Position: Wide Receiver
Drafted: Round 2, #33 overall
Birthday: December 1, 1980
NFL Comparison: Jimmy Smith
Jabar Gaffney knows his way around a highlight reel. He has proven hands, maybe the best in the draft, and he can make something happen after the catch. Though it was brief, Gaffney had a prolific career as a Gator. He set NCAA records for a freshman with 1,184 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.
Gaffney is also a good route runner. He is a terrific deep threat, who seems to get separation when he needs it from defensive backs. Gaffney is not overly big or strong, but he is physical enough to get off the line of scrimmage.
Areas of concern: Is it the system? Florida’s fun n’ gun system has done well in hyping receivers for the NFL Draft, but none of them have yet to live up to their lofty potential. So what makes Gaffney any different?
Despite Gaffney’s good hands, several scouts fear they might be too small. His blocking leaves a lot to be desired too, which also lends itself to questions about his maturity and attitude. The son of former New York Jet, Derrick Gaffney, Jabar lost his scholarship in 2000 after getting caught stealing. Gaffney was also known around Florida for changing a play call in the huddle just to get the ball thrown his way.
Gaffney is also an underclassmen, and receivers typically have a difficult time adjusting to the NFL game. Be it the more complex offenses, or the bigger and faster corners, Gaffney will have a difficult time providing an immediate impact.
2002 Expectations: Until he learns the NFL game, Gaffney will only show the occasional glimpses of brilliance. He might battle Tony Simmons for playing time early on as a third receiver, falling behind Corey Bradford and Jermaine Lewis on the depth chart until he is up to speed.
It will be very important for Gaffney to maintain his focus in training camp and in practice. He will need to develop a rhythm with David Carr, as the two figure to hook up for several big plays in the future.
Say it with me now: “Carr to Gaffney touchdown!” Like Gaffney himself, maybe it just needs a little practice.
YEAR G REC YDS YPC TD 2001 11 67 1,191 17.8 13 2000 12 71 1,184 16.7 14 TOTALS 23 138 2,375 17.2 27
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