WR Jason Avant, Free agent
HT: 6-1, WT: 210, Born: 4-20-1983, College: Michigan, Drafted: Round 4
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Jason Avant (31 years old as of April 20, 2014) is listed as the Panthers' #2 wide receiver right now, but he's looking over his shoulder at rookie Kelvin Benjamin, the Panthers' first round selection who may well work his way into the starting lineup come regular season. Avant managed around 50 receptions per season at his peak with his previous NFL team, the Eagles, during 2010-2012 - but he finished 2013 with 76 targets for 38/447/2 receiving, a 50% reception percentage. He is playing for the Panthers on a one-year, $1.05 million deal - he's essentially getting backup money so there would be no surprise to see Benjamin pass Avant on the depth chart.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Early in the 1st quarter Vick threw a bullet pass in his direction that sailed away from him. He had an off game picking up a pass interference penalty and fumbling the ball away on a crucial time in the game. He made a nice initial catch grabbing the ball just before it hit the ground but then took a big hit from behind and the ball came out. Avant did pick up a nice first down late in the fourth as he stretched the ball out to make sure he got the yards he needed. On the onside kick at the end of the game Avant let the ball hit him in the leg and almost fumbled away the possession. Usually a sure handed WR, Avant had an off night.
Week 2 - Next to DeSean Jackson, Jason Avant saw the most targets with 7 and reeled in 4 of them. He had one nice 21 yard catch and his 3 others were quick hits over the middle that seem to be something to expect week to week in Chip Kelly's fast paced offense.
Week 3 - Avant was the Eagles most successful receiver, largely because he continually lined up in the slot which looked to be the Chiefs weakness. His touchdown came as he beat press coverage out the slot handily and then outran his defender to the end zone. Vick placed the ball perfectly so the catch was not difficult. Avant picked up 31 later in the game on busted coverage when Kendrick Lewis fell down. Avant did show great hands on a 15 yard grab in the 4th quarter, tipping a ball to himself for a dazzling reception.
Week 4 - Avant was not much of a factor at all on the day only making 1 catch for 7 yards on his 4 targets. With usually sure hands it just didnít work with Vick today as he did not trust the slot WR.
Week 5 - Vick overthrew Avant down in the redzone in the 2nd quarter which the Eagles had to settle for a field goal. Avant took a nice pass from Foles over the middle of the field and turned it into a 22 yard catch and run.
Week 6 - He was non existent in the first half and then in the 2nd half picked up some quick passes from Foles and came away with 4 short catches for minimal gains and was more of a safety net option for the QB when nothing was available down the field.
Week 7 - Foles threw him a dangerous throw at the sidelines that Avant couldnít go up and make the grab. He missed another pass off the hands on a bad throw from Foles that was placed behind him. Foles missed badly again in the endzone as Avant was wide open and he tried to do whatever he could to make the catch on a ball that was severely underthrown. Avant was wide open on the play and looked to have an easy touchdown if the pass was thrown even remotely decent.
Week 8 - Avantís first catch of the game was right at the goal line and he was immediately driven backwards not being allowed to find his way into the end zone. Avant had the longest offensive play for the Eagles in the 4th quarter on a 2nd and 19th as he took a pass that was close to the ground and scooped it up rolling on the ground to secure the ball. Avant picked up a nice 1st down catch late in the 4th and looked to have another one but he was flagged for offensive pass interference.
Week 9 - On a day where it seemed every one on the Eagles was making plays, Avant was not counted on and only had one target which was a tough catch to make in traffic and the ball bounced off his hands for the incompletion.
Week 10 - On his first target he was overthrown by Foles in the endzone but was also looked to be held on the play and couldn't breakaway from the defender to make a play on the ball. Avant saw his next target at the end of the 2nd quarter deep in Packers territory and was unable to make the catch in traffic on a quickly thrown ball from Foles. Avant made a great 23 yard catch over the middle of the field which looked to be a ball that could have easily been picked off by the defense. After the catch he had a good run and on the very next play made another catch for a couple of yards.
Week 11 - He saw his first target over the middle of the field and made a try on the ball with just one hand and couldn't bring the ball in. On his only catch of the day it came on a 3rd and 6 play and he made the catch and picked up 5 yards, forcing the Eagles to go for it on 4th and short.
Week 13 - Avant made sure to secure his first target of the game as he cradled the ball to the ground for a 20 yard catch. He was targeted a couple of more times on the last drive of the first half, once where he was held a little bit without a flag and couldn't make the catch and another time where the ball hit him in the hands and he couldn't hang on.
Week 15 - On his first target of the game Foles looked for him downfield and threw a decent ball but Avant clearly didn't have the speed or separation to make the catch as he actually ended up taking an offensive penalty trying to hold the defender. Avant did catch a late touchdown pass where he was wide open in the corner of the endzone
Week 16 - Avant had his first catch on a quick 4 yard throw from Foles and quickly hit the ground. Avant had a big first down catch where he showed his always good hands and no speed after the catch.
Week 17 - Avant's first catch came in dramatic fashion as he leaped over a Cowboys defender down close to the Cowboys goal line. The catch was a highlight reel type that helped bail out QB Nick Foles on a through that he slightly under threw. Avant made another key catch for a big first down which came on a third down play and he showed some great hands on the play.
Week 18 - On Avant's first look of the game he caught a 2 yard pass from Foles and simply had no room to do anything after the catch. At the end of the first quarter Avant showed his good hands and went up and made a catch for a first down. Avant caught another short pass in traffic that was short of the first down, and continued to show that he is one of Foles last options as he surveys the field to find an open receiver. Avant had another short gain for 1 yard and showed that he has a tough time gaining additional yards after the catch. Avant had one more catch on the game for 6 yards in a play which was another check down pass from Foles.