New Jaguar Scouting Report - Dennis Northcutt

The Jaguars saw a definite need for improvement in their wide receiver corps, and they addressed it in the first week of free agency by signing former Browns wide receiver, Dennis Northcutt. The stats tell us that Northcutt has caught 276 passes for 3438 yards, and 11 touchdowns, and he also has 16 plays of over 40 yards in his career.

We can also find out that Northcutt has returned punts in each of his seven NFL seasons and has averaged 10.6 yards per return with three touchdowns.

So what can we find out about Northcutt that the stats won't directly tell us? Barry McBride, publisher for The OBR is an NFL Team Expert for the Cleveland Browns, and has seen every game that Northcutt has played in. Barry was nice enough to share this bit of information with Jagnation:

Dennis was the Browns second-round pick in 2000, and worked out fairly well for them relative to other picks in that era. He's a small, elusive receiver who excels returning punts and was arguably the Browns more valuable offensive players at various points during his career with the team.

He was actually a better punt returner than his record in Cleveland indicates, as he was playing on a special teams unit that seemingly would commit penalties whenever he returned the ball for a touchdown. At least two TD returns were called back in 2005.

He's not afraid to go across the middle, but lacked the size and ability to fight for the ball which would have made him anything more than a #3 receiver. He got a couple of shots at being the #1 or #2 guy, but just wasn't able to capitalize on them. Unfortunately, he's remembered by a lot of folks in Cleveland as a receiver who dropped critical passes, most prominently a key reception during the team's only playoff game in the expansion era (against the dreaded Steelers, no less). That ignores his contributions to the team as a receiver and returner.

The team elected to go with Josh Cribbs as a return man this year, which meant that they were willing to let Northcutt go in free agency. Cutt is on the downside of his career, but could potentially help as a #3 receiver matched up against linebackers or in the return game. I think he's got a couple years left.

Jags Illustrated Top Stories