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The Jacksonville Jaguars are primed for the most exciting season in franchise history. Man, does it feel good to say that!
Heralded as a return specialist for many years, Jaguars receiver Jamal Agnew has been all of that and more for the team this season. Aside from his 102-yard kick return for a touchdown and NFL record 109-yard field-goal return, his recent work as a pass catcher is starting to turn some heads, too.
No, his return ability shouldn’t be discounted, in fact, it should be celebrated, but his actions as a receiver in recent weeks has been impressive, too. Since the Jaguars lost DJ Chark, Jr. for the foreseeable future with a broken ankle, Angew was forced to become one of the next men up, a key contributor on offense.
Over the past two weeks, Agnew has accounted for 11 receptions for 119 yards. While those stats aren’t exactly world breaking, keep in mind that Agnew made the switch to receiver just a couple of seasons ago as a member of the Detroit Lions. He has been reliable, targeted 14 times, while hauling in 12 of those passes.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence has seen Agnew as a key target, and stated on Tuesday how valuable he has been offensively this year.
“He is just a guy that really can do anything and it is so valuable to have a guy like that on offense and I mean really anywhere. He can do special teams and then to come in these past two weeks and play our slot position and just not skip a beat,” said Lawrence.
“[He has] made big plays, both games and he has made a huge impact the past two weeks. I guess even in Cincinnati he had to come in during the middle of the game so that one too. Just a guy that is really versatile and that will help us a lot because you can do so many different things with him and I am glad he is on our team because he just helps us so much.”
Agnew has manned the team’s slot position, able to create separation perhaps as good as any of the other receivers on the team this year. For example, according to NFL NextGenStats, Agnew’s average yards of separation against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5 was 4.5, the seventh-best among all receivers – tight ends included – for the week.
His 3.5 yards was better against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday was better than receivers such as Tyler Lockett, and the best on the team for that week, too.
“Just his natural feel for creating separation, getting open, understanding concepts and adjustments. He is just a really savvy guy that knows how to get open and can play,” remarked Lawrence.
“When you have him out there, you just know he is going to make a play and as a quarterback you have a lot of confidence when you have a guy like that.”
Agnew will continue to be a valuable asset for the Jaguars moving forward, and for a rookie quarterback in Lawrence, he might quickly become one of the most valuable players for him to pass to as the season moves on, 11 games left in the year.