160 yards during Sunday’s matchup. Part of the reason why the Jaguars were unable to stop the Texans’ running game late was the sheer amount of plays the Texans ran to begin the game.

In the first quarter, the Texans ran 20 total plays while the Jaguars offense was only able to produce nine total plays.

4. Jaguars cannot rely on penalties, but two changed the course of the game

While the Jaguars should not, and cannot rely on penalties, the team had two costly controversial calls in the third quarter of Sunday’s matchup.

With an opportunity to score, Minshew threw a beautiful back-shoulder pass to Jaguars’ receiver DJ Chark Jr. who was able to haul in the pass but was called for offensive pass interference. A few plays later the Jaguars would botch a field goal attempt and give the Texans the football at the 50-yard line.

Following the change of possession, Jaguars’ defensive end Calais Campbell was called for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Specifically, Campbell was called for lowering his head to initiate contact with a defenseless rusher. The Texans would net only a field goal on this drive, but it was a potential 10-point swing as Chark’s interference call was questionable, and Campbell did not even touch Watson on the play.

5. Keelan Cole shines in Dede Westbrook’s absence

Although the Jaguars clearly missed their 1B receiver in Dede Westbrook, rarely-utilized receiver Keelan Cole was able to step up to the plate and put on his best performance of the season, and possibly since 2017.

While it was not sensational, Cole hauled in five out of six of his targets for 80 yards on the day. The Jaguars could not get anything going down the field, however, Cole was able to get open on routine crossing routes.

In the coming weeks, look for Cole to have a bigger role in the Jaguars offense, especially with veteran receiver Chris Conley playing so up-and-down (2 receptions on 7 targets for 32 yards).

DeFilippo recently spoke about Cole and understands the third-year receiver may be frustrated with his snap count.

“I am proud of the way he stayed in it and even though he has not gotten the playing time,” DeFilippo said after the Jaguars victory over Bengals. “Everyone wants to play every snap. I’m sure he wants [more playing time]. He has done a great job staying in it.”

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars to make tough decision next week, Minshew Mania over for now

Demetrius Harvey



Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) throws a pass in the first half against the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) were embarrassed early Sunday morning via a 26-3 loss to the rival Houston Texans (6-3). Minshew-Mania may be over for now, but it won’t be the last time the rookie sensation starts for the team.

To put it simply, rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew did not play well at all yesterday. Completing 27/47 (57%) of his passes for 309 yards, two interceptions, and two fumbles lost, Minshew looked lost during the second half of the game on Sunday.

Minshew has been everything the team could have hoped for — and much more — out of a sixth-round quarterback, but between what transpired yesterday, and a few of his past performances — against winning teams –, the Jaguars will likely see what they can get out of veteran quarterback Nick Foles.

For three quarters, Minshew looked okay. While there was plenty that went wrong, the rookie was able to make key throws, during key situations. One play, in particular, stands out. With a little over five minutes left in the second quarter, the Jaguars could not seem to get anything going before Minshew scrambles around and eventually finds a wide-open Ryquell Armstead in the middle of the field. Armstead would take the ball 31 yards and set the team up for their only points of the game.

Minshew’s ability to improvise has been his bread and butter this season, and although he was not able to work his magic often against the Texans, these were the types of plays that gave pause in the Minshew/Foles debate.

During the fourth quarter, the Jaguars and Minshew were forced to take more shots downfield in a sort of desperation move while trailing 19-3. Although playcalling can certainly be questioned, the decision making of the Jaguars’ rookie quarterback was equally perplexing. Throwing two interceptions and losing two fumbles, Minshew had no chance at making a little magic to lead the team to another come-from-behind victory.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be forced to make a decision on his quarterback, but not right now. After the game, Marrone indicated he will wait until the Sunday before the team returns from their week 10 bye week to talk to both quarterbacks.

“I think after those 48 hours are over, I’m going to step away a little bit, take a break because I don’t have to make a decision and have time,” Marrone said shortly after the game when asked about making the quarterback decision. “That’s what I’m going to talk to the quarterbacks about, and then I’ll tell them probably right before we come back on Sunday, we’ll be able to discuss where we’re going to go. That’s pretty much my plan.”

While Minshew did not have a great game yesterday, the decision will be made on more than just one game, Marrone said.

