The Jacksonville Jaguars have a talented, yet troubled, young wide receiver in Justin Blackmon. While the Jaguars offense performed poorly as a whole, Blackmon put together a solid rookie campaign, catching 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns. However, Blackmon’s decision making has put him and the Jaguars in a bind once again. Blackmon will be suspended for the first four games on the 2013 NFL season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.
So what can Jacksonville expect from Blackmon, when he returns to the field after his suspension?
While projections hardly ever come to fruition, one can expect Blackmon to have totals similar to last season in a shorter time period. While Blackmon will have to adjust to new head coach Gus Bradley, and offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, he should still be able to progress in his second year. Blackmon will be more accustomed to reading defenses and adjusting his routes. The wide receiver should also be able to develop more of a rapport with quarterback Blaine Gabbert, after another offseason to work with him. Blackmon also has a solid receiver opposite of him in Cecil Shorts III, so he should not have to worry about double coverage from defenses.
Blackmon may start out slowly when he returns from suspension, but he will add a boost to the Jaguars offense and will be looked to often for production. If the talented receiver can stay out of trouble, he has the ability to grow into one of the top receivers in the league. The Jaguars invested a great deal in Blackmon when they drafted him, and his future will go a long way in determining which direction the franchise goes in upcoming seasons.