Projecting Receptions by Position: AFC South

blake-bortles

Jacksonville Jaguars

2017 Totals
Blake Bortles: 315 completions on 523 attempts
WR Group: 177 Receptions
RB Group: 96 Receptions
TE Group: 42 Receptions

2018 Projections
Blake Bortles: 320 completions on 525 attempts
WR Group: 180 Receptions
RB Group: 80 Receptions
TE Group: 60 Receptions

The Jaguars finally put together the winning combination; keep the ball out of Bortles’s hands. The Sacksonville defense was spectacular, which is all the more impressive as a good number of starters were either rookies or new acquisitions. By all rights the defense should be even better this year now that everyone has had time to gel. With the defense keeping pressure off the offense, the Jags were free to hand the ball off to rookie Leonard Fournette, who ground his way to a solid season. That may be tougher this season though; Fournette was routinely bothered by a lingering ankle injury last year. It’s tough to see the Jags giving their workhorse back the ball less – that would defeat the purpose of a workhorse back, after all – but they have to do something. Not helping matters is the departure of Chris Ivory, but Corey Grant should be able to step up and help out when Fournette needs a breather. As long as Grant and T.J. Yeldon can pick up any slack that Fournette’s injuries leave, they should be able to continue to limit Bortles to around 525 attempts. With a full year in offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s system and new safety valve Austin Seferian-Jenkins to play with, Bortles’s accuracy should rise slightly, resulting in around 320 completions.

It’s tough to call any of the WRs on this roster true WR1’s, but what the Jags lack in star power they make up for in depth as Marqise Lee, Dede Westbrook, and Keenan Cole have all shown flashes. The loss of the Allens (Robinson and Hurns) hurts, but the Allens didn’t do much last year anyway. The additions of Donte Moncrief and rookie D.J. Chark should also help mitigate the loss. Ultimately the Jags have all the pieces to still make the chunk plays that they’ve relied on in the passing game. In the RB room, the loss of Chris Ivory will sting as the Jaguars are already worried about all the hits Fournette is taking and Corey Grant hasn’t done much in the receiving department. T.J. Yeldon likely benefits from this perspective, but new TE Seferian-Jenkins should also eat into the departed target share as he’s talented enough to demand more than the pitiful 13% catch share the TEs held last year.

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