New York Jets Countdown to the 2014 Offseason: Wide Receiver

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The New York Jets could have as many as twelve draft picks in 2014. As they stand right now, the Jets have $25,861,726 in cap space. With expected cuts of Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez, and Antonio Cromartie, the Jets should have $51,911,726 in cap space. That gives them a lot of room to work with.

This is a four part series. It will cover four offensive positions of need (QB, WR, TE, & G), free agent scouting reports, and draft options. This week, guard.

Its that time of year again: traffic, last minute shopping, pine trees in-doors, the New York Jets crawling to the finish line, and the whole family getting together to celebrate and be merry. As you sit in the basement, refreshing your twitter feed every thirty seconds to avoid your in laws, perhaps you might enjoy a Christmas List tailored to your favorite football team. Grab the eggnog and enjoy this look at the Jets 2014 options at a major position of need, wide receiver.

  • See Part One on the Quarterback, here.
  • See Part Two on Guard, here.

It is no secret that the Jets skill positions are the weakest link of the team. Not one team in the NFL would envy the Jets playmakers on offense.

Jeremy Kerley and Chris Ivory are solid. David Nelson, Bilal Powell, and Kellen Winslow are role players, albeit reliable ones. Holmes will likely be handed a pink slip and Stephen Hill relegated to the back of the depth chart.

Santonio Holmes has seen the trainers table much more than the field this year. When on the field, he hasn’t produced like the number one receiver he was paid to be. He has dropped easy catches, failed to make the clutch receptions he was once known for, and hasn’t made hay after the catch. Unless he is willing to take a major pay cut (probable) and a major downgrade in snaps and role (unlikely), Holmes’ last game as a Jet will be in Miami next week.

Stephen Hill: 6’4″, 4.36 40 yd dash, and 39.5 inch vertical. Combine Superstar or NFL Wide Receiver? At this moment, he appears to be the former. His speed and vertical ability were enough to make NFL GMs salivate and made him a “steal” in the second round. However, concerns over his route running, catching mechanics, and overall lack of experience proved valid. Hill has failed to make a serious impact on a team where even a moderately talented receiver should stand out. As of now, Hill has played himself out of any serious discussion as the Jets 2014 starter and slid down the depth chart. Swing and a miss.

Clyde Gates and Ryan Spadola (and Hill) were pre-season darlings. The Jets receiving corps looked much deeper than expected. However, the former failed to translate his preseason surge to the regular season and landed on IR. The later is no longer with the team.

Now, credit where credit is due. When healthy, Jeremy Kerley has solidified himself as a serious contributor and borderline starter. Solid hands, crisp routes, and a tendency to move the chains have ensured him a future with the team.

David Nelson, Greg Salas, and Josh Cribbs were all solid midseason acquisitions. Nelson, in particular has proved to be a reliable target for rookie Geno Smith. Cribbs completely changed the special teams dynamic. However, at his age and contribution level I would not expect Cribbs to return.

Outside of Kerley, Nelson, Salas, and a reduced role for Hill, expect all new faces to be catching passes for the Green and White in 2014.

Eric Decker (DEN): Decker is one of the most technically sound receivers in the NFL. He displays outstanding footwork and route concentration. Without his athleticism, Decker would still be able to gain serious separation, which projects longevity. He has enough speed to play flanker or split end. Decker is physical and fights for the ball. His tendency to struggle with in-route adjustments is concerning.

Decker also has the benefit of being drafted with and playing along side the dynamic Demaryius Thomas. With that in mind, Louis Riddick (ESPN analyst and one-time director of pro personnel for the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins) isn’t sold on him:

“Decker is a good player but I don’t think he can carry a passing game like a true number one wide receiver. He has problems with physical cornerbacks and press coverage. It will be different for him if he is the focus of a defense. That’s not the case in Denver.”

James Jones (GB): Jones is every young, inexperienced quarterback’s dream. He has massive hands and catches poorly thrown and contested passes. He boxes out the defender and puts himself in a good position to make the catch. Jones displays great concentration. He runs intermediate routes well and the rest of the route tree serviceably. He is not the speediest receiver on the field but catches everything thrown his way.

Golden Tate (SEA): Perhaps even more so than Jones, Tate has extremely reliable hands. Tate also displays top end speed and can out run most other players on the field. He can use his speed to create separation and as a tool with the ball in his hands. Tate tends to rely too much on his speed and lets his route running suffer. While he may not run the most crisp routes, Tate finds a way to get open and can be relied on to haul em in. Tate’s age (25) is also very appealing, compared to the ” elderly” Jones (29).

Jeremy Maclin (PHI): Maclin may be the most physically impressive of this year’s free agent wide receiver crop. He has great reach and hands but occasional lapses in concentration create issues. Maclin has a mastery of the route tree, a quick release, and doesn’t lose speed out of his cuts. He does not have elite speed but his great acceleration and burst make him difficult to cover. Maclin, however, is injury prone and this history will make most teams very hesitant to sign him to a long term deal.