The Jaguars’ head coach is stuck with an incredibly tough decision. At 4-5, the team needs a spark. The Jaguars need to win down the stretch and having to rely on a rookie — still going through ups and downs — is exhausting. While Foles may not be “the answer”, he is the only other option at this moment, and the Jaguars absolutely believe in the veteran.

Although this may be the end of Minshew starting in Jacksonville this season, his achievements — 188/307 (61%) completions for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns, and four interceptions — should not go unnoticed. The team absolutely still believes in the rookie quarterback, and he has a golden opportunity — if not this season — next year to prove everyone wrong.

One of the best, most fun performances out of a Jaguars’ quarterback over the first half of the season ever, is nothing to get upset about. Minshew provided spectators with Minshew-Mania, Minshew-Magic, and any other Minshew-ism one can think of.

For now, it is very likely Foles will make his Jaguars’ debut once again after breaking his left clavicle during the opening game of the season. In 11 plays this season Foles completed five out of eight of his passes for 75 yards and a touchdown.

It may be over for now, but this is just the beginning, and having the problem of deciding between a former Superbowl MVP and a rookie sensation at quarterback is a good thing. Depending on how Foles plays — if he is to be named the starter next Sunday –, Minshew could get yet another opportunity as the Jaguars progress from their 4-5 record.

Bonus clip:

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars fail to seize opportunity in London, falling 26-3 to Houston Texans

Demetrius Harvey



Nov 3, 2019; London, United Kingdom; Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) rushes for a first down during the first half of the game between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Houston Texans during an NFL International Series game at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn--USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-5) fell to Houston Texans (6-3) in a disappointing pre-bye week game in London, England. The Jaguars absolutely did not have home-field advantage on the day. 

The Jaguars took to their annual London voyage with a lot of optimism, however, all of that optimism was quickly quieted by the Houston Texans (6-3) as they were able to bottle up Gardner Minshew and the Jaguars, holding the team to just three points on the day.  The Texans would win 26-3 and kill any chances the Jaguars may have had at earning the division title in a few weeks.

To begin the game, the Jaguars opted to start out on defense with the Texans struggling early on in games this season. Holding the Texans to just three points to start the game, the Jaguars defense showed up big, especially as Jaguars’ cornerback A.J. Bouye shadowed Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who finished with just eight receptions for 48 yards. The Jaguars seemed to find a groove early on during the first half of the game, but their inability to score in the red zone reared it’s head yet again.

In what is likely his last game starting for the Jaguars this season — at least for now — Jaguars’ rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew completed just 27 out of 47 of his passes for 309 yards and two interceptions. Minshew also fumbled the football two times near the end of the game, which would ultimately end it at Wembley stadium.

While the Jaguars defense played well early on, they stood no chance against Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson who completed 22 out of 28 of his passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Extremely elusive, Watson was able to escape from the Jaguars pass rushers all day long. The Texans effectively ended any chance of the Jaguars coming back after Watson completed a long throw to Hopkins for 21 yards to the Jaguars’ one-yard line. The Texans would score on a one-yard run by Duke Johnson putting the team up 19-3 late in the third quarter.

All four of Minshew’s turnovers would come in the fourth quarter as the Jaguars attempted to climb back in the game. Missing their second-most targetted wide receiver in Dede Westbrook, the Jaguars and Minshew couldn’t seem to get anything going in the passing game.

The Jaguars’ run game was equally disappointing today as running back Leonard Fournette could only edge out 40 yards on 11 rushes.

Perhaps the best play of the game by the Jaguars’ defense, near the end of the game Texans’ running back Carlos Hyde sprinted free and was looking to go into the endzone when Jaguars’ safety Jarrod Wilson showed incredible hustle to force a fumble at the last second, turning the ball over to the Jaguars’ offense.

The good fortune wouldn’t last long, however, as Minshew would go on to throw his final interception of the game to completely seal the game for the Texans offense.

The Jaguars’ offense simply did not get anything going today, similar to their game against the New Orleans Saints in week six earlier this year. Minshew was sacked only four times on the day as the Texans did not want him to escape the pocket.

The team will have a very tough decision to make during their week 10 bye week. Ultimately, the team will need to decide between veteran quarterback Nick Foles or the rookie quarterback in Minshew.

Jaguars’ head coach Doug Marrone will be making the decision, and after falling 26-3 today largely due to the play of the team’s quarterback, it may be a no-brainer.

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