JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – From top to bottom the Jacksonville Jaguars have one of the most talented rosters in the NFL. This year’s rookie class will have to fight for playing time instead of immediately being plugged in as starters from day one. The Jaguars selected D.J. Chark out of LSU in the second round and their hope is that he can develop into a deep threat for quarterback Blake Bortles.
Position: Wide Receiver
2017 Stats (LSU): 35 catches, 811 yards and three touchdowns
2018 Projection: Speed. Speed. Speed. That is what the Jaguars are looking to get out of Chark. He has 4.34 speed in the 40-yard dash. Last season at LSU he averaged 23.2 yards per catch. Often times rookie receivers take longer to adjust to the NFL than other positions. The Jaguars depth at receiver will give Chark time to develop. It’s no secret that Jacksonville is going to run the football and that could allow Chark some one-on-one opportunities to stretch the field off the play action pass. Chark also returned punts for touchdowns at LSU and could get in the mix to the same for the Jaguars.
Jaguars WR coach Keenan McCardell on what Chark needs to do in order to improve:
“It is just the speed of the game for him [and] continuing to play every play at a high level. I know the SEC is a great conference – they play fast there. But here at the next level, you have to continue to play through a lot of things. I get on him sometimes about coasting through breaks. That is part of being a young receiver, especially a young college receiver. A lot of the times in college, a quarterback has to see him open before he throws it, so he kind of coasts out of the routes. Here, it is on time and it is precision. You have to come out running because Blake [Bortles] is going to throw it right out of your break. That is part of me getting on him, staying on him and him doing the things that he needs to do to be the type of receiver we want him to be.”