Cecil Shorts Is The Breakout Star Of 2012 NFL Season

Jacksonville Jaguars Cecil Shorts

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The lone bright spot for a struggling Jacksonville Jaguars offense this season has been the emergence of wide receiver Cecil Shorts as one of the best young wide receivers in the NFL.

Shorts is the 2012 version of the New York Giants Victor Cruz.

Shorts’ breakout is especially surprising to Jaguars fans who were ready to give up on the young receiver after only catching two passes in his rookie season. Now in his second year, Shorts leads the Jaguars with 43 catches for 824 yards and seven touchdowns. He is also second in the league with an average of 19.2 yards per catch, behind only Vincent Jackson of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Shorts did not receive nearly as much fanfare as his teammate Justin Blackmon coming out of college, but has emerged as the Jags top receiving option despite the lack of attention. He was a fourth-round pick out of Division III Mount Union, a school most people could not tell you which state it is in.

At only six feet tall and 200 pounds, Shorts doesn’t have the size to beat defenses in the red zone, but he uses his speed and supreme route running ability to get behind defenses. He also has an uncanny ability to turn short passes into longer plays. In fact five of Shorts’ seven touchdown catches this year have been over 40 yards and he has 15 catches this year of over 20 yards.

Shorts is now 176 yards away from becoming the first Jaguars receiver to break the 1,000 receiving yard mark since Jimmy Smith did it in 2005.

With Shorts and Blackmon in the fold, the Jaguars passing offense looks to finally have a bright future if they can get a quarterback to throw them the ball.


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