With the Jaguars seemingly content with allowing Mike Sims-Walker to hit the free agent market, there have been questions raised about the quality of the 2011 receiving corps. Even with the addition of 4th round draft pick Cecil Shorts, there are still plenty of doubts about the current group of receivers.
Most concerning is the lack of size in the group that will likely start the 5’8 Mike Thomas, 6’0 Jason Hill and 6’0 Cecil Shorts. The 6’6 Marcedes Lewis provides a large target for the Jaguars passing offense, but at the wide receiver position the only ones still listed on the roster that are over 6’0 include special teamer Kassim Osgood, Mike Sims-Walker, the 6’1 Tiquan Underwood and the 6’2 Nate Hughes.
However, despite this lack of size it appears unlikely that the Jaguars will add more players to the roster through pro free agency, although they certainly could in undrafted free agency. Or maybe the Jaguars could address the position by adding a couple of players to their listed roster…that are actually already on their roster.
On Jan. 9, 2011 the Jaguars signed the 6’2, 214 pound Jason Harmon and 11 days later on Jan. 20 signed the 6’1, 201 pound Chris McGaha. Both were signed to reserve/future contracts, as were safety Terrell Whitehead and center Bradley Vierling who both received their contracts in January as well.
That’s not to say these players are new in teal; all four had spots in training camp but none found the field in the regular season. Harmon, McGaha and Whitehead all spent the 2010 regular season on the Jaguars injury reserve while Vierling spent the season on the practice squad. All four were deemed worthy by the organization to keep under contract for the 2011 season, though.
Why then are Vierling and Whitehead listed on the Jaguars.com roster while McGaha and Harmon aren’t? That’s a question I have no answer for. According to all the information available, they both certainly should be.
While it’s hard to get too excited about a pair of players that are one removed from being signed as undrafted free agents, the Jaguars clearly see some value in keeping these players around for another year. After all, developmental players that are added in undrafted free agency aren’t very useful if you never give them time to develop.
McGaha is a receiver that was described by CBSSports as someone who’s “best attribute might be his body control and hands” and is a “precise route-runner.” Looking at plays like this, I have some faith in his hands as well. Harmon, a collegiate tight end, was described by Sports Illustrated as a “reliable pass catching tight end that looks like a large possession receiver on the field.”
They might not be the answer to a Jaguars receiving corps that doesn’t impress many, but there is the potential that Gene Smith could have some diamonds in the rough come training camp time.