Following the 2021 NFL Draft, we continue with our post-draft question-and-answer series to learn more about each rookie for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Today’s focus is on Jalen Camp, a Georgia Tech wide receiver who the Jaguars selected in the sixth round (No. 206 overall). Camp was one of the more intriguing picks in Jacksonville’s draft class.
To get a better picture on what to expect from Camp, we spoke with Benjamin Tankersley, co-manager at From The Rumble Seat — SB Nation’s Georgia Tech community. Camp has impressive measurables, but enters a crowded wide receivers room. So what does Camp bring to the table for Jacksonville? Let’s find out.
1. OK, so Jalen Camp runs a 4.43-second 40-yard dash, has a nearly 40-inch vertical jump, can bench press 225 pounds 30 times, and is 6-foot-2, 220 pounds. He has size, speed, strength and explosiveness, as well as reliable hands. Why do you think he didn’t get drafted until the sixth round? Was it lack of production?
Benjamin: I think a lot of it was a mix of lack of production and just limited passing from Georgia Tech. Camp was initially recruited to play in (former Georgia Tech head coach) Paul Johnson’s option-based offense, which did not pass very much. He was used either as a blocker or sent deep. Once Geoff Collins showed up on campus as the new head coach, some of the FTRS staff (myself included) thought Camp could potentially make the move to tight end since he’s a bigger receiver, but he shocked us all and stayed at wide receiver. Even then, it’s tough to say he really got a fair shot at receiver at Georgia Tech. Sure, he was the top receiver for two seasons, but in his first season under Collins, he was hurt and ended up redshirting, and then year two was 2020, and did anyone really get a chance to show off much of anything (due to the pandemic)? Anyway, because of that, Camp’s route tree and route-running skills did not get to develop too much.
2. With that said, Georgia Tech wasn’t always an offense that threw the ball, as you mentioned, and there was spotty quarterback play this past season. With that in mind, do you think Camp could prove to be a steal in the sixth round? Why or why not?
Benjamin: I think Camp has always been a bit of a workout warrior, but there is some serious potential there. He’s big, he’s fast, but he needs some serious refinement if he wants to stick at the NFL level. I won’t claim to know too much about the Jags’ receiving coach (Sanjay Lal), but I think that Camp will absolutely be a worthwhile investment as long as he gets developed properly at the NFL level.
3. While Camp appears to be talented and has all the right traits, he is entering a pretty crowded wide receivers room with D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, Marvin Jones Jr., Phillip Dorsett, Collin Johnson, Jamal Agnew and others. With all of those players in the wide receivers room, do you expect Camp to make the active roster in 2021 first and foremost, and if so, do you think he could carve out a role?
Benjamin: I think a lot of it depends on how Camp does during training camp. Like I’ve mentioned already, he needs some refinement, especially when it comes to his route-running. If nothing else, I think Camp would be an excellent special teamer to start out. I could also see him shifting to more of an H-back type role where he can line up all over the field to create mismatches. I don’t think he’s big enough to play tight end full time, but I could see him carving out a niche role somewhere.
4. Camp’s former college teammate, tight end Tyler Davis, is currently on the roster. Do you think a familiar face helps with Camp’s transition to the NFL? The Jaguars also have former Yellow Jackets Adam Gotsis and Nathan Cottrell currently on the roster. Does it seem like Georgia Tech is building a bit of a pipeline to the Jacksonville Jaguars?
Benjamin: I think it will definitely be nice to have a few people he knows on the roster, especially if he does end up in some kind of niche role where he lines up in some different spots. Also, you are certainly not the first one to notice the Georgia Tech to Jacksonville pipeline!
ATL -> JAX PIPELINE BABY https://t.co/CTsVqaWXhM— ACC CHAMPION Fabricate The Retro Shirts (@FTRSBlog) May 1, 2021
5. What areas do you see as Camp needing to improve upon? What are his best traits?
Benjamin: Camp is at his best when he’s creating mismatches. He can go up and catch contested passes, but the speed that he shows off doesn’t always translate to the football field. At Tech, he was far from a burner. He’s also an excellent blocker.
6. Is there anything else Jaguars fans should know about Camp?
Benjamin: I think it’s worth mentioning that he wore No. 1 at Georgia Tech. When Collins showed up as head coach, the single-digit numbers became a competition, with players having to earn the right to wear that number, whatever it may be.
A big thank you to Benjamin for providing insights into what Camp’s role could be with the Jaguars. You can follow him on Twitter, and for all things Georgia Tech, make sure to follow From The Rumble Seat as well.