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Ace Sanders adds playmaking ability to Jaguars punt returns

Kevin C. Cox

Quick: Name the best punt returner in the history of the Jacksonville Jaguars franchise! Drawing a blank? Struggling to think of someone who was able to hold the position for more than a single season? You're probably not alone.

Combing through Pro Football Reference you come to find that Reggie Barlow was probably the Jaguars best puntreturner to date, or at least the most consistent. Barlow holds the franchise record in both punt returns (146) and punt return yardage (1,581) with a 10/8 per return average.

The next best returner on that list? Good ol' Alvin Pearman followed by Mike Thomas and David Allen.

The Jaguars have had a lot of "potential" guys at the punt returner position like Brian Witherspoon, Chad Owens, and Dennis Northcutt but the reality is it's been a black hole for a long, long time.

Jaguars fourth-round pick Ace Sanders however, was an electric return man in the SEC and against multiple teams was able to take the punt for a touchdown and if not a touchdown, often for a decent chunk of yardage. Sanders appears to have the "quick twitch" and short area acceleration and change of direction that NFL teams covet in a punt returner, as well as the long speed to leave everyone and get the punt to the house.

Sanders can come in as a rookie and make an impact right away at the returner position, even if he's not getting a lot of reps at wide receiver. It's one of many positions the Jaguars have struggled with in their history, but hopefully Ace can fix it.

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