In this article of the New York Jets position group analysis, the wide receivers will be assessed. With a rookie quarterback at the helm in Zach Wilson, getting consistent production from this group will be key.
In free agency, the Jets made a big signing in Corey Davis and Keelan Cole. Recently, they just got Jamison Crowder back on a restructured deal. In the second round of the draft this year, the Jets selected exciting prospect, Elijah Moore. Last year’s second-round pick, Denzel Mims will also have some expectations. Braxton Berrios is a solid player entering his third season with the Jets, as is Vyncint Smith, who could earn a roster spot.
Jets Position Group Analysis: Wide Receiver
Moore is an extremely exciting rookie. His character and work ethic are off the charts. As a football player, he is close to complete. He has the speed to win vertically and make big plays and has very reliable hands as a pass-catcher. He is also a great route runner and has quickness. Moore is tough, he plays bigger than his size and will make plays over the middle of the field. He has versatility which can allow for offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur to be creative with how he utilizes the rookie. Lastly, Moore has exceptional ability when it comes to yards after the catch.
Simply put, there is really nothing Moore cannot do on the football field. In 2021, expect a big role and production from Moore as a first-year player. Moore has exciting potential to be great for a long time.
Davis was a great signing for the Jets in free agency. He is coming off his best NFL season, is still young, and entering his prime as a football player.
Davis is a big-bodied wide receiver, a true possession target for Wilson over the middle and in the red zone. He is a smart player and a savvy route runner with reliable hands. Expect him to help in the running game as he is a willing blocker which is exciting. Having this dimension could help open things up off play-action for the Jets offense.
Entering 2021, Crowder is still one of the better slot receivers in the NFL. This will be great for Wilson, having a reliable target he can count on underneath in the short passing game, over the middle, and on third down. Crowder has the quickness and great route-running ability that this offense needs. He is a smart, veteran player operating out of the slot. Crowder, with his ability, will help Wilson with some easy completions.
Expect another stellar year of production from Crowder. He will have an integral role in this offense and will be motivated to remain one of the better slot receivers in football.
Mims is a second-year player with all the physical traits to be a force. As a rookie, when he was healthy he showed his playmaking ability but he is entering an important season, so making progress is crucial.
As a wide receiver, Mims has great length along with an unreal wingspan to catch jump balls. He has the size to be a reliable red-zone target. Mims also has speed and showed last season he can be a vertical threat. It will be important for Mims to improve as a route runner. If he does, he can be a very good football player.
Hopefully, Mims has more targets come his way in year two. He is a talented player who should have a role. As a recent second-round selection, Mims taking the next step in his development is vital for the Jets.
Cole was an under-the-radar addition in free agency for the Jets. He could carve out a nice role for himself and provide great value. As an undrafted free agent, he really had four good years of production with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cole will bring speed and deep threat ability to the Jets’ offense in 2021. He is also a very good route runner which will help him in Coach LaFleur’s scheme. Cole does possess adequate length as a wide receiver as well.
Expect Cole to have a role in this offense. So far, he has created a lot of buzz at camp as a result of his play. Cole should have another season in which he produces consistently.
Over the last two years, Berrios has been a solid Jet. He has been a core special teamer and on offense, when opportunities have been presented to him he has shown good things.
Berrios provides very good depth to the wide receiver group for the Jets. He can line up in the slot and win with both quickness and routes. Berrios is great at finding the open spot when plays break down which is something that can help Wilson. He just has to be more consistent with his hands. If he does, Berrios can be a very solid player.
This year, Berrios should be integrated into the offense situationally. He has a good skill set and can certainly contribute to the Jets.
Smith provides a good combination of length and foot speed. In 2019 when he was healthy, he showed some playmaking talent. It was frustrating he got hurt last season, he was likely going to have a sizable role. Smith does have the ability to provide depth at wide receiver. He could add value on special teams with his length and speed and help his roster chances. As of now, he is currently the one on the outside looking in with the best chance to make the final roster.
The wide receivers making up for the rest of this group are Jeff Smith, Lawrence Cager, Josh Malone, D.J. Montgomery, Manasseh Bailey, and Matt Cole.
Last season, Smith and Cager both had opportunities early in the season. They each signed with the Jets as undrafted free agents, Smith in 2019, and Cager in 2020. Cager brings great size. Smith had one strong showing in a game last year. Malone seemed to be having a good training camp last season before getting hurt. He has length and speed.
Montgomery was added through waivers late last summer and spent last season on the practice squad. Bailey was signed to a reserve futures contract very early in the offseason. Cole was recently acquired through waivers. All seem like camp players.
In 2021, the six Jets wide receivers on the roster should be Elijah Moore, Corey Davis, Jamison Crowder, Denzel Mims, Keelan Cole, and Braxton Berrios. Vyncint Smith is the other one with the greatest chance of being on the final roster. This group is an exciting one that should be productive. What is great is how they all have complementary skill sets. They all provide something different with both their strengths and sizes as players. It looks to be the best group of wide receivers that the Jets have had in a while.
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