There is no need for anyone to start panicking about the depth of the Jaguars WR corps. The team has Mike Thomas, Jason Hill & Cecil Shorts locked up for the first 3 spots on the roster. After them the Jags have Osgood, Dillard & Underwood. Beyond that, they have Matthews, Inman, Ellingson, Newsome & Binns to choose from. That’s 11 WRs fighting for 5 or 6 spots, depending on how many WRs GM Gene & Del Rio decide on keeping at the start of the season. Then there is the practice squad to consider as well. So Let’s dig deeper into the players who are in camp & see if any of them are worthy of making the roster or the practice squad.
As I mentioned, Thomas, Hill & Shorts are locks for the roster….so I’ll concentrate on the other WRs in the mix. First, let’s start with Dontrelle Inman from Virginia. Though he is a big player at 6’3″ and 198 lbs., he hasn’t really impressed at camp so far and should be considered a long shot at making the team let alone the practice squad. Second is Greg Ellingson out of Florida International. He too is a big player at 6’3″ and 197 lbs. He has made some catches during camp, but isn’t anything to write home about. He has a slim chance of making the practice squad right now and those chances will get even slimmer if he doesn’t do something to get the coaches attention. Jamar Newsome out of Central Florida is shorter than Inman & Ellingson at 6’1″ and 201 lbs, but he has turned heads with very nice catches during camp and could easily land on the practice quad or steal a roster spot if he continues to shine during the preseason. Armon Binns is by far the best of the UDFA class at Jaguars camp. Hailing from Cincinatii, he has made perfect catches and uses his size to block out or simply out-jump defenders. At 6’3″ and 209 lbs, he is the biggest of the WR contenders. Binns out-played all the other UDFA WRs during camp. He currently has a soft-tissue injury, but we should see him back for the second preseason game against the Falcons. Binns is the most deserving of a roster spot and if placed on the practice squad he is also most likely to be signed by another team.
John Matthews is back in camp again, but might be relegated to the practice squad once more. It is a shame, because he can make all the catches and gives his all, but just can’t seem to make the roster unless a starter gets injured. Hopefully he can make it this year, and seeing as how Underwood has done nothing noteworthy yet, he has a good chance to take his spot. Speaking of Tiquan Underwood, why has he basically disappeared in camp? He has the skills and the speed to make the roster, but seems to be doing nothing to secure his spot. He could be replaced very easily by Binns or Matthews if he doesn’t show something in the preseason games. Jarett Dillard should make the team as long as he stays healthy, which has been a concern with him the past 2 seasons. When healthy, he has all the tools to be a quality NFL receiver. Last but not least, Kassim Osgood will most likely make the team due to his special teams play. As a receiver, he could do more & has not reached his full potential yet. At 6’5″ and 220 lbs, the former Charger has the size that should make him a favorite target for any Jaguars QB. If given more opportunities, I have no doubt that he would impress and improve as a WR on this team.
So why are so many fans upset about the WR corps of the Jags? Because fans want name recognition. Fans want a big name free agent WR like Chad Ochocinco, Plaxico Burress or Braylon Edwards They want instant gratification without having to wait for a player to develop. And while big name players most certainly are guaranteed to cost a lot, they don’t always help a team win a lot. But maybe if the fans look just a little bit deeper, they’ll see that the Jaguars have some talented WRs already on the current roster. Just relax and give them time to prove themselves. A future number 1 receiver could be playing for the Jaguars this preseason. Wouldn’t it be nice if Binns or Newsome turned out to be the next big time player that all the other teams & fans wish they had on their rosters. You’ll never know if you don’t give them a chance. How much would it suck to see one of these players get cut and move on to another team and then become a star. Think about it.