When the Jaguars decided to take quarterback Blake Bortles with the third overall pick on Thursday, the consensus was the glaring need at receiver would be addressed in the second round.
And it was … twice.
The Jaguars’ offensive overhaul continued Friday when they drafted USC’s Marqise Lee at No. 39 and, after trading up nine spots to No. 61 with San Francisco, selected Penn State’s Allen Robinson.
The arrival of Lee and Robinson was further evidence the Jaguars have given up on suspended Justin Blackmon.
“We’ve moved on for this year,” general manager Dave Caldwell said.
Even if the Jaguars wanted to cut Blackmon, they can’t until he’s reinstated by the NFL.
“We haven’t heard much, and it doesn’t sound like [things] are going in the right direction,” coach Gus Bradley said. “We can’t count on him”
But the Jaguars feel they will be able to count on Lee and Robinson immediately and take advantage of the fact they were still available in the second round.
“We never imagined we would go back-to-back with receivers,” Caldwell said.
Lee was first. The Jaguars tried to trade up four spots with Cleveland to take him, but when the deal fell through, they remained at No. 39 and Lee fell to them.
“We had our fingers crossed, but it all worked out,” Bradley said.
Intriguing to the Jaguars was Lee’s production (248 catches for 3,655 yards in 36 career games), toughness (willingness to run over the middle) and big-play ability (29 touchdowns).
“This is a deep draft, and sometimes players fall,” Caldwell said. “This guy is a playmaker. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s special. And he’s highly, highly competitive. He’s a tough kid, and he has a chip on his shoulder because he fell to 39.”
Lee (6-foot, 192 pounds) had 118 catches and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, but his numbers dipped to 57 catches and four touchdowns last year. He missed three games with a left knee injury that kept him from being 100 percent until the bowl game against Fresno State.
Lee said the injury, which didn’t require surgery, impacted him, “a significant amount. I got hurt at the beginning of the year, and one thing the doctors told me I needed time [to heal] and during the season, you don’t have time.”
Caldwell said Lee’s medical exams came back in good shape.
Instead of waiting until the top of the third round, the Jaguars worked on several trades to get in position to take Robinson.
The Jaguars traded their third-round pick (No. 70) and one of their three fifth-round selections (No. 150, acquired in 2012 from Detroit for Mike Thomas) to San Francisco.
Robinson (6-2 1/2, 209 pounds) ran 4.52 at the Scouting Combine, but then 4.48 at his Pro Day. His production is impressive, though.
Last year for the Nittany Lions, Robinson had 97 catches for 1,432 yards and six touchdowns. He was third in the nation in yards per game (119.3).
Robinson’ 42-inch vertical leap at the Combine was best among the receivers, making him an ideal red zone target.
“He’s a bigger guy and really explosive with the ball in his hands,” Caldwell said. “He was one of our favorites from the beginning. We had him right behind [Lee] on our board.
“This is a big target, and big targets are good in this league.”
And so is depth.
Robinson, Lee and free-agent addition Tandon Doss joined a holdover group led by Cecil Shorts and Ace Sanders.
Thought to be done for the draft’s second night, the Jaguars traded Nos. 105 and 179 to New England to get into the back of the third round (No. 93) and selected Miami guard Brandon Linder.
Caldwell said he made the trade because “the guard crop was dwindling.”
The trade with New England leaves the Jaguars with five picks on Saturday.
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