|Gene Smith can't be shy if he wants to add top talent at WR for the Jaguars.|
Since the Gene Smith era began at the beginning of 2009, the Jacksonville Jaguars have been shy about spending money on wide receivers. There's a very legitimate reason for that. The Jaguars have been bitten in a big way in the past when it comes to receivers. Certainly Reggie Williams and Matt Jones, possibly one of the most physically gifted players to ever wear a Jaguars jersey, were big busts. Jerry Porter and Troy Williamson's time here was brief and forgettable -- not to mention obscenely expensive in Porter's case.
The Jaguars simply haven't fared well over the past decade in terms of wide receivers. The Jaguars have tried to develop low-risk, low-cost guys into consistent producers for the offense, but it just hasn't worked. Mike Thomas, the team's most productive receiver, is better suited to be a slot receiver that plays more on second and third down. He's not an every down receiver, but that's the role he's been forced into.
Marcedes Lewis, the team's best all around receiver, isn't even listed at the position. He's a tight end, but he presents a better target to Blaine Gabbert than everyone else on the team, including Thomas.
There's a lot of big name receivers in free agency, and there should be some solid receivers in the first few rounds of the draft. There's no reason the Jaguars can't sign a couple solid guys in free agency as well as drafting developmental receivers in the draft. It's a position of great weakness, and it's been that way for too long.
We all wish the Jaguars could have gotten some level of production out of the endless line of low-risk receivers that have come and gone since the high-risk, big-bust days of Matt Jones and Jerry Porter, but that just hasn't happened. You reap what you sow. It's a lesson I hope Gene Smith has truly learned.