New York Jets Free Agent Target – Dexter McCluster

Joe Caporoso breaks down New York Jets free agent target Dexter McCluster

We continue our look at potential free agent wide receiver options for the New York Jets, with a breakdown of Dexter McCluster of the Kansas City Chiefs. Previously, we have broken down Golden Tate, Emmanuel Sanders, James Jones and Andre Roberts.

Player: Dexter McCluster, Wide Receiver, Kansas City Chiefs.

Experience: 4 years (2010 2nd round pick)

Size/Speed: 5 foot 8, 170 pounds, 4.58 forty yard dash in 2010.

Career Stats:

  • 2010: 11 games. 21 receptions, 39 targets, 209 yards, 10.0 YPC, 1 TD.
  • 2011: 16 games. 46 receptions, 61 targets, 328 yards, 7.1 YPC, 1 TD.
  • 2012: 16 games. 52 receptions, 78 targets, 452 yards, 8.7 YPC, 1 TD.
  • 2013: 15 games, 53 receptions, 81 targets, 511 yards, 9.6 YPC, 2 TDs.

* McCluster has 152 career carries (114 coming in 2011) for 662 yards with a 4.4 YPC and 1 rushing touchdown.

* McCluster returned 58 punts last season for 686 yards and 2 touchdowns (he had another punt return for a touchdown in 2010). He also has 52 career kick returns for 1,087 yards.

Strengths: McCluster is faster than his forty time indicates and has terrific elusiveness in the open field. He is a versatile player who can contribute in the screen game and function as both a slot receiver and scat-back. McCluster has improved every year of his career and while he is far from a polished wide receiver, he took immense strides last season under Andy Reid. He is an impact player in the return game and has six receptions of 25 yards or longer over the past two seasons.

Negatives: McCluster isn’t a traditional wide receiver. He is built like a scat-back and lacks overall polish to his routes. He doesn’t compete well with defensive backs for the football and can have inconsistency with his hands. McCluster has only managed six offensive touchdowns in four seasons. 

Overall: Andy Reid found good use for McCluster last season, so it stands to reason that Marty Mornhinweg can do the same, considering some of the similarities in their offensive philosophies. The appeal of McCluster is that he should cost somewhere in the 2-3 million per year range and fills multiple holes for the Jets. He would immediately give them a major upgrade at punt returner, provide the third down back/receiving threat they need out of the backfield and give them more depth at the receiver position, particularly in the slot. McCluster would be a relatively low cost playmaker for an offense that desperately needs to stockpile them.

Author: Joe Caporoso

Joe Caporoso is the Owner and EIC of Turn On The Jets. His writing has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, MMQB and AdWeek. Caporoso played football his entire life, including four years at Muhlenberg as a wide receiver, where he was arguably the slowest receiver to ever start in school history. He is the VP of Social Media at Whistle Sports

  • KAsh

    McCluster is an interesting free agent. You are right that he would be a fit for many of the missing roles on our offense. My only hesitation is that once we sign him, we would not have a role on the roster for some exciting draft prospects like Dri Archer and Charles Sims (more so Archer, who not only has the same measurements, but also the same skill set). Of course, we could always cut McCluster if someone is better than him in training camp.

    I also would not consider McCluster as filling a need at receiver. He seems like a final addition to a full receiver corps (like Tavon Austin) that adds an interesting and exciting element to the offense. In other words, if we sign McCluster, I would want another two FA receivers.

  • joeydefiant

    Waste of time. This guy is always hyped but has bad hands and runs horrible routes. Why ??

  • Harold

    I am not a huge fan. I would take Ted Ginn instead.

  • Joe Caporoso

    Fair. Ginn is another intriguing option and made nice strides last season as a WR in Carolina.

  • Noah

    This would be a waste of money, we can target a player with the same attributes later in the draft