Iowa State is not a pipeline to the NFL, and wide receiver Allen Lazard didn’t end the school’s streak of years without a player drafted dating back to 2014. But the two-time first-team All-Big 12 selection landed quickly with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent.
Lazard is a big receiver (6-foot-5, 227 pounds), and posted a 4.55 40-yard dash and a 38-inch vertical jump at the NFL Combine. Beyond his raw numbers as a four-year starter in Ames (241 receptions for 3,360 yards and 26 touchdowns), Pro Football Focus regarded Lazard well with grades above 85.4 in each of the last two seasons with a 39.5 percent catch rate on an FBS-high 43 contested catch targets in 2017.
The Jaguars lost wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns in free agency, and essentially replaced them with Donte Moncrief in free agency and D.J. Shark in the draft. Even for an run-focused offense that wants to limit how much Blake Bortles can lose games, some better threats in the passing game might be nice.
Lazard compares favorably to Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans, and I’ve also seen a comparison to Vincent Jackson. He has been pointed as a potential convert to tight end, with some added weight a necessity there, but Lazard can be an instant red zone weapon and there’s a path to being more as a rookie.
New Jaguars’ No. 1 wide receiver Marqise Lee has never had more than 63 catches, 851 yards and three touchdowns in a season. He’s in line for career-highs in all categories this year, but behind him is Moncrief, Chark, Keelan Cole and 2017 draft pick Dede Westbrook. All of those latter four have question marks attached to them, and if Lazard stands out during camp and the preseason the barrier to a significant role can be broken down.
Lazard might land on the radar deep single season leagues by the time drafts ramp up. In dynasty leagues, he’s an underrated stash to use a final pick or auction dollar on.Download the Free GoingFor2 App by Clicking Here...