The New York Jets Have Failed to Address Their Wide Receiver Need

Jets Wide Receiver
FLORHAM PARK, NEW JERSEY - AUGUST 23: head coach Adam Gase of the New York Jets looks on at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on August 23, 2020 in Florham Park, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

When rebuilding in the off-season, you can’t fill every positional hole when you have a lot to fill. The New York Jets have failed to address the wide receiver depth on this roster. Coming into 2020, this team had a lot of pressing needs. Those included the offensive line, edge rusher, cornerback, and wide receiver. GM Joe Douglas addressed the offensive line well in the offseason. The Jets signed linemen like George Fant, Greg Van Roten, and Connor McGovern. In the draft, the Jets drafted Louisville tackle Mehki Becton in the first round. Then, they added depth buy drafting Charlotte offensive tackle Cameron Clark in the fourth round.

Edge rusher still remains a below-average position on the Jets. Jordan Jenkins was re-signed in the off-season. The Jets drafted Miami edge rusher Jabari Zuniga in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft. The cornerback position is safe for now. Former Indianapolis Colt Pierre Desir was signed to a one-year contract. Unsurprisingly, the Jets re-signed nickelback Brian Poole. Virginia cornerback Bryce Hall was drafted in the fifth round of this year’s draft. Gang Green also acquired Colts cornerback Quincy Wilson in a draft trade.

The New York Jets Have Failed To Address Their Wide Receiver Need

As previously mentioned, the Jets haven’t properly addressed the wide receiver position. It comes from starting receivers to depth at the position.

Free Agency

Let’s flashback to March. Robby Anderson is set to hit the free agent market. It becomes apparent that Anderson wants at least $10 million per year. The Jets fail to offer him that. Unfortunately, the team was outbid by the Carolina Panthers. Anderson would sign a two year, $20 million contract with $12 million guaranteed.

Desperately, the team tried to find a receiver to fill the shoes of the former undrafted free agent. The Jets made a move by signing former first-round bust Breshad Perriman. Perriman caught a hot streak in the last five weeks of the 2019 season. In those five games, he recorded 25 receptions for 506 yards and five touchdowns.

For most of his career, Perriman has been injury-prone off the field and inconsistent on the field. A statement year awaits for Breshad Perriman.

2020 NFL Draft

Coming into the draft, the Jets knew they would need another starting receiver to compliment Perriman and slot receiver Jamison Crowder. Luckily, the draft was loaded with receivers. The Jets selected Baylor standout Denzel Mims with the 59th-overall pick.

Then, things took a shocking turn. The Jets had three picks in the fourth round. The first one was used to select Florida running back La’Mical Perine. Quite reasonable to use the pick on him with questions surrounding Le’Veon Bell‘s future. The Jets then made a questionable move by selecting FIU quarterback James Morgan. Morgan is considered a project quarterback. In his senior season at FIU, Morgan threw for 2,585 yards with 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. His accuracy and decision making have thrown up red flags.

Post-Draft/Training Camp

Unfortunately, injuries have been crippling the Jets for all of training camp. The wide receiver position is the outlier that is currently taking the biggest hits to its depth. Injuries to the position include rookie Denzel Mims, Breshad Perriman, Jeff Smith, undrafted free agent Lawrence Cager, and Vyncint Smith. As of today, the team’s starting outside receivers were Chris Hogan and Josh Malone. The Jets signed Hogan on August 19.

You wonder if drafting another receiver would help quarterback Sam Darnold. Josh Malone is a special-teams player at best and Hogan is just a depth piece at this point in his career. These injuries definitely won’t help Darnold’s growth as a quarterback. He’s hasn’t had legitimate talent around him and it isn’t his fault.

Recently the Jets signed veteran Donte Moncrief to bolster the wide receiver core. Moncrief is coming off of a forgettable season, committing four drops in five games with the Pittsburgh Steelers. At this point, the team is desperate for healthy bodies to add to the wide receiving core. Right now, Gang Green is a Jamison Crowder injury away from landing themselves where they were in 2018.

Years of lackluster drafting continue to haunt the New York Jets.

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