The Jaguars spent a good amount of money in free agency to bolster their receivers corps by signing Kirk and Zay Jones to long-term deals that guarantee the two veterans a combined total of $51 million. Needless to say, that means both will enter the season as two of the Jags’ top-3 receivers, though it’s concerning that neither has registered a 1,000-yard season.
When it comes to Kirk, though, he has all the tools fans would like to see in a breakout candidate. He’s a player who can help Trevor Lawrence and the offense attack teams deep, and he showcased that last year when he accumulated a career-high of 982 yards last season. He was able to do that with a pretty good group of receivers playing alongside him in DeAndre Hopkins and Rondale Moore, so it’s certainly possible he can surpass his career-high in Jacksonville.
The other player who seems set to be one of the Jags’ top-3 receivers is veteran Marvin Jones Jr., another free agent who general manager Trent Baalke signed to the roster a year before Kirk and Jones. He was the Jags’ leading receiver last year and Lawrence’s favorite target as he finished 2021 with 73 catches for 832 yards and four touchdowns. With him returning for a second season, the connection between him and Lawrence could be even stronger in 2022.
When it comes to the Jags’ No. 4 receiver, it looks like that role will go to Laviska Shenault Jr., who is a former second-round pick heading into his third season with the Jags. Last season, he was one of the Jags’ top-3 receiver options, but adding Kirk and Jones knocked him down the depth chart a little bit. The reason for that is because he struggled last season with drops, and while he accumulated more receiving yards than he did as a rookie (600), it wasn’t by much (619). Still, the Jags should be able to find a solid role for such a young player who they once invested a top-45 pick into.
The Jags’ WR5 role will likely be between veterans Jamal Agnew and Laquon Treadwell, both of whom flashed last season. Agnew is a former All-Pro returner who is known for his abilities on special teams, but he flashed his playmaking ability on offense, too, and was a speed weapon for the unit before he sustained a hip injury that put him on injured reserve in November. However, he saw limited time on the field in organized team activities and is nearing a return very soon.
As for Treadwell, he spent some of last season on the practice squad but was made a permanent part of the active roster from Week 8 to the end of the season. With the Jags enduring several injuries at the receiver position, Treadwell was able to garner 51 receptions for 434 yards and a touchdown before the season ended, which gave him the third-highest receiving total on the team.