Turn On The Jets 12 Pack – On The Wide Receivers…

Joe Caporoso with a Turn On The Jets 12 Pack of thoughts on the New York Jets wide receivers

Welcome back to another edition of the Turn On The Jets 12 Pack. Make sure to subscribe to the TOJ podcast (hit us with a rating!) and subscribe to Badlands!  

1 – Breshad Perriman: The wild card for this group, who was the team’s immediate Plan B when Robby Anderson left for the Carolina Panthers. Perriman closed the 2019 season on a tear for the pass happy Tampa Bay Bucs, racking up 419 yards and 5 touchdowns in the team’s final four games. In his previous 47 games, he had 1,152 yards and 6 touchdowns. The measurables are there for Perriman, who was a first round receiver for a reason but the body of work says his final four games were an anomaly/outlier because of the offense he was in and the competition he was playing against.

Regardless, the Jets don’t need Perriman to be a 1,200 yard receiver to replace Anderson. They need him to play 16 games, connect on a few deep passes and give them somewhere in the 650-850 yard range. If he can do that, the Jets are getting good value on the contract. If he can’t, the strain on their lack of depth is going to be emphatically felt.

2 – Denzel Mims: The Jets new power forward on the outside. This blogger is quite excited about Mims long term potential to have a Kenny Golladay type impact on their offense. However, there is no way there won’t be a steep learning curve during this rookie season, especially with such an abridged offseason. Hopefully the Jets keep the targets coming despite them so he can learn on the fly and be that much better for it in year two. There is no question he should be other starting outside receiver besides Perriman in the Jets base three wide set.

3 – Jamison Crowder: The steady spot on the depth chart. There is no reason to think in Adam Gase’s offense that Crowder won’t again see somewhere around 120 targets and average about 11 yards per reception. Crowder immediately found a good rhythm with Sam Darnold and is likely to remain his primary security blanket, even with the return of Chris Herndon because of the design of Gase’s offense. Despite some injury concern chatter from fans, Crowder has played 15 or more games in 4 of his 5 NFL seasons, so there is no reason to expect he cannot hit that number again for the Jets in 2020.

4 – Demaryius Thomas: He isn’t on the roster as of now but there are rumors the Jets are exploring a reunion. Despite being a mid season addition last year, Thomas had 5 or more targets in 6 of the 10 games he fully played in for the team last season. It isn’t hard to imagine a world where Thomas comes back and is regularly siphoning targets away from Mims rather just providing depth as a fourth receiver. If the Jets make another veteran addition at the position, he is the most likely to be it.

5 – Braxton Berrios: Friend of the pod Connor Hughes flagged Berrios as a player the coaching staff was particularly high on and with his punt return ability, he seems close to a lock to making the final roster. He slots in as a logical backup to Crowder but also somebody who can be integrated into a specific package of plays because of his speed and YAC ability. Of all the lower tier depth chart receivers on the Jets roster, I’d buy the most stock on Berrios right now.

6 – Vyncynt Smith: A midseason pickup last year who had a few moments on both special teams and offense. The team likes his speed and vertical ability but with Perriman and Mims ahead of him on the depth chart, it may be hard for him to get any offensive targets. He will also now be battling third round pick Ashtyn Davis for kick return duties, a player the coaching staff is head over heels in love with. He probably will still make the roster, especially with the new extended numbers but I wouldn’t be betting on any type of consistent impact.

7 – Josh Doctson: Maybe I am being too pessimistic but I just don’t see it, especially with how this offseason is going to play out. Doctson would theoretically be a reasonable dart throw as a vertical/outside receiver option but unless there is an injury or two, it is hard to see him having enough camp and preseason opportunities to stick as a regular viable option on offense. I’d say it less than 50 percent he makes the final roster.

8 – Lawrence Cager: The big, possession UDFA receiver that fans are excited about. At 6’5, 220 pounds Cager has some intriguing inside slot, WR/TE hybrid potential, especially if Chris Herndon cannot stay healthy. Like any UDFA, he will be a long shot but fits the profile of a player who is likely to be stashed on the practice squad in the short term. You can’t teach size and catch radius.

9 – George Campbell: The speedy UDFA receiver that fans are excited about. Campbell is a burner and the Jets have recently seen a UDFA burner make a major impact on their offense. I actually like Campbell’s odds of sticking better than Cager just because top end speed like his is so hard to come by but overall he still remains a long shot.

10 – Jeff Smith/Josh Malone: Nah.

11 – League Wide: A good overview from Matt Gianesses that discusses where the Jets fit league wide and the general perception that this is a bottom five unit on paper. Candidly, it may be because you don’t have a single player who has ever exceeded 850 yards in a season or had more than 7 touchdowns in a season. The key to mitigating this lack of experience and depth is utilizing both Chris Herndon and Le’Veon Bell as key cogs in the passing game, consistently. TBD if Adam Gase is capable of that.

12 – Best Case/Worst Case 

Best 

  • Perriman – Healthy for 16 games. Replicates Robby’s 2019 production.
  • Mims – Red Zone beast. Regularly gets 4-7 targets each week.
  • Crowder – Roughly replicates last season’s production with a few less targets.
  • Berrios – Useful situational offensive player.
  • Thomas – Depth who isn’t a major focal point of the offense.
  • Smith – A handful of big offensive plays.

Worst 

  • Perriman – Banged up. Stats drop from last season.
  • Mims – Inconsistent early in year and gets put in doghouse.
  • Crowder – Falls a decent chunk behind last year’s numbers.
  • Berrios – Non-factor
  • Thomas – Signed and regularly gets 4-7 targets per week.
  • Smith – Non-factor.

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