Emmanuel Sanders (PIT): Sanders is very hit or miss. He has outstanding hands but poor extension, great release but runs stiff routes. He uses natural speed to gain separation but tends to round off his routes. Like Decker, Sanders has always had a solid number one option across from him and many question his ability to carry an offense.

Hakeem Nicks (NYG): As a member of the crosstown Giants, many Jets fans already know Nicks. He is a strong wide receiver with good concentration and enormous hands. Nicks is a good route runner and quick out of his breaks.  However, a history of injuries will make NFL GMs hesitate. Even when healthy, Nicks has been inconsistent and disappeared for long stretches. He has all the talent in the world but just can’t seem to put it together.

Jacoby Jones (BAL): Known mostly as a special teams ace, Jones has emerged as a legitimate threat in the passing game. Jones is not the most technically sound pass catcher and struggles with sharp cuts. However, he is often wide open due to his elite speed. He can surely take the top off a defense but one has to question wether or not he (like Decker or Sanders) can carry an offense.

Riley Cooper (PHI): Cooper was an afterthought of the Eagles passing game going into the season. However, with an aging Avant and Maclin on IR, the opportunity presented itself for the mercurial wide out to make an impact. Early season slip of the tongue aside, Cooper has put together a respectable campaign. As of week sixteen, Cooper has 44 receptions, for 796 yards, and eight touchdowns, all career bests. Cooper is inexperienced and likely will not be a number one receiver.

Top 5 2014 Draft Prospects (CBS Sports):

  • Sammy Watkins – Clemson,  6’1″, 205
  • Mike Evans – Texas A&M, 6’5″, 225
  • Marquise Lee – USC, 6’0″, 195
  • Davante Adams – Fresno State, 6’3″, 205
  • Jordan Matthews – Vanderbilt, 6’3″, 210

http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2014/WR

  • David

    How come no one puts up Anquan Boldin on the list? Going into Monday Night, 52 of his 70 receptions were for 1st downs!

    Or how about former Jet Jerricho Cotchery?

  • Anthony

    Boldin is in his mid thirties, is only semi effective and will want multiple years.

    Cotchery is the same player that both David Nelson and Jeremy Kerely are. He’s a slot dude that is good for 1st downs. We need an actual threat to break the game open. A #1 receiver.

  • Brad

    I like the top three guys- Decker, Jones, Tate- the problem is they all come from winning organizations and we will probably have to overpay to get them.

    I personally think its best to have a 6’3″ guy with good hands, redzone threat- good numbers that one year before manning, great numbers with manning- might have to pay him mike wallace money- 10-12mil/yr- overpay- so is he worth it? With his size a chance of a #1 WR
    Golden Tate is comparable to Kerley, but more physical and better speed, but another very short WR 5’10″. Only a #2 WR
    James Jones i might like the best for overall value, good size, speed and good hands. At his age, no one is going to give him top money, so hopefully 5-6mil/yr for 4 yrs gets it done. He will be a solid #2 WR.

    FA TE’s- Jimmy Graham or Brandon Pettigrew

    Draft a top WR and TE in the first and second round- take the best player available of the two. Lots of great quality TE’s and WR’s in this draft

  • Mark Phelan

    Yes, we need a WR who can run routes – turn the CB around, not just a post pattern receiver.

    With any development Jets QB will have that extra moment necessary to position that deep pass.

    Let’s get a TE who can block and muscle catch that short pass. This would really help the performance of our WR’s.

  • http://GangGreenBrasil Luigi

    The best way is draft Sammy Watkins and add Hakeem Nicks or Jeremy Maclin.I dont think Eric Decker leave Denver. Watkins can make big plays, and Geno likes to throws deep.

  • tariq campbell

    yes we need help bad

  • Harold

    I would like 1 WR out of Decker/Nicks and then a lower tier guy like Cooper or Jones. I think we can get them for a total of 12 million per year.

    However, given Idzik’s blueprint from last year he will likely go after a lower tier guy like Tate, Jones, Cooper and a potential upper tier guy like Macklin (who because of injury won’t require a big contract). I think any of them would be a good mid level F/A pickup to pair with a WR in RD 1 Watkins or Lee.

    I would go after Talib on defense to replace Cromartie. I prefer we get a quality MLB with more range to pair with Davis( like a Dansby or Daryl Smith) and cut David Harris and save some money. If Harris wants to re-do his contract I would consider him for one more year.

    I think these changes would put us back in the playoffs and make us a serious contender to have a Carolina type year next year.

  • Tony

    Give me Tate and Jones – draft Watkins, and thats what will help Geno and utilize his arm.

  • Lidman

    Signing WR to big deals is a dangerous business: see Holmes, S Rice, Brad Smith, Nate Burleson (‘Hawks gave him 12mm guaranteed in ’10), Bowe, Stevie Johnson, Josh Morgan (got $8mm guaranteed from SF) and even Mike Wallace ($30mm guaranteed??). You have to overpay to get these guys and they simply arent’ worth it. Sure, there are exceptions like VJax (but he did get $36mm guaranteed) and Garcon. But, when I look at the guys Cole names I see this:

    -Decker has disappeared in games this year. He’s also NEVER doubled with the options there. He’s also got Peyton Manning throwing to him. If he proves me wrong, I can accept that, but I’m not overspending.

