New York Jets Positional Preview – Wide Receivers

AJ Sicignano continues his positional preview for the New York Jets, with a look at the wide receivers. Don’t miss the running back and quarterback edition.

Wide Receivers: Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, Devin Smith, DeVier Posey, Chris Owusu, Walter Powell, TJ Graham, Saalim Hakim, Shaq Evans, Quincy Enunwa

The Jets will enter camp with an influx of wide receivers and have seven guys fighting for what may just be two available spots. It’ll be intriguing to watch the competition unfold throughout camp and preseason. If guys like Owusu or Powell show they can contribute on special teams that will most likely be the deciding factor over the other receivers.

It’s safe to say that the five guys who are virtual locks to make the roster are Marshall, Decker, Kerley, rookie Devin Smith and Devier Posey. It’s tough to picture the scenario of Posey getting cut after Maccagnan acquired Posey in a trade during the draft though it’s not completely out of the question.

Marshall, entering his 10th NFL season seems to have a great start with what he claims to be his final stint in the NFL. Marshall and Geno Smith lived together for about a month earlier in the year when Marshall was traded to the Jets to help build chemistry between the two. Marshall’s biggest question heading into the season is if he’ll be able to stay healthy after missing a few games last year due to injury. Last year was the first time in three seasons that Marshall had to miss a game. If Marshall stays healthy he should be the first Jets WR to eclipse 1,000 yards receiving in a season since Jerricho Cotchery did it in 2007.

The acquisition of him will undoubtedly open things up for Decker who had a quietly impressive debut season last year for the Jets. With defenses now unlikely to roll coverage Decker’s way like they did last year you should see his deep catch numbers increase and still remain a formidable threat in the short to intermediate passing game. Decker causes match up problems against teams number two corners as he is a technician in his route running. Like Marshall last season, Decker seemed to have an injury that lingered for multiple weeks causing him to miss some time. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Decker could also post a 1,000 yard season alongside Marshall but you have to wonder if he’ll see the amount of targets for him to reach it.

Despite the Jets drafting Devin Smith in the second round, Jeremy Kerley should still see the field often in Chan Gailey’s spread offense. Kerley has always seems to find the soft spots in a zone defense and show up as the QB’s security blanket on third down’. This season should be no different.

Devin Smith has generated a lot of buzz this offseason when the Jets drafted him and deservedly so. He possess deep ball speed the Jets haven’t seen in a long time. The question with Smith is just how much is he going to see the field this season? You should see him earn more time progressively as he learns the NFL game and finds his niche in this Jets offense. There just might not be enough targets for him to go around his rookie season for him to produce the way many are expecting.

The Jets also acquired DeVier Posey, a third round pick in the 2012 draft by the Texans when Mike Maccagnan was Houston’s Director of College Scouting. It’s safe to say that Maccagnan sees something in Posey in order for him to pull the trigger on a trade for him.  Posey hasn’t produced much in the NFL, with just 22 career receptions but unless he completely flames out I’d expect Posey to be on the final 53 man roster.

The addition of an elite big body target in Marshall really opens things up everywhere else on the field for this offense and gives Geno no excuses in his make or break season. With Marshall, Decker, and Kerley leading the way this may be a better trio of WR’s than what the Jets had in their stable with Holmes, Edwards and Cotchery back in 2010.

AFC East Rank: 1

AFC Rank: First Tier

Question: Which Jets WR duo would you rather have? Keyshawn/Cherbet or Marshall/Decker?