It is no secret that the New York Jets have had a weakness at the wide receiver position for years. For the past few seasons, the Jets seemed to never have the same group of receivers on the field each week. The struggles at the position certainly have not helped the development of young quarterback Geno Smith. Many fans and critics have even said the Jets have not had a true number one wide receiver since Keyshawn Johnson. But if you ask me, wide receiver is no longer an issue for the team.
Why is wide receiver no longer an issue for the Jets? The answer is simple. Brandon Marshall is now a member of the Green and White. This offseason, new general manager Mike Maccagnan was able to swing a deal with the Chicago Bears, which saw the Jets send over a 5th round pick in return for Marshall and a 7th round pick, which Maccagnan later traded to the Rams for running back Zac Stacy.
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In 2014, Brandon Marshall played in 13 games for the Bears and caught 61 passes for 721 yards and 8 touchdowns. Marshall comes to the Jets with high expectations.
Right from the start Marshall is going to be asked to be the number one wide receiver, and will be a huge part of the offense. From strictly a talent standpoint, there are not many receivers more talented than Marshall in all of football. While Marshall himself boosts the Jets’ offense, he also makes everyone around him better.
Last year, Eric Decker was considered as the Jets’ number one receiver. While Decker is a very solid player, he was never asked to be that type of player as a member of the Broncos. This season, with Marshall on board, Decker will go back to being the number two receiver and will see a ton of 1 vs 1 matchups with so much attention on Marshall.
This also helps players such as Jeremy Kerley and rookie Devin Smith. Kerley will be able to face a ton of nickel cornerbacks in the slot, and Devin Smith will be able to take the top off the defense with the long ball, with the attention being focused on Marshall and Decker underneath.
May 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) during organized team activities at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
While Marshall brings an incredible skill-set with him to the Jets with his on the field talent, Marshall also brings over something that the team has been missing lately in leadership. Marshall will be viewed as a mentor and leader for younger players, who can certainly learn a lot from the Pro Bowl receiver.
Another thing Marshall brings to the Jets is his red-zone ability. For years the Jets have struggled scoring points in the red-zone, but with Marshall’s great height and athleticism, he should be huge boost to the Jets redzone woes.
All in all, the addition of Brandon Marshall is viewed by some as the best move the team made this offseason. Marshall should be a huge help for Smith as well as a major boost to the entire group of wide receivers. Look for #15 to put up big numbers in his first year in the Green and White.