The Jaguars have their new "franchise lifting" quarterback in Nick Foles. Now they need to surround him with quality weapons.
The quality of the wide receiver position in Jacksonville is debatable. From where I'm sitting the only player that has shown the potential to indeed be a star in 2019 is Dede Westbrook. Marqise Lee, if healthy, can be a somewhat reliable possession receiver. DJ Chark showed little in his rookie year, but the Jaguars should attempt to get him vertical much more in year two. Keelan Cole's sophomore campaign was a disaster.
That's what the Jaguars have at receiver. The front office should undoubtedly attempt to upgrade the group.
But when you move to tight end, there's no debate. The group needs a complete overhaul, mostly because the only tight end on the roster who's caught a pass in the NFL is Ben Koyack.
The Jaguars will almost certainly draft one of the many talented tight ends that will be available in April's draft, but merely adding one more tight end to the roster won't be enough.
No, the Jaguars need to sign a free agent or two. The problem is, there's not much to be had on the open market right now. If I were running the team, I'd be on the phone with Austin Seferian-Jenkins' agent right now (ASJ for short). He's a veteran free agent tight end that could likely be had for around $3-4 million per year.
But he comes with significant upside for a player in that price range. He only played in five games for the Jaguars last season, and even in those five games, he was battling through a core muscle injury, the same injury that ultimately ended his season.
His performance as a receiver in those contests wasn't revolutionary, but it was solid. ASJ caught 11/18 targets in those five games and showed the potential to be a consistent safety valve for his quarterback. Perhaps, more importantly, ASJ delivered as a blocker. As a run blocker, his play ranged from above average to great, and as a pass protector he put up a lot more good tape than bad.
I'm not suggesting that ASJ would be a home run of a signing, but he could be just what the doctor ordered in Jacksonville. If the Jaguars pair him with TJ Hockenson or Noah Fant, they could immediately have one of the best tight end duos in football. Nick Foles LOVES hitting his tight ends and having a pair of that caliber could be a massive advantage for the Jaguars moving into the 2019 season.
Other tight ends the Jaguars could consider:
- Maxx Williams
- Luke Wilson
- James O'Shaughnessy (Should be brought back as third tight end)
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