Dec 29, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Jets wide receiver David Nelson (86) is tackled by Miami Dolphins free safety Reshad Jones (20) during the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

New York Jets’ 2014 Breakout Players: David Nelson


As we wait out the 70+ days until the season begins, the speculation continues. There isn’t a lot of news going on with the team, so making predictions is the next logical step. Today we are talking about a player set to break out and have a huge season. In my opinion, one of those players is David Nelson.

Take a look at his production last year with the Jets. In 12 games, starting six, David caught 36 passes for 423 yards and two touchdowns. Take a look at his last five games:

Recent Games
WK OPP RESULT RECEIVING RUSHING FUMBLES
REC YDS AVG LNG TD ATT YDS AVG LNG TD FUM LOST
17 @MIA W 20-7 5 66 13.2 31 0
16 CLE W 24-13 4 33 8.3 15 2
15 @CAR L 20-30 3 44 14.7 18 0
14 OAK W 37-27 4 32 8 11 0
13 MIA L 3-23 3 37 12.3 18 0

David Nelson was hot coming down to the end of the 2013 season. Why? He developed chemistry with quarterback Geno Smith. That doesn’t go away. Just the way Mark Sanchez had chemistry when Braylon Edwards came, and Chad Pennington was completely linked up with Laveranues Coles, chemistry is chemistry. Nelson and Smith have it.

David has had a big season before. In 2011 with Buffalo, he caught 61 passes for 658 yards and five touchdowns. Nelson clearly has ability, he has shown it before, and he became quite the reliable weapon for Geno Smith by the end of the season.

David will have his chances too. Now that the Jets have added legitimate weapons, the attention will be drawn away from him to other places. Eric Decker will see the lion’s share of the additional coverage. The Jets haven’t had a high-profile weapon like Decker in a long time, and he will be noticed.

If Stephen Hill continues to improve, as he has during minicamp, he will see a lot of attention as well, due to his speed. Jeremy Kerley is a steady hand out there that the defense will always be able to locate quickly. Jace Amaro will clear out room down the seams.

All of these other weapons will aid in giving David Nelson the chance to have a huge season in 2014. I do believe he has the chance to at least come close to, if not top his 2011 numbers with Buffalo.

What do you guys think?

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Tags: David Nelson New York Jets

  • AC

    I think Nelson played very well with the Jets last year, even if his numbers weren’t that of a top receiver, its all about winning games and he made some clutch catches. He and Geno definitely have rapport, and I want to see him out there this year. He has good size, a few years experience under his belt, and the most important thing, chemistry with Geno. If we have Decker, Nelson, Hill, and Amaro lined up in singleback formation, you have guys ranging from 6’2-6’5 or so, which is a nice advantage. Add Kerley in there and you have a proven weapon in the slot as well. We haven’t had this kind of size with the receivers on our roster in a long time. If Amaro turns into something great as we all hope, things could definitely turn around for the passing game. There are always a lot of question marks though with the Jets as we know. Nobody is really proven yet, except for Kerley, and possibly Decker although we haven’t seen him play as a Jet. Geno’s development will be important as well obviously. I just hope that the OC and Rex don’t go into “scared” mode when Geno has problems and start getting way too conservative which used to happen with Mark. Maybe slow it down, but don’t kill Geno’s confidence by taking the ball out of his hands.

    • Alan Schechter

      I agree with all of that Alex. I actually think that we are at an early crossroads with Amaro. People are saying that he looks, at times, lost in the pro offense. He could kill this group if he makes mistakes. We do have Cumberland to back him up if neccessary.

    • Paul Newbold

      I think Geno is going to be just fine, I have to give credit to Idzik, he went out and created an interesting competition at RB. Johnson, Ivory, Powell, Richardson, Green are all experienced RB’s and bring a lot of different talents to the position. The Jets will likely have one of the top backfields come opening day. With a solid performance from the offense line, the running game will open up more opportunities for the passing. Mornhinweg’s West Coast offense has been given some real tools and he knows how to mix it up to keep defenses on their toes. Camp should tell us a lot more about the “ifs”, it promises to be interesting!

  • Dan in RI

    Your argument doesn’t really add up. Nelson played well for the Jets in 2014, but he will be fighting for his job this year. If Stephen Hill really has progressed as much as the press wants us to believe (and, like everyone else, I hope it is true), Nelson has serious competition. Add in the rookies and Jacoby Ford, and nothing is guaranteed for him. If those guys step up their game, that means less opportunity for Nelson–not more.

    I like Nelson, but he does not have a high ceiling–the season you mention will probably be as good as it gets for him. On the other hand, I think Saunders, Shaq or Hill may be capable of more. Still, I will be pulling for Nelson, because he seems the kind of player it is really easy to root for.