Dede Westbrook will compete for playing time in Jaguars training camp this summer. The former Oklahoma standout and Fred Biletnikoff Award winner underwhelmed as a rookie, catching 52.9 percent of his targets and averaging a basic 12.6 yards per grab. He was 8 for 19 on passes of 15-plus yards (which isn't bad) but none of those plays went longer than 29 yards. He has a chance of carving out a decent role in the offense, but the Jaguars are a run-heavy offense that won't throw deep too often. It's hard to envision Westbrook as a Fantasy sleeper and is more of a long-term bench stash in dynasty leagues.
Westbrook caught one of three targets for six yards during Saturday's 14-10 win over the Vikings. Westbrook's first target resulted in an interception, and he did little else the rest of the day. This quiet effort could have had to do with his matchup against a tough defense, considering he led the team in targets and catches during the exhibition opener. Nevertheless, Westbrook is competing for a share of the targets and will need to make a better impression next week against the Falcons in order to lock up his spot with the preseason winding down.
Westbrook caught three of five targets for 32 yards during Thursday's 24-20 loss to the Saints in the preseason opener. Westbrook connected with quarterback Blake Bortles on two of his three looks during Jacksonville's opening drive. The second-year wideout led the Jaguars in targets, and while he looks destined to be a contributor in the team's offense, he'll still need to compete for snaps with Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole (undisclosed), Donte Moncrief and D.J. Chark. The Jaguars listed Lee and Cole as the starters on their initial preseason depth chart.
Westbrook will be part of a Jacksonville receiving corps that includes Marqise Lee, Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole, but not Allen Robinson (knee) or Allen Hurns, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports. Tuesday's release of Hurns should complete an interesting offseason for the Jaguars' wideout group, following a 2017 campaign in which Westbrook, Cole, Lee and Hurns all appeared to be Blake Bortles' favorite option at different times. Unable to re-sign Robinson, the Jaguars now have swapped out Hurns for Moncrief, whose one-year contract includes $9.6 million guaranteed. The surprisingly lucrative deal suggests the Jags view Moncrief as a starter, even though he managed only 391 yards and two TDs in 12 games for the divisional-rival Colts last season. Westbrook may thus be left to compete with Cole for the No. 3 receiver job, though the Jags likely will find a way for all four players to get significant playing time. A fourth-round pick last year, Westbrook averaged 3.9 catches for 48 yards on 7.3 targets in seven regular-season games, overcoming a preseason core muscle injury to take on a leading role down the stretch. He actually played the most snaps of any Jacksonville wideout during the team's three-game playoff run, and yet he finished the postseason with only seven catches for 85 yards on 14 targets.
Westbrook brought in five of eight targets for 48 yards in Sunday's 10-3 AFC wild-card win over the Bills. Westbrook's reception, receiving yardage and target totals were all team highs on the afternoon, as he accounted for nearly half of Blake Bortles' 12 completions and well over 50 percent of his 87 passing yards. The dynamic rookie recorded at least four catches in four of the seven regular-season games he suited up for, and he's likely to play an important role in the passing game once again during next Sunday's AFC divisional-round road matchup versus the Steelers.
Westbrook caught four passes for 74 yards on seven targets against San Francisco on Sunday. Westbrook played second fiddle to Keelan Cole for the second week in a row, but 74 yards on seven targets is a fine showing on Westbrook's part. Marqise Lee (ankle) figures to reestablish his status as jacksonville's WR1 whenever he returns to the field, so Westbrook's run as a leading contributor in Jacksonville is somewhat tenuous, promising as he's been.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New York Giants||25||20.75|
|2||09/16||New England Patriots||27||22.58|
|4||09/30||New York Jets||19||20.00|
|5||10/07||@Kansas City Chiefs||30||23.35|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||51||27||339||1||15||12.56||39|