Heading into the 2015-2016 NFL season, the New York Jets on paper have their best group of wide receivers in years. Earlier in the offseason, new general manager Mike Maccagnan struck a deal with the Chicago Bears, with the Jets acquiring Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Even without suiting up yet in the Green and White, many fans are already calling Marshall the best wide receiver the Jets have had since Keyshawn Johnson. While Marshall will obviously make the team, what other five receivers will be under him on the Jets’ depth chart?
2. Eric Decker: After signing with the Jets in the offseason prior to the 2014 season, Decker had a very successful first year in New York. Decker finished with 962 yards on 74 catches, to go along with his 5 touchdowns. With the addition of Marshall, teams will not be able to focus on just Decker, so look for Decker to have an even better second season for the Jets in 2015.
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3. Jeremy Kerley: While the Jets wide receiver group has endured serious change in recent years, the former 5th round pick for the Jets out of TCU has been a solid contributor every season.
Kerley will be getting most of his playing time as the slot receiver in new offensive coordinator Chan Gailey’s offense, where Kerley will absolutely thrive. Kerley does not have the height to play outside, but his speed and route running ability make him a perfect fit as a 3rd wide receiver.
4. Devin Smith: The Jets second round pick in the draft this season will see a ton of playing time early on in his rookie year. The former Ohio State Buckeye brings a very interesting skill set to the Jets. Smith is known for his ability to take the top off the defense, and make the big play, which is something that the Jets have been missing on offense for years. With Marshall, Decker and Kerley already on the roster, Smith will not need to be an instant starter for the Jets, but he will definitely play a lot in his rookie season.
5. Quincy Enunwa: I was very happy when the Jets drafted Enunwa in the 6th round of the draft out of Nebraska last season. Enunwa is a very physical receiver, who if he develops, could be a very solid option for the Jets to have in the redzone. An underrated part of Enunwa’s game is his ability to block, which is rare for wide receivers in the NFL these days.
6. Chris Owusu: Picking the 6th wide receiver to make the team was very challenging. I was very tempted to say Shaq Evans, but I decided to go with Owusu, who had a terrific game Week 17 last season against the Miami Dolphins. I believe Owusu will make the team simply because of his ability to play special teams. At this point, the Jets do not have a definite kick or punt returner, so it is possible the team goes with Owusu to fill those roles.
This is a very interesting position to watch during training camp to see which wide receivers make the team. For the first time in awhile, this position is actually a strength for the Jets.