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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!
In the past, Jacksonville has starved for players who can carry an offense. While there has certainty been key pieces, including Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor as the most-recent examples, the Jaguars have yet to land players who resemble their big-play ability and skillset on the field, but 2021 could bring a resurgence of just that with the potential on the roster.
At receiver, Jacksonville is slated to play DJ Chark Jr., Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones Jr. as the top receivers on the roster. Chark has turned himself into a household name as of late, and while his 2020 season left something to be desired, the big-play potential is certainty there.
Along with Jones, Shenault and Chark within the receiver room, the Jaguars also have Collin Johnson, selected in the fifth-round last season, Phillip Dorsett, a speedster who the team believes can help take the top off of a defense and project receiver Jalen Camp who possess incredible raw traits.
Last season, Shenault and Chark combined for 111 receptions for 1,306 yards and 10 touchdowns. Considering the team’s quarterbacks during the season, Gardner Minshew II, Jake Luton and Mike Glennon, that’s definitely something to be proud of. It should also be noted that both Shenault and Chark missed multiple games last season.
This year, the team added multiple offensive skill players during the offseason, including Jones and running back Travis Etienne, players the team expects to have a major impact moving forward this year.
While simply an RB at Clemson, Etienne is expected to become a major piece to the puzzle as a receiver, too. The team has been criticized for playing him at the receiver position during the team’s rookie minicamp, however that will only allow him to play as the versatile playmaker that head coach Urban Meyer wants him to become.
“It’s a great room,” Jones recently told Jaguars Senior Writer John Oesher last week. “We have an immense amount of talent. You look to your left, that guy’s a baller. That guy’s a baller inside. I do my thing. It’s kind of easy when you have a room like that that’s’ dynamic and can do a lot of different things.”
While the skill players Jacksonville signed and drafted this offseason are one part of the equation, the team added its potential franchise quarterback during this year’s draft class in former Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. With Lawrence, the team expects to be able to perform in Year 1 under Meyer, someone who is incredibly proficient on the offensive side of the football.
While it shouldn’t be expected that Jacksonville becomes a top-five team in just one season, the future is bright.