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Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver Tiquan Underwood is Stealing Reps from Promising Rookies

August 17th, 2011 at 7:56 PM
By Brendan Sonnone

The Tiquan Underwood experiment is over. 

Or at least it should be. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Underwood out of Rutgers in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft with the hopes of developing the speedy 6-foot-1, 185-pound wide out into a serviceable slot receiver.

Expectations were not high, but Underwood has still been under whelming during his time with the Jaguars, accumulating just 111 yards on eight receptions the past two seasons while developing a reputation for dropping passes.

The lowlight of his mediocre tenure came during Thursday's 47-12 preseason loss to the New Patriots. Underwood did what he did best, dropping two catchable passes.

Yes he's fast but his inability to make routine receptions has made him a liability for the Jaguars. 

More importantly, he's stealing invaluable repetitions from promising undrafted rookies. 

Armon Binns (Cincinnati,) Jamar Newsome (UCF) and Greg Ellingson (FIU) have all had solid preseasons and have the ability to fight for a roster spot. 

All three rookie receivers are 6-foot-1 or taller and would provide size, which is something current Jacksonville receivers lack. 

Binns looks like a good redzone target while Newsome has been explosive throughout the preseason and had a nice 16-yard snag during Jacksonville's loss to New England.

But none of the rookies are getting enough  meaningful preseason game reps against first or second-string defense and that has a lot to do with Underwood getting early reps. The Jaguars will have to start playing guys like Binns and Newsome in the first half in order to get an accurate gauge on their talent level.

That means pushing Underwood needs to get pushed to the back of the depth chart. He's had his chances and has failed. Time for some other youngsters to get their shot. 

 

Tags: Greg Ellingson, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jamar Newsome, NFL, NFL Draft

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