New York Jets Free Agent Target – James Jones

Joe Caporoso with a breakdown of free agent wide receiver James Jones. Should the Jets pursue him?

Previously at Turn On The Jets we have taken a closer look at wide receiver Golden Tate and Emmanuel Sanders. Today, we are going to look at another intriguing potential addition: James Jones of the Green Bay Packers. 

Player: James Jones, Wide Receiver, Green Bay Packers

Experience: 7 years (2007 3rd round pick)

Size/Speed: 6 foot 1, 208 pounds. 4.59 forty yard dash in 2007.

Career Stats:

  • 2007: 16 games. 47 receptions, 80 targets, 676 yards, 14.4 YPC, 2 TDs.
  • 2008: 10 games. 20 receptions, 30 targets, 274 yards, 13.7 YPC, 1 TD.
  • 2009: 16 games. 32 receptions, 63 targets, 440 yards. 13.8 YPC, 5 TDs.
  • 2010: 16 games. 50 receptions, 87 targets, 670 yards, 13.6 YPC, 5 TDs.
  • 2011: 16 games, 38 receptions, 55 targets, 635 yards, 16.7 YPC, 7 TDs
  • 2012: 16 games, 64 receptions, 98 targets, 784 yards, 12.3 YPC, 14 TDs
  • 2013: 16 games, 59 receptions, 93 targets, 817 yards, 13.8 YPC, 3 TDs.

Strengths: Jones has good size and is a fundamentally strong receiver, who runs solid routes and shows an ability to get open against a variety of defenses. He has a knack for making big plays, with nine receptions of 30 yards or longer over the past two seasons. However, most of his production comes on passes that are less than 10 yards. Even before his monster 2012 campaign, Jones had a nose for the endzone in ratio to his number of targets, 24 touchdowns over the past three years is nothing to ignore. Jones remained relatively productive this season in the games that Aaron Rodgers missed. He had four games off 55 receiving yards or more without Rodgers under center. Jones attacks the football and does well on contested catches, using his size to his advantage.

Negatives: Despite improving in recent years, Jones has issues with dropping the football. Prior to the 2012 season, he had the second worst drop rate in the NFL. The problem reared its ugly head in the playoffs this year against the 49ers when Jones failed to come down with a handful of difficult but catchable balls. Jones isn’t a burner and lacks the speed of a traditional deep threat. He has spent his entire career with an elite quarterback and surrounded by other talented receivers opposite of him. It is fair to question how he would produce in an offense that is more run heavy, is led by quarterback going through growing pains and doesn’t have established threats opposite of him at receiver and tight end. Jones missed two games with a knee injury last season and struggled to get separation when he returned from the injury.

Overall: Jones is probably going to get somewhere around 4-5 million dollars per year and is an intriguing option for the Jets. In this writer’s opinion, he is a better receiver than Emmanuel Sanders but he does have the disadvantage of being 3 years older than him. Jones would immediately step into the Jets starting lineup and provide a credible, competent threat predominantly at split end and bring a big play element that the offense has sorely been lacking. The drops and knee injury are concerning but Jones is a proven, productive player and outside of Golden Tate, is arguably the top addition the Jets can make at the position.

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