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NFL Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars 2013 Breakout Candidate: Cecil Shorts

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Short is ready for a breakout season in 2013.

Well technically, or I should say quietly, he had a breakout year in 2012. After catching only two passes in his rookie season, he had 55 receptions for 979 yards and seven touchdowns in his sophomore campaign.

Now heading into his third year in the league, the sky is the limit for the diminutive receiver. Standing only six feet tall and weighing 205 pounds, Shorts would blend into the crowd in most situations … unless that situation was catching passes on an NFL field.

In that situation, he’s starting to separate from the pack.

A playmaker who excels at moving the chains, 19 of his 55 catches last year came on either third or fourth down — when the team needed him the most last year, he was there.

The only question mark for Shorts this year isn’t anything he can control: it’s all the chaos that surrounds him on the Jaguars. Fellow 2011 draft pick Blaine Gabbert has been a disappointment as a starting quarterback. If the Jaguars can’t get a good year from Gabbert or whoever ends up under center, Shorts will have a tough time living up to his hype this year.

But if the Jaguars do figure something out this year when it comes to their quarterbacks (the answer could end up being veteran Chad Henne), Shorts will take full advantage.

The Jaguars’ best receiver was supposed to be Justin Blackman, but after receiving a four-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, the door is wide open for Shorts to solidify himself as the no. 1 option in Jacksonville.

How valuable that spot is remains to be seen, but based on the year he had last season, you can expect big things from Cecil Short in 2013.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.