The Jacksonville Jaguars were a tough team to watch over the 2012 NFL season and that’s really more of a fact than an opinion. They finished tied for the worst record in the league at 2-14 and didn’t exactly look great doing it. In fact, the Jags ranked in the bottom third of the league in most statistical categories and that really showed on the field.
A problem that Jacksonville had last year and will continue to have this season is the productivity at the quarterback position. Their starts were split between Blaine Gabbert and Chad Henne last season and Gabbert, who wasn’t good last year, will likely be the man under center for the Jaguars come week one.
Though the quarterbacks for the Jags struggled last year, they did have a surprise receiver emerge as a fantastic deep threat in Cecil Shorts. Shorts caught just two passes for 30 yards in 2011, his rookie year, but came out of nowhere to catch 55 passes for 979 yards and seven touchdowns last season. 36 of his catches also went for first downs. Shorts showed great proficiency with getting past or getting an edge on defenders down field in his routes last year.
Jacksonville added some depth to their receiving core this off-season by drafting Ace Sanders and signing Mohamed Massaquoi. Massaquoi has shown flashes of being a solid receiver in the NFL and Sanders had a productive college career. However, the Jaguars can’t let the arrival of these new receivers diminish the role of Shorts in the offense.
Shorts is still quite young at 25 years old and is coming off of his first full season of seeing a legitimate workload in this league. He should come out this year even better than last season and his ability to get open for the deep ball will open up the field for guys like Sanders, Massaquoi and Justin Blackmon when he finishes serving his suspension. Shorts may not be a big name guy, but he’s important to the Jags passing game, no matter how poor of a passing game it is.