    James Jones-similarly has great QB and other solid WR options around him. That said, if you can get him cheap, he appears to be a solid character guy and certainly capable WR.

    Golden Tate-small, has never caught more than the 56 balls he has this year. Where do you get he has ‘top end speed’? I’m not suggesting he’s slow, but he’s a 4.4-4.5 guy. How many of his big plays are a result of Wilson extending a play and giving him time to break free? Put Kerley on that team and he’d be better than Tate. Plus, he’s a punk–see taunting penalty. We’re getting rid of Holmes, let’s not bring in another guy like that.

    Maclin has always had DJax, and is coming off ACL, I think you stay away unless he comes cheap.

    I find Sanders interesting because his numbers, this year, are very similar to Antonio Brown’s last year. But, wouldn’t give a big (10+MM) guarantee to get him.

    Nicks is going to get big money, ala Wallace. He’s good but not that much of a difference maker, in my book and he’s got bad wheels already.

    I like Jacoby Jones. He’s gotten better every year, has size and speed and is probably best KR in the game.

    Riley Cooper, thanks, but no thanks.

    I like Mike Evans because of the size. I also think this kid Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss, will be a great find in round 2-4, depending on how he does at combine.

    Maybe NYJ get lucky with this kid Dwight Jones, who had shown some ability at UNC.

    Bottom line, spend your FA money on CB, OLB (Orakpo) or OL help and draft/develop WR. Still think Hill can turn out ok, but certainly see why everyone would be down on him.

    By the way, Harold..on Talib..he’s a bum. Has a ton of ability, but got absolutely toasted all year, in ’12. He’s playing for contract now. How will he play when he gets his money though? That’s why letting Revis walk was stupid. Sure, he wanted big money, but he always showed up and earned what you paid him, that is very hard to find-see Holmes in today’s athlete.

  • Hillel

    This should be a particularly interesting off-season for the Jets and Jet fans.

  • KAsh

    @Lidman

    This is the FA market. If there were any perfect options, they would have been extended. But the Jets need to find either the FA that best fits the team or the one that can overcome the concerns about him. An elite few WRs come NFL-ready and sending them out with an inexperienced QB that cannot play to their strengths is literally sending lambs out to slaughter.

    The Jets have a horrible track record of developing WRs. Besides Kerley, we have whiffed time and time again. You have to own up to your shortcomings: the Jets need veteran WRs to have any hope of a passing game, and with time, we can hope that our drafted wideouts develop into solid veterans to help out the next batch of rookies.

    Mike Evans looks slow, and has long strides that naturally round off his routes and make it difficult for him to get separation. He is helped by a QB that specializes in extending plays. And his jump ball skills will be undervalued by a QB that has only thrown a jump ball this year when he missed.

    Donte Moncrief has had a down year, in which he has not shown any improvement from last year, and now does not crack the top-10 at the position in the draft.

    The draft has awesome wide receivers going into the fourth round, and I am not opposed to stocking up on them over all three days, but they are going to need some veterans to cover for them.

  • Lidman

    I’d rather take a lost cost shot with a Mike Evans or Donte Moncrief than an expensive one by chasing a Golden Tate or Hakeem Nicks. If I’m wrong on the former, it doesn’t cost me much, in terms of cap space. If I’m wrong on the latter, it can cripple me for the next few years. If you read the post, you can see I’m not opposed to bringing in vets, but paying up to get a WR, in my view, is a waste of resources

    On Evans, you’re right he does have QB who extends plays. He also has a QB who just ‘throws the ball up’ because he knows ‘his guy’ is going to go get it. Might Lee or Watkins be better? Sure, I guess they could be, but I simply think anytime you can get a bigger guy, you have a better chance at success. As far as getting separation, beign 6’5″ and over 230 gets you a lot of separation on it’s own. And, maybe the reason Geno hasn’t thrown many jump balls is because Holmes and Kerley are under 6′, while Hill hasn’t developed. He did a nice job hitting Nelson, on the fade, last week (a play he called at the LOS). Why you expect Geno to be a fully developed NFL QB, after 16 games, still befuddles me. You can not deny he’s looked better the past 3 games.

    On Moncrief, if 13 less catches, in 1 less game is a down year, I’ll take it: http://goo.gl/xSy5iL He was Ole Miss’ top target coming in this year, so naturally drew more attention. Keenan Allen had a ‘down year’, at Cal last year, and he’s worked out well. My point on Moncrief is again decent size and speed and because he’s a Ole Miss, he’s likely to be overlooked compared to some of the bigger names.

