Dec 17, 2012; Nashville, TN, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jeremy Kerley (11) catches a punt from the Tennessee Titans during the second half at LP Field. Titans won 14-10. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Kerley came into his own in 2012, stepping up as quite the offensive weapon. He spent more time outside than usual thanks to Santonio’s injury, but he did take his fair share of snaps in the slot as well, which he will much more with Tone’s return. Let’s take a look at how good he was in the slot in 2012:
In 437 snaps from the slot position, he was targeted 21.5% of those snaps, a higher percentage than Reggie Wayne, Marques Colston, and noted slot receiver Brandon Stokley. Of those targets, Kerley fell just outside the top 10 in catch percentage, with 64.2%, higher than Marques Colston and Victor Cruz.
Perhaps the most significant stat was his drop rate, or his percentage of drops on catch-able throws. Jeremy Kerley’s percentage was a minuscule 4.44%, which beat Marques Colston again, and significantly beat Reggie Wayne and even the great Wes Welker. Jeremy Kerley will be a fixture in the slot for the New York Jets, for many years to come.
Have we seen this before?
Once upon a time, we had a guy in the slot that was only one inch taller than Kerley’s 5’9″, and (per nfl.com) weighs in at the same weight of 188 pounds that Kerley does. You might remember him, he was a pretty tough guy in the slot.
That’s right, Wayne Chrebet. Let’s look at the numbers, it’s not that bad of a comparison. We are going to take a look at Chrebet’s first year, vs. Kerley’s second (Jeremy didn’t take enough snaps as a rookie for a fair comparison).
Kerley: 56 receptions, 827 yards, 2 TDs
Chrebet: 66 receptions, 726 yards, 4 TDs
See? Not too far off, huh? Maybe, just maybe, we are looking at Wayne Chrebet 2.0. Obviously, Jeremy has a long way to go to get to that point. But, he is certainly on the right track coming off of his 2012 performance.