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Jaguars roster analysis: Log jam at wide receiver

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Moving on exploring the Jacksonville Jaguars roster after free agency and the 2017 NFL Draft has run it's course, we turn our attention to the wide receiver group. It's a group that has a lot of talent and is probably the Jaguars least needed position, which makes the recent report of Victor Cruz coming in for a visit a bit odd.

The Jaguars wide receiver group as a whole is probably the most talented it's been since the 1990's teams of Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell, but there still is a ways to go. The team does have enough talent at the position to get things done offensively though and I would argue has one of the better groups in the league, overall.

What do the Jaguars have?

The Jaguars still have the big two in former Pro Bowler Allen Robinson and his comrade Allen Hurns. Marqise Lee finally emerged last season while staying healthy, showing a lot of promise and the ability to step in when Hurns went down. The team also added Dede Westbrook in the fourth round, who was an explosive playmaker for Oklahoma and returns veterans Arrelious Benn, Larry Pinkard, Jamal Robinson, Rashad Greene (oops) and Bryan Walters.

The team also has a group of undrafted rookies in Amba Etta-Tawo, Kenneth Walker and Keelan Cole.

How much are the Jaguars spending?

(via Spotrac, not including Dede Westbrook's contract)

As expected, the Jaguars are well below the league average in spending at the position. The only hefty contract the team has is Allen Hurns, with the rest of the group being minimum salary type players or on rookie contracts. Guys like Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee could be in line for extensions, however.

Projected wide receivers:

I think it's pretty clear who the starters are in base downs if everyone is healthy, which is Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. When the team goes to three receiver sets, I would think ideally you have Hurns move inside to the slot and Marqise Lee end up lining up wide opposite Robinson. You would also utilize Dede Westbrook in the slot and Hurns on the outside.

Those four receivers are likely to see the lion's share of the receptions and are locks to make the roster, so the fifth wide receiver is likely going to be a niche player who can play special teams and on the outside and in the slot. The team did give Benn a new deal, prioritizing him in free agency over Walters, who they re-signed later in free agency. Then you have a talented undrafted free agent like Etta-Tawo who could realistically force his way on the team.

The battle for the fifth and/or sixth wide receiver should be a fun one to watch in the preseason.