JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Every team hopes it has a player who has a breakout season.
Maybe it’s a rookie or a second-year player. Maybe it’s a veteran who hasn’t been anything special. Maybe it’s someone in a contract season. Sometimes it’s someone who comes out of nowhere.
The Jacksonville Jaguars have several candidates who could have breakout seasons in 2015. This week, I’ll take a look at five players I believe could do so.
Robinson was playing at a pretty good level as a rookie in 2014 before he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot following the Jaguars’ 31-17 loss to Dallas in London on Nov. 9. He was on pace to catch 77 passes, which would have broken Justin Blackmon's team record for most receptions by a rookie (64 in 2012).
Robinson finished with 48 catches for 548 yards and two touchdowns, which was a pretty good season considering he missed much of the offseason OTAs, minicamp and the entire month of August because of hamstring injuries.
Robinson spent the first several months of 2015 rehabbing his foot and began the offseason conditioning program cleared only for some individual work. It wasn’t until the next-to-last week of OTAs that he was cleared to participate in individual drills.
He was immediately noticeable. Though rules prohibit the media from describing exactly what happened during OTAs and minicamp, Robinson was the most impressive offensive player on the field -- even more so than tight end Julius Thomas, the prize of the Jaguars’ free-agency class.
"He’s been unbelievable," quarterback Blake Bortles said on the next-to-last day of a three-day minicamp. "I know he worked really hard in the training room to rehab and trying to get back as quickly as he could, and he’s done that. You guys have been able to see him go and make plays and he’s definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He’s physical; he can run and do everything out in the open field, so he’s been fun to throw to."
Robinson said he feels comfortable with his knowledge of coordinator Greg Olson’s new offense so far despite not having a lot of reps, but that’s not a surprise since he did miss all that time last year during OTAs, minicamp and the preseason and still was the Jaguars’ best receiver through the first 10 games of 2014. He caught at least four passes in all but one game.
The Jaguars made addressing the offensive line a priority in free agency and the draft, signing right tackle Jermey Parnell and center/guard Stefen Wisniewski and drafting guard A.J. Cann. Bortles has spent the offseason working with throwing guru Tom House to fix some mechanical issues. That should mean the passing game will be significantly better, which will give Robinson a chance to have a breakout season.
The Jaguars haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2005. Robinson may have a chance to break that streak.