Florham Park, N.J. - The New York Jets arguably have the best one-two punch at the wide receiver position: Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker. Last season, they combined for 26 touchdowns, 2,529 yards and scored in the same game ten times, an NFL record. The rest of the receivers on the roster combined for 827 yards and three touchdowns; two come from Jeremy Kerley who is no longer on the roster.
Currently at the wide receiver spot, the Jets have: Marshall, Decker, Kenbrell Thompkins, Jeremy Ross, Chandler Worthy, Charone Peake, Devin Smith, Quincy Enunwa, Robbie Anderson, Titus Davis, Jalin Marshall, and Kyle Williams. Besides Marshall, Decker, Williams, and Ross, not a single receiver has more than three years of experience at the pro level.
There are only three rookies on the roster, but there are a lot of players that are new to the team and the system. During the weeks of OTAs and minicamp, the receiving core has gotten a good jump on learning the offense.
"There's not much of a lull with the first and second team," Bryce Petty said on the group. "You want your second guys practicing and playing like the first team."
The difference between last year and this year is the level that the wide receivers are playing at. "As a group, we really worked hard in the offseason on our fundamentals," said wide receivers coach Karl Dorrell. "It's a lot more competitive than it was a year ago."
96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE The Jets have a crop of young wide receivers that they could mold into some threats. Enunwa is 6’2” and built like a truck. He’s one of the best blocking receivers on the team and has shown he can come up big in big situations. “[Enunwa] made some very clutch catches at the end of the season that really helped us with some wins,” Dorrell said.
Also someone who came up big at some points last season was Thompkins. He is not far removed from his rookie year, where he 466 yards and four touchdowns in 12 games played with New England. Maybe one of the biggest plays of last year was his long reception in Dallas. On the opposite side, there was his almost game-winning catch against Buffalo in the last game of the season that could have sent the Jets to the playoffs. That catch will be on his mind for a long time, making sure that never happens again.
It wasn’t the year Smith wanted, but he got his feet wet in his rookie season. He battled injuries all season long and eventually tore his ACL in week 14. Nine catches, 115 yards, and one touchdown for a player who was most dangerous on his deep routes in college. Familiar with the system and rehabbing his way back, Smith is shaping himself to be what he once was at Ohio State.
When it comes to the rookies, there is plenty of uncertainty. Peake was the 7th round draft choice for the team in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was considered a possible 3rd-round pick, but slipped due to two knee injuries in college, including an ACL tear in 2013. It also didn’t help that Peake was completed overshadowed by DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. When he got the chance to be the No. 1 guy at Clemson, Peake responded with 50 catches for 716 yards and five touchdowns. If he can stay healthy, Peake can be a diamond in the rough.
Both Anderson and Jalin Marshall have big time potential. In three seasons at Temple, Anderson recorded 114 catches for 1730 yards and 16 touchdowns. His tall frame can be dangerous in the redzone. For two seasons at Ohio State, Jalin recorded 976 total yards for 13 touchdowns. He can also be dangerous on special teams, bringing a punt return to the house.
Williams and Ross are looking for redemption chances with New York, while Worthy and Davis are trying to make a true impact with an NFL team.
From the top guy down, everyone is playing at their top level. “I think everyone is picking up the offense really good,” Geno Smith said. “All the rookies that came in, they’re coming along well.”