NFL Hot Press: Jaguars Considered Drafting Jaelen Strong

Jaguars Considered Drafting Jaelen Strong

Updated July 10, 2015
By Charlie Campbell. Follow Charlie on Twitter @draftcampbell.

After taking Dante Fowler in the first round, the emphasis of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ draft became adding talent around second-year quarterback Blake Bortles. Jacksonville general manager David Caldwell and head coach Gus Bradley are entering a critical year in their tenure, with everything riding on Bortles panning out. The Jaguars drafted two receivers with Bortles in the 2014 draft, but despite having those young wideouts, sources say the Jaguars came close to pulling the trigger on Arizona State wide receiver Jaelen Strong with their third-round pick.

Ultimately, sources said the Jaguars felt that the offensive line needed more talent and competition. Thus, they took South Carolina guard A.J. Cann. Former Bronco Zane Beadles was a disappointment in his first season in Jacksonville, and the front office felt that Cann could push Beadles. Judging by the sounds of it, Jacksonville had Strong graded higher than Cann, but after Bortles took a beating in his first year, the offensive line need won out over taking another receiver.

Strong was a major possibility despite the fact that the Jaguars took Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson in the second round of the 2014 draft. Sources say the team is very excited about Robinson and envision him being their No. 1 receiver. They say that the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder Robinson has the chance to be a special player in the NFL. They also told us that Lee has flashed at times, but injuries have held him back along with some homesickness for Los Angeles. Jacksonville also found a steal with undrafted free agent Allen Hurns who had 51 receptions for 677 yards and six touchdowns as a rookie. Jacksonville envisions that trio being their top three receivers in 2015.

Jacksonville liked Strong a lot, and it came close to adding him to its mix. The team would have preferred not to see Strong land with a division rival as he did with the Texans, but sources say the Jaguars like how Cann practiced and they feel that their offense got a lot better this offseason with additions to the offensive line and running backs, as well as the development of their young receivers.

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