Cecil Shorts III was the 4th round pick (114th overall) of the Jaguars in the 2011 NFL Draft. He came in with a bit of fanfare, coming from Division III powerhouse, Mt. Union, which is the alma mater of Colts' Wide Receiver Pierre Garcon. However, in a league that provides major hurdles for smaller school players, can Shorts defy the odds and become a major player in the Jaguars offense.
Cecil Shorts was not highly recruited out of high school as a quarterback. After Pierre Garcon graduated in 2008, he was converted to a wide receiver and experienced immediate success, catching 77 balls for 1,484 yards and 23 receiving touchdowns. In 2009, he had 100 receptions for 1,736 yards and 19 receiving touchdowns, as well as 206 yards rushing and 8 rushing touchdowns .(I'm not kidding, folks, this is just in one year). In 2010, he missed 3 games due to injury and caught 63 balls for 1,107 yards and 17 touchdowns receiving as well as one rushing TD , two punt return touchdowns, and one kickoff return touchdown (That's 21 total touchdowns in case you were counting…). With the numbers that he put up, it's no wonder that he was voted as a 3-time All-American.
What he Brings to the Table
Cecil Shorts brings playmaking ability to the Jags, putting up inhuman numbers during his time in college. Sure, the competition is against Sisters of the Poor University, but you can't teach having a nose for the endzone and coming up big in big game situations.
He is 6-0, 205 pounds, which is somewhat average for a wide receiver and he runs a 4.50 40-time, which is decent for a wide receiver. He may not wow you with all of his measurables, but he just manages to make it work with precise route running and yards after the catch. With his versatility, he will find a bunch of roles to stay on the team. He will be a fun player to watch during the preseason as he tries to prove his worth.
What we Expect
The Jaguars expect for Shorts to go out and compete for the 3rd or 4th WR spot immediately. He'll probably have every chance to make plays during training camp and during the preseason, since the receiving corps is stretched a bit thin after Mike Thomas and Jason Hill. I predict about 20-40 catches in each of his first two years, making a few critical first downs and some other impact plays. However, I think he will probably break out in his third season as a reliable slot receiver with Gabbert at the helm. However, I think that will be more dependent on Gabbert's developmentrather than Shorts' development.
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