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Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts emerging as big play threat

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Second-year wide receiver Cecil Shorts III is establishing himself as the Jacksonville Jaguars big play wide receiver.

Scott Cunningham

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been looking for a wide receiver to replace Keenan McCardell for over a decade after they let him walk in free agency after the 2001 season while the team was dealing with salary cap issues. Since that time the Jaguars have drafted three wide receivers in the first-round and multiple mid-round receivers as well as signed a few high priced guys in free agency, all to no avail.

Second year wide receiver Cecil Shorts III however appears to be filling that long standing void as he's proving himself to be a reliable big play threat at the receiver position. Shorts had another 100+ receiving yard day against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday, eclipsing the 100 yard mark for the third time in the past 5 games.

"I just think that I am making the most of my opportunities. When the ball comes my way, coach always says to catch the ball first and then from there you’ll make some plays," Shorts told reporters after the game on Sunday. "So just catch the ball first and when the ball comes my way I try to make the most of my opportunities. I’ve done the same thing in college so it isn’t new to me it’s just new to everyone else."

Shorts had a 59-yard touchdown reception on Sunday, his sixth touchdown reception of at least 39 yards this season. Currently Shorts leads the NFL in yards per catch right now, averaging 20.8 per reception, and is on pace to be the Jaguars first 1,000 yard receiver since the 2005 season, Jimmy Smith's final year in the NFL.