The Jacksonville Jaguars have been searching for a true #1 receiver since Jimmy Smith retired. Sure. Mike Sims-Walker had a nice season in 2009, and Matt Jones had more potential than he could've ever used in 3 lifetimes, but no one has ever emerged as that year-in-year-out receiver. This year, the Jaguars will have a big field of receivers to choose from. How big? Just take a look at the current wide receivers on their roster:
|84||Shorts, III, Cecil||WR/ RS||6-0||193||23||R||Mount Union|
|15||Ellingson, Greg||WR||6-3||197||22||R||Florida International|
|83||Hill, Jason||WR||6-0||202||26||5||Washington State|
|17||Matthews, John||WR||6-0||200||25||2||University of San Diego|
|14||Newsome, Jamar||WR||6-1||201||23||R||Central Florida|
|81||Osgood, Kassim||WR||6-5||220||31||9||San Diego State|
Wow. For those of you that are starting to count, that's 11 of them. If that doesn't give them options I'm not really sure what does. Regardless, and as always, we dive further in.
It's oh-so-important to point out that the Jaguars won't carry 11 wide receivers into the regular season. That's a no brainer. The big problem for the coaching staff and GM Gene Smith will be determining who is worthy of a roster spot, who to cut, and who may end up on the practice squad.
Making the Cut
There's no doubt that Mike Thomas will be on the Jaguars roster. Furthermore, he'll be one of the starting wide receivers on opening day. Jason Hill is the heir apparent to Mike Sims-Walker, and he shouldn't have many problems securing his roster spot as well. Cecil Shorts III is expected to develop into a solid receiver, and it'll be interesting to see how he performs against top tier opponents. Regardless, penciling him in on the depth chart isn't a bad idea at this point. Finally, Kassim Osgood will get a roster spot because he's such a great special teams player. He's really only in this article because he's listed as a "WR" on the Jaguars official website.
On the Bubble
Jarett Dillard will have to show that he can stay healthy, but I think there's a place on the team for him. John Matthews is a guy that is also the standard "possession receiver," but he's not as quick as Dillard, and from what I've read, he's been having some problems catching the ball in training camp. There's really no market for possession receivers that can't catch. Look for him to be cut. Tiquan Underwood is the last guy I feel I need to mention in this piece. He has huge play speed, but he's never been able to show that type of ability on gameday with any consistency. I think he may cling to a roster spot, but don't be shocked if he's cut.
All the Best for All the Rest
The rest of the receivers on the list will be either cut or put on the practice squad. There's not really anyone worth noting just yet, and it's still too early to see if one of the unknowns on the team will make a push for a roster spot, and there is certainly room for one or more to do that, but it'd be surprising and very difficult. That's my impression of the Jaguars' wide receiver situation right now. We'll have to wait and see how it pans out over the course of the season.