  • KAsh

    Size does not always translate. And every NFL team now has a strong 6’2″ corner to bump you the entire route and snag your hand from the ball if you are 6′ 5″ and slow. My fear with Evans is that his base nature is as a possession receiver. While they are needed, I do not think he is worth a first-round pick on this team. If you want the same talent, but more height and reach, go for Austin Sefarian-Jenkins – 6′ 7″, 260 lbs., with orangutan arms. He can block, too, and he is currently being mocked some twenty spots behind Mike Evans.

    As for Moncrief, the talent at receiver this year just has me excited. Most of these guys are worth a look. I think the Jets almost cannot go wrong.

    But on the experienced vets, you take a risk with a vet that some other team did not want, but you also take a risk by throwing a rookie into major playing time when he is not prepared. If you stunt your players growth with too much stagelight, you get stuck in a rebuilding trap, where your talent is never good enough to pull you over the hump. You look at the laughingly bad teams, and it is not from having too few top-10 picks that they got where they are today.

    The Jets need a plan this offseason. And when your roster is short of talent and your recent track record developing that talent has been iffy at best, you are left looking outside the organization for that talent. The Jets may also want to use the pieces we have to trade for some wideouts that are not on the market. While this requires negotiation and we have only so much to trade, it gives access to a much better pool of players.

  • Anthony

    @Kash

    What’s this recent track record of receiving busts the jets drafted? Stephen Hill just finished his second season and is now 23. They drafted Kerely, Cotchery, Brad Smith as a WR (from qb).

    In fact, if you take out 6th-7th round random flyer picks, since 2000 the jets have drafted 7 WRs.
    Hill
    Kerely
    Smith
    Cotchery
    Moss
    Coles
    Hayes

    4 of the 5 that have had the chance have survived in the NFL long enough to have second and in some cases third NFL contracts Kerely and Hill, provided reletove health look pretty certain to see at least second deals, and I don’t even remember Hayes.

    The Jets have actually hit rather hard taking meaningful picks on WRs over the past 13 years and should probably be advised to spend more, and more frequently on them based on the recent results. Only one of them was. 1st round pick, and he is still in the league.

  • Lidman

    Good post Anthony…as I was reading Kash’s post I wondered what he was talking about, but couldn’t recall off the top of my head.

    Kash…let’s go over your post a bit..you write, it appears, just to write:
    “Size does not always translate. And every NFL team now has a strong 6’2″ corner to bump you the entire route and snag your hand from the ball if you are 6′ 5″ and slow. My fear with Evans is that his base nature is as a possession receiver. ”

    First: “Size does not always win”. Well, it might not ‘always win’, but if we look at the top 20 WR this, by yardage: http://goo.gl/UpPm2i, you’ll find that only Desean Jackson and Kendall Wright, both listed at 5’10″ are under 6′. Now, Victor Cruz and Harry Douglas are list at 6’0″, but I’ll concede they are ‘smallish’ WR. Everyone else on this list is 6’2″/210 minimum and most are much bigger. So, again, I’m not saying bigger is always better, but in the NFL, bigger has a better chance of being better.

    -”every team has a 6’2″ CB”…where do you get this info? Let me help you out, you guess. You watch Seattle and hear the commentators say ‘these CBs are prototypical’ and you just go with it. Look over the NFL rosters, and you’ll find that only 10 teams have CBs listed at 6’2″ and above: Balt, Cincy, Den, Jax, KC, Minny, NYJ, Pitt, Sea and StL..now I didn’t count, but I’d say there are roughly 20 CBs that are that tall. I also think NFL teams are generous when listing their player’s heights. Don’t make statements you can’t prove son.

    “…6′ 5″ and slow”…speed, at this position is so overrated it’s ridiculous..guys will train, to sprint, without pads at the combine and personnel guys make the mistake of falling in love with them (see Stephen Hill)…Nobody ever called Jerry Rice a speed demon, but nobody ever caught him from behind either. Josh Gordon has become one of the games top deep threats this year, right? Well, he ran a 4.52 at his pro day: http://goo.gl/zim3i and he seems to be doing just fine. Anquan Boldin has had a great career and speed was never his game. I don’t know that Mike Evans is either of these guys, and odds are he’s not, but if he runs 4.5-4.6, he’s not a liability. Heck, J Kerley is 5’9″, and runs 4.5+ and he’s a solid NFL WR.

    -” My fear with Evans is that his base nature is as a possession receiver.” In every post there is always a ‘Kash-ism’..what in God’s name does this mean. Just say, I think he’s a posession receiver. Ok..great, Brandon Marshall, Terrell Owens, Al Toon (he was better than Rice early on!!)..what’s wrong with posession WR, so long as they get open, catch the ball and make plays for their teams? Go watch Evans game against ‘Bama and come back and tell me it wasn’t Evans who made Manziel that day.

    You can prefer Watkins to Evans, and I have no issue with it. Watkins may turn out to be the better player, I have no idea. Stop throwing out falasies and ‘Kash-isms’ to prove your point, just get data…if you can find it.

    I’ll always prefer bigger to smaller. I will make mistakes with this, but the majority of the time, in the NFL, bigger is better.

