The Jacksonville Jaguars deemed quarterback Blake Bortles the top passer of the 2014 draft class, and made the Central Florida product the No. 3 overall pick. Bortles undoubtedly relished the distinction of being the first quarterback selected, but had to feel some uneasiness about the targets he would be throwing to.
Justin Blackmon‘s indefinite suspension left Jacksonville’s group of pass catchers without a true No. 1 receiver. To ease the mind of Bortles and club’s fanbase, the Jaguars doubled down on a talented wide receiver class by nabbing two promising prospects in the second round. USC‘s Marqise Lee was the more notable choice, as a receiver most thought would come off the board on Day 1, but Penn State‘s Allen Robinson, the No. 61 overall pick, shouldn’t be forgotten.
Robinson didn’t blow scouts away at February’s combine, but was a highly athletic, highly productive wideout at Penn State. Utilizing an imposing frame and impressive fluidity, Robinson routinely abused Big Ten cornerbacks with clean hands and route running. He possesses the large-catch radius to emerge as a dangerous red-zone target for whoever the Jaguars’ quarterback is in 2014 and beyond.
There are some concerns about Robinson’s ability to separate from NFL defensive backs, but he was proficient in getting open for Penn State’s passing game, which employs a full route tree. He may not own top-end speed, but he’s capable of separating with smooth routes, and can reel in contested catches when he’s unable to.
How he fits in Jacksonville’s offense this fall will be largely dependent on how consistent he is during his rookie training camp and preseason. Robinson’s tenure with the Jaguars isn’t off the best start, as he recently suffered a hamstring injury that should sideline him for the majority of the club’s remaining OTAs. But the nick up shouldn’t threaten his availability for camp.
Still, missing those valuable reps could make earning playing time a tall order. Before the injury, Robinson was lining up as the Jaguars’ “X” receiver, which is typically Cecil Shorts‘ spot. With 1,756 combined receiver yards over the past two seasons despite shoddy quarterback play, Shorts is likely solidified as a starter in 2014.
Thus, Robinson probably won’t push for a starting role in his first year. That doesn’t mean he won’t be apart of the rotation and produce, but reaching his potential likely won’t transpire in the immediate future. Stealing the show in camp could always change that, however.
Cody Strahm is an NFL Senior Writer at Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.