The idea of the Jacksonville Jaguars trading wide receiver Allen Hurns may seem a bit ludicrous to some but what makes it real is the emergence this preseason of journeyman wideout Shane Wynn.
Wynn has only been in the NFL for two years, first coming to the league as an undrafted free agent with the Falcons in 2015, but he qualifies as a journeyman because he’s now with his sixth team in two years.
He’d obviously like to find a home somewhere, anywhere, and he may have finally done that in Jacksonville where he has easily been one of the team’s most impressive players this preseason.
Wynn first began to grab his coach’s attention during the early days of training camp and he’s carried that standout ability over to the preseason games where he’s caught six passes for 60 yards.
One of those was a 4-yard touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone from the struggling Blake Bortles early in the fourth quarter of the Jaguars 24-23 loss to the Panthers last Thursday night.
Wynn has also been a big part of the Jaguars return game, handling five punts and two kick returns, including one he brought back 48 yards during the loss to the Panthers.
Wynn’s challenge to make the team is two-fold. First, at 5-foot-6, 168 pounds he’s always been considered a little too small, which is why he’s bounced around as much as he has.
Second, the Jaguars are pretty well set at wide receiver. Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Hurns are at the top of the depth chart and it’s doubtful anyone will soon move either rookie Dede Westbrook or special teams ace Arrelious Benn off the roster.
That leaves about seven players, including Rashad Greene, vying for what may be a sixth spot if the Jaguars decide to keep a sixth receiver, and as good as Wynn has been, it may be hard to deny that spot to fellow rookie Keelan Cole.
Cole has caught five passes for 132 yards and a touchdown, that coming on a 97-yard pass from Chad Henn in the second quarter of the Jaguars Week 1 31-24 win over the Patriots.
This is why the talk of a trade of Hurns is real. The Jaguars appear to have a lot more depth, and therefore more weapons, at the wide receiver position than many originally thought.
And it’s not like Hurns has been getting better. His production dropped almost in half last year when he caught just 35 passes for 477 yards and three touchdowns after he was signed to four-year, $40 million contract extension.
The Jaguars probably believe they can get at least that out of someone like Cole or even Wynn, who may end up back on the practice squad if the Jaguars can’t find someone willing to take Hurns off their hands.
Given the way he’s played this preseason, though, Wynn may not last very long on that practice squad. In fact, there may be more teams interested in him than there are in Hurns.