Separation Anxiety

The Jacksonville Jaguars have not had a “BIG-TIME” WR since the great Jimmy smith retired.  They have not had a WR with his combination of speed, size and hands.  J-Smooth could get separation, use his body to block the defender, blow right by a defender or jump above them to bring in the ball.  He constantly made great catches seem ordinary. He was the definition of a “go to” receiver.  He took over games with his ability.  He dominated defenses.  No WR since has had that type of impact for the Jaguars.  The Jaguars need to find a Jimmy-type receiver (or two)for Gabbert to throw to if they want to contend year after year. 

Del Rio & GM Gene need to use a high draft pick on a big, fast, dominate WR.  They have passed on some very good receivers in the past.  Since Del Rio took over as head coach in 2003, the Jags have missed big time on WRs that could have help take this team to the next level while preventing them from becoming one dimensional on offense.  Check this out: in 2003 the Jaguars drafted QB Byron Leftwhich in the 1st round & CB Rashean Mathis in the 2nd round.  They could’ve tried to trade up for WR Andre Johnson in the 1st or taken WR Anquan Boldin in the 2nd.  In 2004 they selected WR Reggie Williams in the 1st & MLB Daryl Smith in the 2nd.  They could’ve traded up to get WR Larry Fitzgerald.  And WR Lee Evans was still on the board when they chose Williams . In 2005 They took a huge risk that ended in epic failure when they drafted QB turned WR experiment Matt Jones in the 1st when a sure fire pick in the form of WR Roddy White was still available.  In the 2nd round that year the Jags selected G Kalif Barnes instead of taking WR Vincent Jackson. 

2006 saw the Jags taking TE Marcedes Lewis and RB Maurice Jones-Drew. I would not have picked anyone other than those two players, but for the sake of having an example of the WRs available to the Jaguars, Santonio Holmes was there in the 1st round & Greg Jennings was there in the 2nd. 2007 rolled around and the Jags blew it again by drafting S Reggie Nelson in the 1st & LB Kevin Durant in the 2nd.  The Jaguars could’ve moved up for either WR Calvin”Megatron” Johnson ( a truly dominate WR) or WR Dwayne Bowe.  In 2008 the Jaguars made their biggest mistake to date by trading away picks (proof that they could have made big trades in they wanted to in previous years) for 2 players that flat out sucked.  They traded for DE Derrick Harvey in the 1st & traded again for Quentin Groves in the 2nd.  They could have had their pick of WRs like Donnie Avery, Jordy Nelson, Desean Jackson or Mario Manningham.

In 2009 the Jaguars selected 2 bookend tackles in Monroe & Britton (not saying they shouldn’t have picked them) when WRs such as Michael Crabtree, Jeremy Maclin, Hakeem Nicks & Mike Wallace were available.  The Jags took a gamble that paid off by drafted DT Tyson Alualuin the 1stround of the 2010 draft.  Then they took D’Anthony Smith, who was on IR his first year and is currently on the practice squad.  I love the Alualu pick, but WR Dez Bryant was there too.  WRs like Eric Decker & Taylor Price could have been drafted in the 3rd round that year.   Finally, the 2011 draft proved again that the jaguars could’ve moved up in previous drafts when they traded up to get their future franchise QB Blaine Gabbert in the 1st round.  They then selected G will rackley in the 3rd round.  No way am I suggesting that the jaguars should not have drafted Gabbert, but they also could’ve traded up for “big time” WRs like A.J. Green & Julio Jones in the 1st round or taken WR Randall Cobb in the 3rd round.

Any of these WRs could have made Jacksonville into a very hard offense to stop.  Instead, teams do not fear the Jacksonville WR corps.  They load the box against MJD & dare the Jags to beat them on the ground.  Jaguars QBs have continued to have difficulty finding open targets and have forced throws into double or triple coverage trying to get a TD only to end up with another INT.  Smaller, slower WRs are not the answer.  Other than Mike Thomas, the Jags have had no luck with drafting WRs since the start of the Del Rio era.  This needs to stop.  It needs to be addressed in the next draft and in a big way.  The Jaguars can move up to get a WR if they want to.  I hope they do.  Most jaguars fans feel the same way.

Next year has a few WRs that should be considered by the Jaguars.  Justin Blackmon, Alshon Jeffery, Michale Floyd & Jeff Fuller come to mind.  The Jaguars finally addressed their lack of a franchise QB last draft. Please don’t get me started on how many great QBs they passed up since 2003.  It is time to address they other glaring problem in the Jags line-up.  The time has come for Del Rio & GM Gene to do whatever it takes to get and “big time” WR or two to round out their offense.  Gabbert will not take us to the promise land with the current WRs on the roster.  Facts are facts….and the fact is that the Jaguars need some serious help in the WR department or we will continue to have separation anxiety.