  • Lidman

    Kash..one more thing…if you watch any NFL game, you know that CBs can’t ‘bump’ a WR on his whole route and continue to get away with it, without being flagged. Bigger WR force smaller CBs to clutch and grab (that is an observation) and this leads to more penalties drawn, which are just as good as receptions.

  • Anthony

    I love that you called it a “kashism”.

    Just to piggy-back on your point; Vincent Jackson, AJ Green, Larry Fitzgerald and Dez Bryant all are “possession” receivers based on Kash’s definition of speed.

    The problem with those after the catch burner types is that they (1) can get caught in traffic and (2) almost always suck at blocking.

    Keenan Allen is fantastic if you have an above average NFL QB, running game, vincent brown and antonio gates, but AJ Green is just a force of nature.

    Give me big, strong, leaping skills and hands all day and keep your 4.3 Tayvon Austins.

  • KAsh

    You got to love the fierce pride of a Jets fan. He can be living in the ghetto, his roof’s always leaking, the toilet’s always clogged, the fridge’s always empty, the last time the walls were painted Johnson was president, and the kids are jumping over shards from green beet bottles in the dirty, dinky hallways with no socks or shoes, but you ask him and “Nah, man, I ain’t broke.” He’s living hand-to-mouth, off the dollar menu, and the free deliveries he takes from his elderly neighbor, but “The food gets on the table and the bills get paid.”

    The Jets are bare at receiver, have not had depth for ages, have not grown a playmaker in a decade, the depth chart consists of, in order, a Steelers outcast, a Bills outcast, Kerley, an Eagles practice squad player, and I do not remember which practice squad we filched Salim from, but “The Jets have actually hit rathet hard taking meaningful picks on WRs.” All of those receivers either busted with the Jets or were cut and replaced by FAs, then revived their careers as depth and role players on other teams, wrestling their way up the depth chart, but they are “still in the league.” So is Ducasse.

    I never said “busts.” You can take a look at our present roster for the evidence of my statement. And sixth- and seventh-round picks count. When you take as many of them as we have and add the UDFAs, the law of averages states that we are supposed to have at least one or two more serviceable options. We don’t because we suck at developing them. But, nah, we ain’t broke.

    @Lidman

    You are not Derrida to dissect – incorrectly – three sentences in four paragraphs and act like you addressed the essence of what I wrote.

    First, “does not translate” does not mean “does not win.” You need more than size to win at anything. My division I-A college had a 7′ 0″ basketball player: he could dunk the ball by just reaching his hands up, but he sucked because he could not dribble for his life or grasp basic rules like travelling. Dumb as a doorknob.

    Evans is a tall, gangly player. He has the body type of a taller, lankier Barkevious Mingo. He runs with very long strides, but he does not have a short distance burst to get himself to full speed right away. Big mass means a harder time for him to cut and turn. Little burst means no initial speed after a cut means no separation from route running. Long strides again factor in because they mean less contact (fewer steps) with the ground which means less chances to cut. Long strides with a bigger mass means rounded routes, unless he bulks up even more, at which point he should just transition to tight end. No speed on a big player makes him predictable.

    Again, he has not run any 40s publicly that I know of. I’m basing this analysis on what games of his I watched and Youtube. I watched the Alabama game. He was helped by a QB who broke down coverage by extending plays past five seconds. Again combine performance is to provide information for the game tape. He looks slow on the field in pads.

    Finally, a base nature is the lowest (the basic) level that Evans falls to, the type of player he is at his most natural, without extra exertions. Marshall and Toon as possession receivers? That is how I call Brady a game manager: that is what he is with the small caveat of having sharpened his skills to the point that he is a first-ballot HoFer. Never saw Toon play, but Marshall does not suffer from a slight frame, or explosiveness, or route-running. Evans does and I fear that he has a good chance of developing into a guy that makes three-yard catches because there is no one else to stop teams from doubling him at the LoS.

  • Dan

    I moved from LI to Seattle years ago, I watch the Hawks as well as the Jets. Idzik being from Seattle bolsters my opinion that the Jets will go after Tate. As they should he is a fast playmaker..Add Watkins from the draft, a Threatening Tight end.. Bring back Nelson, have Hill competing. and bolster the Offensive line and we are headed for success… I think you have to renegotiate Cros salary, and look to replace him after 14..

  • Anthony

    @Kash

    I think you need help, man.

    Gangly means skinny. Evans has nearly the same build as Megatron at 6’5 230 lbs. He’s enormous.

    Even if you count the 3 6-7 round picks we spent on WRs, that makes 5-8 that lasted in the league several years. 2 of them went to the pro bowl at least once.

  • KAsh

    Lasted in the league? They did not last on the team, which tells you all you need to know about the Jets and wide receivers. Either we are great at picking middling talent that becomes an afterthought once FAs become available, or we pick good talent, but cannot develop anybody, which is why they become serviceable on other teams. I find it very hard to ignore this mammoth in the room: a roster crammed full with guys that other teams let go and one home-grown slot receiver in four years of Rex.

