When you look around at media rankings, you start getting the idea that not many people are very high on the Jets supporting cast on offense. At the receiver spot more specifically, the Jets are severely underrated in my opinion. They enter 2018 with their top two receivers from last year in Jermaine Kearse and potential breakout player Robby Anderson. Joining them are Quincy Enunwa and Terrelle Pryor, both of which are returning from an injury plagued 2017 season. Those four have each had over 800 yards in one of the last two years with their quarterbacks being one of Bryce Petty, Ryan Fitzpatrick and current Jet Josh McCown. If you said a team had a receiver group consisting of that without the names, I’m positive anyone would sign up for that.
Behind the top four it’s a crowded group with second year mid rounders in Ardarius Stewart and Chad Hansen being the most notable. There is also return specialist Andre Roberts and then speedster Charles Johnson, Teddy Bridgewater’s former teammate in Minnesota. Lastly there is Tre McBride, who has seemingly moved ahead of all of them on the depth chart this summer.
Tre McBride was selected in the 7th round by the Tennessee Titans in the 2015 draft. After very little success there and flipping between the practice squad and active roster, he joined the Chicago Bears before the 2017 season. He wasn’t able to make it through the whole season in the Windy City getting cut in late November, leading him to sign to the Jets practice squad last December. The 6’0 receiver is different than the four ahead of him on the depth chart. While he doesn’t have the resume like the others do, this camp he has shown to have reliable hands and superb route running from the slot, leading him to get reps with the first team with Enunwa is nursing an injury.
As mentioned, McBride may be getting first team reps but there will still a competition these last few weeks with Stewart, Hansen and preseason week 1 top receiver Charles Johnson. Maccagnan has been known for keeping his draft picks so it may be a tough road ahead for McBride but if he keeps doing what he’s doing he’ll have a real real shot. Another thing to keep in mind is that while he may have some trouble getting into the lineup when everyone is healthy when everyone is healthy, he does provide more than Andre Roberts as a receiver. So maybe if he shows he can be a legitimate punt returner, that may be enough to get him to stick.
For the rest of the preseason he should expect to see a ton of reps with both the first and second teams and maybe a couple here and there with the third team. When it comes down to it I’m not sure McBride will make the roster when they cut it from 90 to 53 but he has definitely impressed the coaching staff enough to make it tough decision for Maccagnan and Bowles.