Let me preface this article by stating that I think there’s going to be a ton of opportunity in Jacksonville next season. With Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee hitting free agency, the Jags could be looking for any WR to step up. Most people are looking to Dede Westbrook to step in, but I think Keelan Cole could be a sleeper.
With the Jags’ fantastic run game becoming more established, there have been a plethora of deep opportunities for their WRs due to the play action game. Keelan Cole is one guy who’s starting to make the most of that. His role is gradually increasing as the season goes on, and he has had 13 targets in the last 2 weeks (Weeks 9 and 10).
The undrafted rookie out of Kentucky Wesleyan is now 3rd
Giving a bit more of a background, the 6’1” 195 pound WR began his career as a cornerback in high school. After growing 5 inches between high school and college, he made the switch to offense and dominated at the college level. After walking on at Kentucky Wesleyan, he went on to produce 4,582 yards and 59 TDs in his 4-year college career. Granted, it is a Div 2 school, so the competition is hardly elite.
He believes that this his previous experience as a DB has helped develop his game on the other side of the ball. He said, “It helps me a lot because as a [former defensive back], you’re always taught to know what the receiver is doing, so if I know exactly what the DB is looking for, then I can always think the opposite of what’s looking for.”
Ironically, prior to the draft he had compared his game to Allen Robinson. He now has the opportunity to learn the nuances of the game from Robinson himself.
From a physical standpoint Cole is hardly elite. His 4.64 40-yard dash ranks in the 18th percentile, his speed score is in the 17th percentile, but his agility score is at least in the 64th percentile. On a positive note, his college YPR of 24.6 ranks in the 98th percentile. He seems to have carried that to the next level, as he’s averaging 15.6 YPR so far.
It appears that Allen Hurns has now picked up an ankle injury and may be out for a period of time. It’ll be interesting to see if Cole can establish himself further on a potential playoff team. He is yet another player that could be free in most leagues and has potential to be a WR3/4 for the rest of the season if his role continues on the same trajectory.