K.C. Joyner breaks down seven free-agents to-be in the coming wide receiver pool in this Insider piece.
The Jaguars had one of the NFL’s two worst groups of receivers in the NFL last season and will definitely be considering free agents at the position. If the Colts don’t keep one or both of their guys, they’ll also have a need.
Here are Joyner’s bottom lines on the seven guys he writes about:
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City: “Bowe may have stretch vertical limitations, but he should be able to upgrade the short and medium pass game of any team.”
Marques Colston, New Orleans: “Colston has the potential to be the best possession receiver in the NFL, but his productivity could drop off if he joins a team with less creative playcalling than he received with the Saints.”
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia: “There is a reason the Eagles have shown some hesitation in paying him a big contract and why they may be considering either putting a franchise tag on or trading Jackson. He has more big-dollar bust potential than any other wide receiver in this year's field.”
Vincent Jackson, San Diego: “Jackson might be biggest risk-reward wideout in this year's free-agent class.”
Steve Johnson, Buffalo: “Johnson wants to be paid like a true No. 1 wideout but there are too many facets of his game that say he has a production ceiling that doesn't justify that type of expenditure.”
Brandon Lloyd, St. Louis: “Lloyd has the highest volume of notable negatives in this comparison.”
Mario Manningham, NY Giants: “Manningham's postseason performance, age and 2010 numbers show that he may have the most upside of any wideout in this group. Depending on how his postseason is viewed by teams in the free-agent market, he could end up as the best value acquisition wide receiver.”
I asked Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. about the field-stretching speed of those seven plus Wayne and Garcon and what he’d like to see Jacksonville do.
“The Jags might need two of those guys! In terms of field stretchers, which is clearly a need for Jacksonville, Vincent Jackson and DeSean Jackson are way ahead of the rest. And both are excellent in this capacity. I prefer Vincent Jackson overall-bigger. And Mike Mularkey is going to want his receivers to block, which isn’t DeSean Jackson’s game. Manningham should be the cheapest on the list and if they were able to get two, he would be an ideal WR2 -- also with field stretching ability. Although not a burner, Dwayne Bowe could be the best fit. Physical and plays tough. But I bet Bowe is franchised.”
While we linked to a piece earlier today about how Jaguars' GM Gene Smith isn't completely determined to add only choir boys, I think Jackson's attitude might be a turnoff to Smith.