With the 2021 NFL Draft approaching on April 29 and NFL free agency quieting down, here’s an overview on where each position group stands.
Who’s on the roster: Corey Davis, Vyncint Smith, Josh Doctson, D.J. Montgomery, Manasseh Bailey, Denzel Mims, Keelan Cole, Lawrence Cager, Josh Malone, Jaleel Scott, Jamison Crowder, Braxton Berrios and Jeff Smith
Who departed: Breshad Perriman
Last season, Pro Football Focus rated the Jets’ receiving corps 31st. But with the addition of Davis and Cole, it’s the best group on offense.
The only significant offseason loss was Perriman. He signed with the Detroit Lions in free agency after finishing second on the Jets in receiving yards in 2020 with 505.
There are no stars but there are a couple of talented pass-catchers that could turn into Pro Bowlers.
Davis signed a three-year, $37.5 million deal in free agency and should be the bonafide No.1 wide receiver for the club.
PFF rated Davis 10th out of 127 qualifying receivers last season with a grade of 85.3. He had 65 receptions for a career best 984 yards and five touchdowns in 14 games. He was only targeted 92 times, which ranked 51st in the NFL.
Davis’s best game came in Week 13 against the Cleveland Browns where he finished with 11 catches for 182 yards and a TD.
Davis contracted COVID-19 midseason and missed two games. If he was healthy, he would have gone over 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
The Jets will incorporate a plethora of play-action in their offense in 2021. Davis had 562 yards off play-action, fourth-most in the NFL and along with 27 receptions, 10th-most among wide receivers. The receivers who had more were Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills, Kansas City Chiefs’ Tyreek Hill and Falcons’ Calvin Ridley.
The former No. 5 overall pick from the 2017 draft can turn into a Pro Bowler for the Jets.
Mims had a quiet rookie year coming out of Baylor.
He finished with 357 yards with zero touchdowns. He dealt with a hamstring injury in the beginning of the season and was placed on IR on Sept. 15, which caused him to miss the first five games.
The talented rookie did have moments where he flashed.
In Week 7 against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had 71 yards on three catches. Not an eye-popping stat line, but the talent is there. With a closer to normal offseason in 2021 with OTAs and minicamps along with a new offensive system he should make a jump.
When Crowder is on the field, he’s productive. He led the Jets in receiving yards (699) and touchdowns (6) in 12 games. PFF rated him as the 37th best receiver with a grade of 75.3.
Crowder had three games with more than 100 yards receiving. His best game came in Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals where he had eight receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown.
A trio of Crowder, Davis and Mims could be highly productive in 2021.
Cole signed with the Jets on a one-year, $5.5 million deal in March after four seasons with Jacksonville. He had 2,242 yards and 12 touchdowns in four years with the Jags.
In 2020, Cole finished with 55 catches for 642 yards and five TDs.
The Jets are set at wideout, and don’t need to use an early draft pick on the position, but could select a wide receiver in the third round and beyond. Here are some options.
Tutu Atwell, Louisville
Atwell was one of the most explosive players in college football. He has the ability to score anytime he touches the ball. His best year was in 2019, where he had 69 catches for 1,272 yards for 11 touchdowns. He ran a 4.32 at his pro day and his film shows it.
Atwell goes 77-yards untouched on a jet sweep against Virginia in 2019.
Atwell’s ability says he could be a Day 2 pick but his size could push his stock down. He weighed 155 pounds at his Pro Day and is 5-8.
Anthony Schwartz, Auburn
The Jets have reportedly met with Schwartz so he’s on the team’s radar. He had 54 catches for 636 yards last season.
Schwartz’s best trait is his speed. He can flat-out fly and was arguably the fastest player in college football. He ran 10.21 in the 100-meters at Auburn and his personal best was a wind-legal 10.09 in high school. Also ran a 4.26 in the 40-yard dash at his Pro Day.
Look at Schwartz’s 90-yard touchdown against LSU in 2020.
That man is blazing.
In three years at Auburn, Schwartz totaled 117 catches for 1,433 yards and six touchdowns. He was also a threat in the run game with 323 rushing yards and seven scores.
Speed is the name of the game and Schwartz has plenty of it.
Elijah Moore, Ole Miss
Moore is a fantastic playmaking receiver. For Ole Miss he had 86 catches for 1,193 yards in 2020.
The 5-9, 178-pound dynamic wideout can produce a big play any time he touches the ball. An excellent route runner who gets rapidly in and out of breaks and is good at creating separation from defenders. He ran a 4.32 at his Pro Day.
Look at this touchdown grab against Vanderbilt where he runs a beautiful sluggo. He fakes the slant and turns the route into a go-route.
Moore might be a second-round pick, but if he’s available in the third or later, it may be hard for the Jets to pass on him.
2. Running Backs