    I have a hard time believing you buy your own BS. But lets actually take a look at the Jets drafted receivers. An honest analysis – since nothing about just being a Jet makes you a better wide receiver – starts with the players the current coach had on his roster.

    Cotchery – was trending downwards with the Jets for years and rarely saw the field his first two years in Pittsburgh; caught a combined 33 passes in that two year span and finally managed to work himself into the starting rotation this year.
    Harry Williams Jr. – drafted between these two but never even made it on the roster.
    Brad Smith – career backup, his best year was in 2007 when he caught 32 passes for 325 yards and 2 TDs; has never been better than a backup and has 2 catches this year, his first with the Eagles.
    Stuckey – no longer in the league; traded for Braylon Edwards to Cleveland where he had a similar role he had with the Jets but was then cut, picked up by the Cardinals, cut before the season, picked up by the CFL Argonauts, and cut after a week.
    Marcus Henry – drafted between Stuckey and Kerley, the first wideout picked under Rex; Marcus never made the team.
    Kerley – a great find in the fifth round and the most reliable receiver on the entire roster, but he is most natural working in the slot.
    Scotty McKnight – reportedly a stupid promise made by Rex to Sanchez.
    Stephen Hill – has been banged up both years and is already being called a bust.
    Jordan White – never accomplished anything with the Jets and is not in the NFL.

    That is it. What a great group to be a part of! So much talent! So much success! A regular who’s who of draft picks that went nowhere. The three most successful – Kerley, Cotchery, and Stuckey – would be, were, and are, respectively, backups on other teams.

    Finally, I know what gangly means; it actually refers to a person having long, skinny limbs that make movement awkward.

    Here is a clip of college Megatron turning on a dime, accelerating out of breaks, and doing things you normally see from flankers and that are missing from Evans’s tape: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0BPsx77TkqA

    And Evans’s latest clip: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RFOGBY0jR2U

    I will summarize the differences like this: Evans is listed at 225 lbs and will probably have longer arms than Megatron once he is measured at the combine. The price he pays for that is in his manueverability, which is impaired. On the slant at 0:12 that he takes for a touchdown, Evans bursts to run the post, but then needs a flurry of steps to decelerate into his cut – it would have been a three-yard gain if the corner was not mesmerized by his foot magic. On the screen at 0:31, that is not a touchdown because Evans made the first guy miss with his initial step, but then had to stop his full momentum to stay inbounds, and could not accelerate fast enough to take it to the house. Throughout the entire video, you see a guy who needs ten yards to get up to full speed. The difference between him off the LoS and ten yards down the field is night and day. I love watching him beyond the ten yards at full speed. But then he has to cut. He’s like a Bugati Veyron without the acceleration, but that still needs five football fields to come to a complete stop.

  • Lidman

    Kash..what color is the sky in your world?

  • Lidman

    Kash..take a look at that picture, and then redefine what ‘gangly’ is. Then read the article, which tells you who the best player on the field was during that A&M v ‘Bama game…stop being so argumentative. It’s fine if your opinion of him is he’s not a great player. Just acknowledge your opinion is in the minority, and I’d say vast minority.

    Comparing him to Megatron, who is likely the greatest ‘specimen’ ever to be drafted at the WR position is unfair. Go find me some tape on Josh Gordon, or Dez Bryant, both of whom weren’t ‘renowned route runners’ coming out of college, and then get back to me as to why this guy won’t be successful.

  • Lidman

    Helps if I include the link: http://goo.gl/SoLlT6

    Evans won’t be 21 until August of next year…stop telling me what he can’t do, and realize both what he already can and how rare his physical gifts are, even in a league of genetic freaks.

  • KAsh

    Lidman, the article you offered yourself has this sentence:

    “Teams looking for a fast, explosive wideout will steer clear of Evans as a first-round pick.”

    I think Evans is being hyped up. I think people look at his stats and his conference and see a much better player than he is.

    That said, I still think he is a first-round draft pick. I just think that he is a late (20-30) first-round draft pick. He would be a steal at that point, but I would not be shocked if he drops out of the first round.

    Evans should be the third wide receiver in the rankings and the gap between him and the glut of wideouts vying for fourth place is not as large as people think. Evans will be a great addition to a team with a developed group of receivers, but he is not what you start with when you have a dearth of weapons.

    We got into this whole discussion when you said you wanted to avoid FA WRs and build through the draft, starting with Evans. That would mean that the weapons on this team would be Kerley, Ivory, and Evans; Kerley is best working the middle of the field and with his intermediate routes, Ivory is a running back that requires lots of bodies in the middle of the field and close to the LoS. As a receiver, Evans does not have the quickness to make people miss in the screen game and will not outrun defenders going deep, so he should specialize in the intermediate game and working the middle. The DCs we face can circle us on the calendar, as they can take a vacation that week. No deep threats, nothing to stretch the field, no need for innovative zone schemes or two safeties up top. Just mass bodies in the center, have one safety back to stop the receiver that gets the ball, and have one corner man the sad sap (likely a rookie) that will be the only complication.

