It is no surprise that the Jets had a less than average receiving core, with most of our squad not even having a team before last season. The one consistent bright spot was the presence of Jeremy Kerley, who’s absence was felt whenever he was not on the field. While his stats have never been that exciting, 523 yards last season receiving, he consistently shows up runs clean routes, and drew coverage opening up others on the field. I used to think that Jeremy Kerley was no more than a very good #3 wide receiver, but after going back and looking at some of his film I have revised my opinion of him. I now feel that Kerley was limited in his production because there was a lack of talent around him, and he was forced to carry a large amount of the work load in the Jets passing game. He was the guy drawing coverage freeing up others like Jeff Cumberland and David Nelson.
Enter Eric Decker, arguably the biggest acquisition made by the Jets in the off season (as well as other offensive talent acquired). Decker is a skilled receiver, whom some debate whether he is a true #1 receiver or a glorified #2 who found success in an offense that featured Peyton Manning and Demaryius Thomas. The bottom line is that he will be the Jets #1 receiver and teams will have to game-plan against him. This will open up Kerley in new ways and give him the chance to have a breakout season. As crazy as it sounds I even believe he can reach the 1000 yard mark while helping the Jets find stability in their passing attack for the first time in a long time. Decker and Kerley could combine to form a very effective pass catching duo.
Kerley is coming into his own as a punt returner, he is showing a level of lateral agility and shiftiness. If given enough space Kerley is a threat to find a seam and take it all the way and he plays with a passion of the game that helps him play beyond his measurables. Combined with the presence of a higher tier receiver like Decker, Kerley has the opportunity to truly make a name for himself in this league, as well as to give Jets fans something fun to watch.