Undrafted wide receiver Allen Hurns is not only making a case to earn a spot on the Jacksonville Jaguars' 53-man roster, but he could find himself earning meaningful regular-season snaps if he keeps playing at his current level.
Against the Chicago Bears in the second week of preseason action, Hurns flashed playmaking potential on a national stage.
But for those who have been watching him through Jaguars training camp, he's already begun to make a name for himself.
The former University of Miami receiver got his shot early on in the Jaguars' mandatory minicamp when rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Robinson as well as veteran Cecil Shorts were sidelined with injuries.
On June 19, receiving time with the first-team offense, he made a one-handed catch on a Chad Henne pass in a red-zone 11-on-11 drill that impressed his teammates.
"Allen Hurns had a heck of a camp," Henne told Fox Sports Florida's Ken Hornack. "He's a big, strong receiver and understands the offense ... Just a really reliable guy."
At practice on August 1, Henne squeezed the ball into a tight window and Hurns made the grab, as seen in this Vine from the team's Twitter:
At 6'3" and 195 pounds, Hurns is one of the tallest receivers currently on the Jaguars' roster. He led the Hurricanes in receptions (62) and receiving yards (1,162) in 2013, and was second in scoring with six touchdowns.
His pedestrian speed is part of what caused him to tumble out of the draft, but the Jaguars don't need him to be a burner to be successful.
Without top speed, if Hurns can prove he's a reliable option on quick slants and has the hands to catch anything thrown his way, he can make a serious case for a spot on the 53.
Hornack notes Hurns has learned all three receiver positions used by the Jaguars, which becomes a huge advantage while Robinson remains out with a hamstring injury. Ryan O'Halloran of the The Florida Times-Union reported that Robinson may not be available for "a few more weeks." Shorts missed the preseason action against Chicago as well.
Spending two years with Jacksonville offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch in Miami has also given Hurns a leg up through camp. "I had a good relationship with Jedd Fisch," he told Hornack. "I know his playbook. So coming in, that put me a step ahead."
Hurns was Jacksonville's leading receiver Thursday evening against Chicago, finishing the night with four receptions for 74 yards, including a 45-yard bomb from Blake Bortles with one second to go in the second quarter.
In the first half, Hurns helped the Jaguars convert two third downs, including one from Henne for 10 yards on 3rd-and-8 at the Chicago 19-yard line that set up a six-yard Lee touchdown.
ESPN.com's Michael DiRocco expects the Jaguars to carry six receivers into the regular season. With Shorts, Lee and Robinson as virtual locks for the top three spots, and Mike Brown having a solid offseason, Hurns is proving himself worthy of one of the two remaining spots.
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