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Tuesday, March 30, 2010
The Big Question: Will WR's help Garrard?

By Paul Kuharsky

NFC Big Question: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Does Jacksonville have enough firepower to find big plays for David Garrard?

Maurice Jones-Drew was the team’s second-leading pass-catcher with 53 receptions in 2009. He’ll still get a lot of touches through the air, but the Jaguars need players to emerge in the passing game who balance him out with bigger averages than 7.1 yards a catch.

David Garrard
David Garrard could benefit from having another consistent target in the passing game.
The Jaguars could look for another pass-catcher in the draft, but they invested three picks last year in receivers and recently added Kassim Osgood as a free agent in the hopes that he would blossom as an offensive player in a new system.

Gone is Torry Holt, the veteran who added nice leadership but middling production.

Mike Sims-Walker is a solid primary guy and tight end Marcedes Lewis got better and could be featured more now that offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter will have less interference with other strong-willed assistants gone.

Can Osgood or Troy Williamson be the speed guy opposite Sims-Walker? And out of last year’s three draft picks -- Mike Thomas, Jarett Dillard, or Tiquan Underwood -- who will seize a role and show themselves to be a consistent option for Garrard?

This big question is filled with question marks.

But if two players out of the five unknowns for the Jaguars can produce with some consistency, I expect we see a boost in the Jaguars’ passing game.

Two young tackles and a likely upgraded interior line should give Garrard more time more often. That too should help produce more of the explosive plays that will mean less stress on, and an easier time for, Garrard and the offense as a whole.

Here's a take from Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson:
I like, but don't love, Sims-Walker. I do worry if he can stay healthy, as that has been a massive problem for him. And while he is physically impressive, he isn't the total package. As No. 1 wide receivers go, he is a low-end guy to me. I could easily come up with a dozen to 15 wide receivers that I prefer. I am quite high on the two smaller rookies from a year ago though, and expect Dillard and Thomas to make great strides. Ideally, they need one more solid wide receiver, but with all their other needs, I am not sure how they get that done. Like I said before, not a lot of room for error-which will probably often be the case in Garrard's career.