The need for a game-changing playmaker at wide receiver is a must for the Jaguars moving into the 2019 season and beyond. The wide receiving corps was sub-par at best in 2018, and many of the current wide receiving group are culpable. One can point to the youth and inconsistencies of Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and 2018 rookie D.J. Chark. The preseason injury to Marqise Lee didn’t help either.
Whomever you point to, the fact is that there is not an exciting playmaker that can impact the game solely with his presence on the field. The 2019 draft class showcases three talented wide receivers that the Jaguars should take to evolve for the future.
N’Keal Harry (6’4”, 213), Arizona State
Conceivably the most physically gifted receiver of the 2019 class is N’Keal Harry, due to his
size and strength. Despite alarming inconsistency at the quarterback position for Arizona State (something Jaguars are accustomed to), Harry was able to compile 155 receptions, 2,230 receiving yards, and 17 touchdowns in two seasons for the Sun Devils.
Starting at the point of attack, Harry uses his hands and footwork to release and create separation prior to running his route. Harry’s impressive catch radius allows him to catch everything thrown his way (accurate or not).
Harry then has the ability to utilize his large frame and shield defenders to snag a pass, probably better than any other receiver in the 2019 class. Despite his staggering size, perhaps the most impressive asset for Harry is his play-making ability in open space.
While at Arizona State, Harry received the ball quickly from the quarterback on slants, quick curls, or jet sweeps which allowed him to create and use his elusiveness. Harry is drawing comparisons to Dez Bryant on the field and he is the entire package an NFL team yearns for.
Kelvin Harmon (6’2, 215), Wide Receiver, NC State
The surprise of the draft could be Harmon, but should he be a surprise? Harmon quietly led the Atlantic Coast Conference in receiving yards in 2018 with 1,186 yards during his junior year at N.C. State.
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Harmon thrived in a pro-style offense with highly touted quarterback Ryan Finley,
catching 81 passes from Finley this fall. Harmon’s exceptional footwork at the line of scrimmage separates him from the rest of the wide receiver class. His ability to stagger a cornerback on his heels allows him to gain the advantage and rack up valuable yards after the catch on short comeback routes.
But don’t be fooled, Harmon has the speed to make an impact by stretching the
field and will keep a defense honest. Harmon is at his best when he uses his lengthy frame and when he tracks the ball in the air and catches the ball at the highest point.
Harmon also displays toughness in the running game as he seeks out a defender to engage in blocking while displaying solid mechanics. Harmon displays a unique combination of skill, balance, and toughness, the special trinity that NFL coaches look for in wide receivers.
Lil’Jordan Humphrey (6’4”, 225), Texas
They say everything is bigger in Texas, and Lil’Jordan Humphrey is no exception.
As a junior, Humphrey caught 86 balls for 1,176 yards and nine touchdowns. Besides feasting against mediocre Big XII defenses, Humphrey starred in prime time matchups against perennial powerhouses such as Southern Cal and Georgia.
As a Longhorn, his power was on display often as he would drag defenders for extra yardage after being corralled. His size makes him almost uncoverable on in routes and curls, as he is able to shield away defenders with body positioning.
With the move to the offensively driven NFL, Humphrey’s size can immediately have an impact as a weapon in the red zone. Speed will likely be an issue at the combine, but if placed in the hands of the right coaching staff, his raw talent can be molded into a dangerous playmaker at the next level.