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The Jacksonville Jaguars Need to Go After a Wide Receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft

December 12th, 2011 at 5:20 PM
By Michael Hall

I came up with this before Blaine Gabbert blew up on Sunday, trust me. The Jaguars' offensive explosion was a surprise, but Gabbert's success wasn't a complete and utter shock to me. I saw the improvement even in that demoralizing loss against the San Diego Chargers. His awareness and improved movement mechanics in the pocket could be seen in the Chargers' game, but the improvement was overshadowed by the humiliation of the loss  and the piling on by the commentary of Jon Gruden. So, when my co-writer pitched the idea of looking at a QB in the 2012 Draft, I decided to play the opposing role and exhort the Jaguars to go after a wide receiver in the 2012 NFL Draft.

First, I do not necessarily disagree that the Jaguars need an extra QB. Luke McCown is nearing the end of his contract and Gabbert, being a young player, will need mentoring by a veteran QB and/or some competition to push him to be even better. However, the Jags should not address the position early in the draft. After all, the position is pretty deep in this draft and you could probably find a gem like T.J. Yates. Maybe The Jags could help Mark Brunell out with his financial situation, and help out Blaine at the same time.

Now let's get to the meat of this article. It is no secret that Blaine has a deficiency in terms of surrounding weapons. Mike Thomas is a short slot receiver that can't seem to get much separation. Jarett Dillard runs good routes and has good hands, but he's a bit short as well. Kassim Osgood is mostly a stunt player and his hands have been sketchy. Cecil Shorts has been improving, but he is obviously a  rookie. Chastin West is somewhat decent. The only real weapons this team has is Maurice Jones-Drew who has been beastly this year and Marcedes Lewis, who has been to the Pro Bowl, but has had an off-year. If thye Jags get a possible game-breaking playmaking receiver like Justin Blackmon, It puts less pressure on Mike Thomas and Jarett Dillard, who could both work on the underneath routes and Marcedes Lewis, who would have to deal with less interference from the safeties. All of a sudden, this offense looks a lot better, especially as Blaine Gabbert improves his game. If Gabbert doesn't keep improving by the end of next season, then it would be time to start weighing your options. However, for now,  looking to replace a highly drafted QB after his rookie season is placing your expectations way too high.  

Tags: Blaine Gabbert, Cecil Shorts, Chastin West, Football, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Jaguars, Jaguars, Jarett Dillard, Kassim Osgood, Luke McCown, Mark Brunell, Mike Thomas, NFL, San Diego Chargers, T.J. Yates

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