New York Jets Wide Receiver Group Needs Help
Jul 24, 2014; Cortland, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Jalen Saunders (16) makes a catch during training camp at SUNY Cortland. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
The 2013 New York Jets’ wide receiver depth chart was rather unproductive to say the least. In the off season, John Idzik and company made some moves in an attempt to improve on the talent available to Geno Smith. The addition of Eric Decker is the most prominent move, and likely will be the most successful one as well. Returning from last year’s starters are Stephen Hill, David Nelson, Jeremy Kerley, and Clyde Gates. In addition to those familiar names the Jets have a few other wide receivers fighting for a roster spot and providing competition in camp. Michael Campbell, Quincy Enunwa, Shaq Evans, Jacoby Ford, Saalim Hakim, Greg Salas, and Jalen Saunders, round out the WR group for 2014. That’s a bunch of competition, but I believe the Jets haven’t done enough to bolster this group and I’ll tell you why.
Beyond the returning starters and Eric Decker, the Jets lack any sort of experienced depth. Jacoby Ford is the exception here, but he’s struggled terribly in camp and is currently trying to make this roster on special teams. Lack of experienced depth can cause all kinds of troubles at wide receiver, as we all have witnessed these past couple of years. Injuries happen and the depth is young and raw.
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The rookie class has been slow to catch on in camp and injuries have hurt this class as well. Quincy Enunwa has been sidelined by a hip injury. He was drafted in the sixth round of the NFL draft, but has lost a lot of time in camp. Shaq Evans was a fourth round pick, but reportedly is struggling to pick up the NFL game as well as catching the ball. Jalen Saunders has shown promise on special teams, but as a WR, he has had his problems securing the football as well. In general the draft class has failed to provide much to get excited about to this point. No one has stood out from the class thus far.
Much has been printed about Stephen Hill this year. Hill is a third year guy most Jet fans love to hate. Hill was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft and has failed to develop into a consistent receiver. Hill still catches with his body rather than his extended hands, and the end result is disappointing drops. Hill has also struggled with injuries in his tenure, slowing any chance for his development. If Hill can’t prove he belongs, this may be his last camp as a NY Jet.
Clyde Gates has had a disappointing tenure as a New York Jet. Gates was brought in to help the wide receiver group in 2012, but has failed to do so since arriving. While he has two years experience with the Jet offense, its hard to get excited about a guy who managed a mere 12 receptions and 122 yds in 2013.
The Jets need help at receiver, beyond the starters they lack experience. The rookie class has been slow to develop to this point and guys like Hill and Gates seemingly can’t play the position. I’m looking forward to watching David Nelson this year. Who’s your guy to watch? Should the Jets be looking to trade for a receiver? Tell me…I want to know what you think.