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Scout's Eye: Rookie Receivers Have Shined For Jaguars

LONDON -- I might be overseas, but I'll be keeping my normal schedule for game week.

With that in mind, I've got three players to keep an eye on from a Jacksonville team you might not know too much about. 

Weapon: Denard Robinson, RB

Denard was one of the most electric players I had ever scouted coming out of college. The University of Michigan played him as a quarterback, but it was clear very early in the scouting process that if he were to have an opportunity in the NFL, it would have to be at another position due to his lack of size and arm strength for the position.

At the Combine he worked at several different positions for the scouts and many came away impressed with his athletic ability but were struggling to find a spot for him. The Jaguars selected him in the fifth round, which traditionally is the spot that teams begin to start to draft those players with certain traits but lacking in measureables. What is interesting in studying Robinson today is that he has shown the ability to be more than just a gadget player. He is tougher than you think running the ball and it's just not on the edges. He will run with his pads down and finish. You see him bounce off tacklers and continue to keep his legs moving.

Where I believe he is especially dangerous is in the read-option scheme that offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch likes to feature at times. All Robinson requires is a little crack of daylight and he is quickly into the second level. His run instincts and vision are remarkable despite having only played the position for two seasons now. This Cowboys defense has to be keen to his ability to not only carry the ball with toughness but make those explosive plays as well.

Nemesis: Chris Clemons, DE

The Jaguars have rebuilt their defensive line this season by signing four players that were not with them in 2013. The addition that caught my attention was Chris Clemons from the Seahawks. It surprised me that he was available and the Jaguars were quick to jump on board and grab him for their rotation.

Off that edge, Clemons can still do those things scheme-wise that he has been able to do his entire career – get up the field as a pass rusher. Jason Garrett often talks about the relentless sprit of a player, and Clemons is that guy. He is always in motion once the ball is snapped, attacking the upfield shoulder of the tackle or setting him up for a move back to the inside. Clemons has those traits that the good rushers have in having a plan for how to rush.

It is rare that you see him get caught or in between on his moves. His rangy build and long arms really help him control the blocker. He normally lines up off that right side, so that would put him in line to see plenty of Tyron Smith -- but we will also see him come off the opposite side working against Doug Free. Clemons will rush as a single rusher, but the Jaguars like to use him with other defensive linemen in the twist games and stunts as well with the plan of trying to get him to the quarterback.

I guarantee that he will have the full attention of Tony Romo and this offensive line regardless of where he lines up.

Under the Radar: Allen Hurns, WR

It appears that the Jaguars hit on two rookie receivers in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Both are off to an outstanding start to the season and play a large role in what they do offensively scheme-wise.

Robinson was a second-round selection out of Penn State and was more widely thought of than, Hurns who played his college ball at Miami and was signed as a college free agent after the draft.

What jumps out to me off the tape about Hurns is his size. He is just a tick over 6-1 in height and looks thinly built, but he is a solid 198 pounds. To go along with his frame, he has long arms and this helps him go get the ball. Receivers coach Jerry Sullivan has done a really nice job of working with him as a route runner, as well. You will see him line up on the outside, but he will also take some snaps out of the slot. Usually for tall guys, you will not see them handle many of those snaps, because it takes them time to get going.

Hurns didn't have the best 40 time coming out of Miami at 4.54. He also didn't have a short shuttle that would have led you to believe he is quick, but on tape he shows both. What I really like about his game is his ability to get down the field and make plays. Of all the Jaguars receivers, he is the one that has the biggest upside when it comes to making those chunk plays. If you just take a look at his numbers this season he has made catches of 63, 46, 44 and 40 yards. Last week against the Bengals was a breakout game for him, which leads me to believe he will continue to get more opportunities because he has taken advantage of the ones he has received so far.  


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