This weekend's mini-camp made one fact very clear: The Jaguars had a distinct role in mind for Marcedes Lewis when they drafted him, and that role could make him the team's featured pass-catcher.
He was this weekend. Though there was no official count of passes caught, Lewis appeared to catch more than anybody else. The first-round draft pick from UCLA finished up strong on Sunday morning, making a diving catch along the sideline and a couple of other acrobatic efforts in the middle of the field.
"No question; absolutely," coach Jack Del Rio said when asked if the Jaguars have a specific role in mind for Lewis, 6-6, 262. "We recognize some of the things he can do that are different; some things in the middle of the field. If defenses want to roll up on the sideline, he can do some things in the middle of the field."
The Jaguars employed a lot of two-tight end sets on Sunday morning, as Del Rio and company opened what was left of the team's playbook.
"We threw a lot at them. Our approach was to throw most of our playbook at them," Del Rio said.
Lewis never flinched. He was a star performer all weekend. It could turn out that way in the fall, too.
"Things will shake out in training camp in pads," Del Rio said.
Between now and then the Jaguars have 14 offseason practices scheduled. The next practice is scheduled for May 22. The final practice before the start of training camp is set for June 21.
The wide receivers were not as integral to this morning's passing drills as they had been the previous two days of mini-camp, but Del Rio remains firm in his commitment to develop the wide receivers the team has, instead of going outside to find new talent. The Jaguars' long-time pass-catching star, Jimmy Smith, retired on Thursday.
"You can see some of the development. We can see the quickness. We can see the understanding of routes. There's no doubt they're developing. I remain very confident in the guys we have that they're going to help us be real effective," Del Rio said of his wide receivers.
Last year's first-round draft choice, wide receiver Matt Jones, was held out of practice on Sunday due to tightness in his back. Jones had been running with the first unit through the first two days of mini-camp.
Chad Owens, who is attempting to win a roster spot as a wide receiver, had a solid weekend and drew Del Rio's praise.
"I thought he had a great start to the season; even a little more so this year. He can do some things really well. We'll be looking to utilize the things he can do real well," Del Rio said of Owens.
Del Rio was asked if Smith's retirement qualifies the passing game as the team's number one area of concern.
"I don't look at it like that. The fact that he has left is not what I'm thinking about. What I'm thinking about is developing what we have. We're giving our players the best opportunity to succeed," Del Rio said.
Quarterback Byron Leftwich concluded mini-camp by treating his teammates to BBQ.