    Rather than that, with Ivory, Kerley, and a FA that can handle being the focus of the offense (a veteran that knows how to produce with what he has, be that speed, route-running, getting separation or anything else) can then go out and draft the best receiver that falls to them, whether that is Evans or Watkins or a second- or third-round draft pick.

  • Lidman

    You just don’t get it….and you pick out a line, in that article, and take it out of context.

    Breaking Down 2014 NFL Draft Prospect Mike Evans After Monster Game vs. Alabama
    BY DAN HOPE (FEATURED COLUMNIST) ON SEPTEMBER 20, 2013
    12,987 reads 14 Icon_comment
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    Hi-res-7671250_crop_north Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans’ draft stock is on the rise after a breakout performance versus Alabama in the third week of the college football season.
    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
    Few college football games this season will have more NFL talent on the field than when Texas A&M played Alabama last Saturday. Even with many other potential first-round picks in the game, Texas A&M redshirt sophomore wide receiver Mike Evans stood out as the best player on the field.

    While Texas A&M was unable to upset the defending national champion Crimson Tide for a second consecutive year, ultimately losing by a score of 49-42, Evans did all that could possibly be asked of him in his effort to help the team win. Evans had a field day against Alabama’s cornerbacks, catching seven passes for a whopping 279 yards, and was full of big plays that helped Texas A&M in the game.

    In the above video, courtesy of Draft Breakdown, you can see all of Evans’ catches and big plays against the Crimson Tide. He took advantage of the cornerbacks, possibly the only position group on Alabama’s roster without a sure-fire NFL prospect.

    While Evans will have a difficult time duplicating his performance—even though it came against arguably college football’s toughest defense—it is clear his game has taken a step forward from his redshirt freshman season. As a result, his stock as a potential early entrant for the 2014 NFL draft is soaring.

    Evans flashed star potential as a redshirt freshman, catching 82 passes for 1,105 yards and five touchdowns, including no shortage of chain-moving and/or highlight-reel plays. He truly looked like a star Saturday, putting up the biggest game of his career to date in what will be one of the biggest showcase games of his college football career.

    Evans leads the nation through three weeks with 518 receiving yards, but you can take his statistics out of the equation, just watch his film and still see a first-round draft prospect.

    Taking Advantage of His Measurables

    The first thing that stands out about Evans are his measurables. Listed at 6’5” and 225 pounds by Texas A&M’s official website, Evans is a physically imposing wide receiver.

    Evans is significantly bigger than most cornerbacks he has faced and will face, and he uses his size to his advantage. No matter where he lines up on the field, Evans is going to create matchup problems with players who lack either the size or athleticism to go toe-to-toe with him play after play.

    A high school basketball player, Evans does a great job of coming back to the football, boxing out his opponent, leaping up and bringing down a catch through contact.

    An example of that came late during Saturday’s game versus Alabama when he got in position in front of three defenders and caught a downfield heave for a 32-yard gain through a hit from Alabama junior safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, arguably the nation’s best safety.

    Combining his measurable length with great vertical leaping ability, Evans can win jump-ball situations against almost any opponent. He does a great job of attacking the football in the air, and he has strong hands to secure possession even when he takes a hit.

    Body control is another one of Evans’ best traits. He has already shown on many occasions in his collegiate career how he can adjust to the ball in midair to make a tough catch, while he also does a good job of getting a foot in bounds when he is held tight to the sideline.

    The following catch against LSU in 2012 is an example of how good Evans is at controlling his body and making a tough, one-handed grab on the sidelines. While the catch would not have counted at the NFL level because he only got one foot in bounds, it was an incredible effort and play made within the collegiate rules.

    Tough to Tackle

    With his size, leaping ability and body control, Evans is able to make plays on balls in the air even when covered. His size and physicality also make him a difficult player to tackle.

    NFL cornerbacks should be more adept at tackling wideouts than many of the college cornerbacks Evans faces, but nonetheless, he has shown a consistent ability to extend plays for yards after the catch because of breaking tackles.

    It is imperative for opposing defenders to wrap up Evans to tackle him; with his size and strength, he can run through or bounce off unsound tackling.

    Evans becomes even more difficult to bring down because of his ability to drive through defenders who are wrapping him up and gain additional yards. He has a strong lower body, and he generates enough force with his lower body to combine it with his size advantage and run through or drag defenders to gain additional yards where most receivers would be stopped in their tracks.

    Athletic Concerns and How He Overcomes Them

    The biggest concerns scouts are likely to have about Evans are with his speed and quickness. He is not a player who is going to burn defensive backs deep as a speed receiver or make many defenders miss with moves in the open field.

    Evans could have trouble separating from opponents consistently at the next level. He is not as fast as most NFL cornerbacks, which will make it difficult for him to outrun and gain strides over them when lined up on the outside. He also struggles somewhat with getting off of jams in press coverage, an area where he needs to be more physically imposing with his size.

