Dede Westbrook Headlines Jacksonville Jaguars Offensive Breakout Candidates

Dede Westbrook
Spread the love

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had a rough time recently when it comes to offensive production. The 2018 season was a train wreck. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, the starting tight-end, only played in five games. Three of five starting offensive lineman missed large chunks of the season due to injury. And of course, the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville came to a close. Poor play by the signal-caller surely made it hard for the receivers to do their job. But this year they will have Nick Foles and that’s an upgrade. Here’s a look at the top breakout candidates on offense, headlined by Dede Westbrook.

Dede Westbrook Top Breakout Candidate for Jacksonville Jaguars

Dede Westbrook

Westbrook was the leading receiver for the Jaguars in 2018. He hauled in 66 receptions for 717 yards along with five touchdowns. It’s highly conceivable that he would have had a 1000-yard season if there were more consistency at the quarterback position. Once Cody Kessler took over, offensive production practically came to a halt. But with Foles under center in 2019, the sky will be the limit for Westbrook.

Westbrook isn’t known for his size. In fact, he’s somewhat small for a receiver, standing at 6’0″ and 178 lbs. But Westbrook uses his size to his advantage. He’s shifty, has great speed, and does well with his hips to gain leverage against defenders. He does well in the slot and he will likely thrive there during the 2019 season. With taller pass-catchers like DJ Chark and new addition Chris Conley, Westbrook is likely to spend a good portion of his snaps out of the slot. But with Foles excelling at shorter passes over the middle of the field, it’s a match made in heaven. Look for Westbrook to be one of Foles’ top targets this year as he looks to have a breakout season.

DJ Chark

DJ Chark had an underwhelming rookie season in 2018. He had 14 receptions on 32 targets for a paltry 174 yards. Chark didn’t score a touchdown his rookie season. He did also spend time as a kick returner. Chark had seven kick returns for 186 yards for an average of 26.6 yards and a long of 47 yards. The 6’4″ 198 lb. rookie definitely had a learning curve entering the NFL. But he’s poised for a potential break out season.

Chark has all the tools necessary to develop into a quality receiver in the NFL. He’s tall and fast. He had a problem with drops last year, but if he can get his catch rate closer to the 60 percent range (it was 43.8 percent in 2018) he’ll be a more reliable option for Foles. Chark is fast. He had a speedy 4.34 second 40 yard dash time at the 2018 NFL Combine. With the potential to be a deep threat, he’ll be interesting to watch during training camp and the preseason. The second-round pick is high on potential but his sophomore campaign will be a good chance to prove he has what it takes to make it in the NFL.

Marqise Lee

Marqise Lee has had an interesting career to this point. A previous offensive coordinator once called him the “white tiger” because it was rare to see him on the field. He’s had hamstring issues in the past. But last year he had a nasty knee injury that kept him from taking the field during the regular season. Unfortunately, it was the year fans hoped Lee would take a leap and become the Jaguars number one receiver.

Lee is expected to be fully cleared to return to play by the start of the regular season. As the veteran of the receiver corps, that is great news. Whether or not he has a break out year is anyone’s guess. But if his recovery keeps on schedule, Lee will be a welcome addition on Sundays. With his experience and speed, Lee could surprise fans and make a big impact. Someone needs to step up on offense.

Bottom Line

The Jaguars have an intriguing group of receivers heading into the 2019 season. With Foles in Duval, they will finally have a competent signal-caller. Westbrook figures to be the most likely breakout candidate. He’s the most reliable pass-catcher on the team at this point. The good thing for all of the Jags receivers is that they’ve still got training camp and the preseason to make impressions. We’re just months away from seeing who will light up the stat sheets this year.

Main photo:
Embed from Getty Images