As the 2016 NFL season approaches, the Jaguars look to build on last year's 5-11 record. A highly celebrated draft class and the return of players such as Dante Fowler have the team's chances for improvement looking up.
Much of the optimism centers on the two Allens—wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. With both having two years of experience, the receivers have already made an impact on the team and league.
The Jaguars selected Robinson in the second round of the 2014 draft. With a solid frame at 6-foot-3 and nearly 1,500 yards as a junior, Robinson was one of the best receivers in his draft class.
The Penn State product gained a respectable 548 yards as a rookie in ten games. But in his second season, Robinson shattered expectations with a breakout performance that landed him in the top ten in receiving yards--his 1,400 yards were good for sixth. The end zone is where the receiver truly made a name for himself. Robinson tallied 14 touchdowns, putting him tied for first with Brandon Marshall and Doug Baldwin.
Unlike Robinson, Hurns went undrafted in 2014 after posting 1,162 yards in his senior year at the University of Miami. Also 6-foot-3, Hurns combines his stature with his improved route running to provide another formidable target for quarterback Blake Bortles.
Hurns appeared in all 16 games in 2014, ranking eighth among rookie receivers with 51 catches. Just like his counterpart, Hurns showed marked improvement in his second season, accumulating over a 1,000 yards receiving. Hurns' ten touchdowns put him tied for tenth with the likes of Antonio Brown and A.J. Green.
The performance of Robinson and Hurns put them near the top of receiving duos across the NFL. An NFL.com story ranked the duo second, putting them behind the New York Jets' Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. As far as stats are concerned, Hurns and Robinson compared favorably with the Jets' duo.
Marshall and Decker compiled over 2,500 combined receiving yards a year ago while posting 26 touchdowns. Hurns and Robinson trailed only slightly in both aspects, racking up 2,431 yards and 24 touchdowns in their second year, while Marshall and Decker boast a combined 16 years NFL experience.
Denver's duo of Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders has been seen as one of the best in the game. Once again, the Allen's fared well statistically against two players who have an experience advantage.
Thomas and Sanders bettered Robinson and Hurns last season by eight yards—2,439 to 2,431. The scoring production is where the Jaguars' receivers set themselves apart; their 24 touchdowns doubled the 12 by Thomas and Sanders.
The now third-year receivers have benefited from entering the league the same year as Bortles, potentially the franchise quarterback the Jaguars have been missing. With Robinson and Hurns, Bortles will have dependable pass catchers for years to come.
The performance of the two young wide-outs propelled Bortles to a successful second year as he threw for 4,428 yards and 35 touchdowns, which were light years ahead of his rookie stats.
The duo shows no signs of slowing down as the two Jaguars prepare for their third season together alongside Bortles. If this offensive trio sticks together, Jaguars fans will be in for a treat for years to come.null