    That said, Evans is a good athlete relative to his size. He has shown the ability to combine double moves with good acceleration to beat defensive backs off the line of scrimmage. He has also shown enough downfield speed to make deep receptions and extend them into even bigger plays.

    Evans made the biggest play yet of his young collegiate career when he scored a 95-yard touchdown against the Crimson Tide.

    I could cite other points from the article, but you’d use a ‘Kashism’ to dispute them. Stop telling me about speed. Clyde Gates, Stephen Hill, Tavon Austin all have great speed..Brandon Tate was drafted because of his speed, as was Ted Ginn…Dez Bryant isn’t a burner. Jordy Nelson isn’t a burner. Marques Colston was never a burner. Evans has a lot more going for him, than he does against him. I also hope they take Moncrief too…

    Finally, you tell me what FA WR they should go out and use a big portion of their cap for? If they can get Jimmy Graham, ok..I get it..there isn’t another guy out there worth paying big money too, because all of them have some issues. Tell me which one of these guys you want to pay big money too, who your are confident is a ‘difference maker’ http://goo.gl/lfNvd9? I can’t find one. So, I’d rather just draft guys. I think you use your FA $ on ‘known difference makers’ and none of these WR is a sure thing in my book.

  • kingmal

    I dont want to step on toes, but I dont think Evans should even be a consideration at this point. He may develop into a good WR at some point, but we dont have the time to wait, and where he’s at today doesnt cut it in the NFL. Forget his speed issues, he only runs 1 route well, the comeback and an ok out route, if you watch his games or highlights when thrown to over the middle he lost concentration, and dropped the ball as many times as he caught it. NFL cb’s will eat him alive just sitting on the 2 routes he can run,and with the qb’s we have every other pass to him would be an int, or a sack waiting for him to get open, (most of his deep plays took Manzel to extend the play long enough for him to get open). I think the Jets need to draft a WR that fits this team, like the Pats who are in the hunt every year (they draft players that fit their scheme, not just players that are atheletic).

    If you wathced the Jets games this year as I have you may have noticed a lack of seperation on behalf of the jets wr’s from the opponents cb’s. Also Geno’s tendency to throw it short over the middle when facing any pressure on 3rd downs, (although late in the season he and David Nelson seemed to start clicking on those out routes and curls). I would take Watkins over all other wr int this draft, if he isnt available i would go for Kelvin Benjamin or Jordan Matthews for big wr’s, or Allen Robinson. I think Watkins or Robinson would be Geno a wr that can get open, and get YAC. With out a good TE the QB can rely on he’s gonna need a wr that he can be sure will get open so he can dump off passes when the pressure comes, he tried that with santonio but holmes didnt get seperation and you would get an int, with the agility of watkins and robinson, call a zig route or slant and you should see sepearation. I like benjamin for that red zone threat, he’s 6’5 like evans but athletic, and knows how to time his leaps to catch the ball at its highest point, good blocking, and cathes in traffic (unlike hill), if benjamin is unavailable i would go with matthews who is still big at 6’3″ athletic, and speedy. Just my opion but i think what we need is #1 a quick wr with good hands, who can run routes, and get some yards after catch, # a big wr/te who gives us a redzone threat that will out jump everyone else for the ball (and hold on to it mr.Hill) and #3 a saftey I wont go into who I like for that position here since it’s all about wr’s

  • Anthony

    Sign Jeremy Maclin or Hakeem Nicks (only one of them)

    Draft Marquise Lee at #18 in the first round, he is perfect as a #2 who can run great routes, be a threat in the screen game and take the top off the defense with his speed. He also has the potential to develop into a legitimate #1 receiver after a year or 2. (If Clemson WR Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M WR Mike Evans is available at #18 you take one of them but they will most likely be taken already.)

    Marquise Lee Highlights
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIjzTV0r1po

    Trade our 2nd round pick and our 3rd round pick to move up to the top of the 2nd round and draft Washington TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins. He is huge at 6’6″ and is the most complete TE in this draft, he is a great blocker and can make a impact as a pass catcher working the middle of the field and in the red zone. He is not the best receiving TE in this draft but he is still a beast in the pass game and is probably the most complete TE in my opinion, I would say he is similar to Brandon Pettigrew. (If UNC TE Eric Ebron or Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro is still available you draft one of them.)

    Austin Seferian-Jenkins Highlights
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPZ5ZDWEADo

    Now with the 3rd round pick we get from the Revis trade with TB we draft Oregon RB/WR De’Anthony Thomas. From what I understand we were going to draft Tavon Austin if he was available at our pick in last years draft and this guys is basically Tavon Austin. He is somewhat of a risky pick at 5’9″ 170lbs but you give this kid the ball and he just makes electrifying plays. He could be used as our kick returner and punt returner which was a HUGE need for us last season, and also can be used as a slot receiver and a RB who we get the ball to in space. Instant Offense this kid is.

    De’Anthony Thomas Highlights
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ_eIM9EV0I

    Obviously we have more picks, but just going over our top 3.

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