JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 19: Cecil Shorts III #84 of the Jacksonville Jaguars attempts to run for yardage following a reception against Dominique Franks #24 of the Atlanta Falcons during a game at EverBank Field on August 19, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts was one of the stars of training camp. The "Boys of Summer" as some of us used to refer to the wide receivers who looked great in OTA's and mini-camp. With the lockout this year however, there of course was no OTA's or mini-camp, just training camp. There have been many "Boys of Summer" in the past, too many names to count that flamed out once the pads went on and contact was allowed. Not Shorts though, he's looked great when he's been on the field, even in his first preseason game.
Against the Atlanta Falcons, Shorts notched five receptions for 52 yards playing primarily with the first team offense. I wrote earlier in the week and tweeted during the Jaguars game against the Falcons that Shorts very well could be the team's best wide receiver.
Jaguars.com senior writer John Oesher seems to believe that Shorts could be a starter by mid-season. "That he'll be starting by mid-season and by the end of the season, he could be the best receiver on the roster," Oesher wrote in his daily Q&A the O-Zone when asked about his expectations for Shorts. Shorts has been hyped by fans, media, and the front office and has lived up to the billing so far.
If Shorts continues to look as good as his has through the next two preseason games, he very well could start on opening day. Which wide receiver would he supplant is the question, however. Mike Thomas, who's supposed to be the teams number one receiver, to me is still best fit in the slot as opposed to the outside. Jason Hill is a boundary receiver, but he hasn't shown a whole lot in camp or the preseason either. While Shorts looks like he can play on the outside or in the slot, it might behoove the Jaguars offense to start Shorts and Hill outside, with Thomas in the slot.
Shorts will need to continue to shine through the rest of the preseason, however.