Jaguars Positional Analysis: Tight End

The Jaguars tight ends were certainly one of the bright spots on a sometimes struggling offense in 2006. The team featured star blocker Kyle Brady, first round draft pick (2006) Marcedes Lewis, and what was supposed to be the forgotten man, George Wrighster.

Kyle Brady did what he does, which is clear holes for the effective Jaguars running game as well as pass protect, and catch the occasional pass. Lewis hurt his ankle in the first preseason game, and never really put together the season that many were hoping for, with the exception of a few impressive highlights. George Wrighster was supposed to have a hard time even making the '06 roster. Wrighster not only made the team, but stepped up as the Jaguars best pass-catching tight end in 2006. Wrighster's final '06 totals of 39 receptions, 353 yards, and three touchdowns may not have been among the league leaders, but Wrighster was big in the Jaguars passing game, and a great surprise to fans of the team.

Strengths:
In 2006, George Wrighster showed why the Jaguars drafted him in 2003. Wrighster found extra motivation by the selection of Marcedes Lewis in the first round, and made the most use of his extended playing time. Wrighster showed great athleticism and an ability to make plays in the passing game. Wrighster is also an underrated blocker and opened up holes for the running game.

Marcedes Lewis had somewhat of a disappointing rookie year in 2006 due to his ankle injury early on in the preseason, but showed great hands in the passing game in his limited opportunities. Lewis did not start many games in '06, but was able to catch 13 balls in a struggling passing game. Lewis ran good routes and figures to be more of a weapon in the passing game in the 2007 season. To assist Wrighster and Lewis, the Jaguars signed former Minnesota tight end Jermaine Wiggins, back in March. Wiggins doesn't have the physique of a football player, but has shown to be very productive when presented with pass-catching opportunities.

Weaknesses:
George Wrighster made great catches at times, but at times dropped easy passes. Marcedes Lewis showed the hands of a Tony Gonzalez type of tight end, but seems to lack the speed to be a Pro Bowler. Lewis should be able to make up for the lack of speed as he becomes an even better route runner as he gains more experience. Jermaine Wiggins lacks skills as a blocker.

Overall 2006 season grade: B-
The Jaguars tight ends were used more as blockers in 2006, and did a phenomenal job in that role. When they were used in the passing game, they showed an ability to get the job done. The only attribute that the Jaguars tight ends don't have at this point would be big play ability. Marcedes Lewis was drafted for that, and he may give the team the big plays they are looking for in '07.

Outlook for 2007:
The Jaguars will likely lean more on their tight ends in the '07 season. Marcedes Lewis will have a full season under his belt and be able to take part in all of the mini-camps, which was unlike 2006. I expect Lewis to show more of the play-making abilities that made him the Mackey Award Winner in 2005, and a first round pick last April. George Wrighster stepped up in a major way in '06, and is expected to keep improving. Jermaine Wiggins will likely be a possession type of receiver in '07, and will probably see limited action, assuming that both Wrighster and Lewis are healthy.

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