Cecil Shorts been recently quoted as pretty bummed about not hitting the 1,000-yard mark last season, and why not.
The nearly-forgotten man out of Mount Union — that’s not the name of his high school — was drafted in the fourth-round in the 2011 NFL draft but regarded as a nobody when the Jacksonville Jaguars took Justin Blackmon with a top-ten pick in 2012, giving Blaine Gabbert an actual pro receiver to work with.
However, it seemed Jacksonville may have had a better receiver all along in Shorts, who’s taken advantage of Blackmon’s shortcomings and a receiving corps lacking at WR to surge up the depth chart, picking up 979 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012 despite not becoming a starter until Week 7. Now that Blackmon is suspended for the first four games, Shorts could overcome the Chad Henne-Gabbert factor just enough to become a decent No. 3 fantasy option, especially if you extrapolate those numbers — the ostensible difference in snaps between playing and starting — over six extra starts.
Pro Football Focus notes that Short finished eighth in the league in yards per route run last year and reviewed his second season in their “Secret Superstar” series: “For Shorts to fully emerge and become a true star he will have to cut down on his drops. He had the third-highest Drop Rate among wide receivers in the league last year, dropping 14.06% of the catchable passes thrown his way. Had he caught just one more of those passes he could have joined Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell as 1,000 yard Jaguars receivers.”