Jan 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Charone Peake (19) warms up before playing against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets used their final 2016 NFL Draft pick on Clemson wide receiver Charone Peake. He could surprise many entering his rookie year this upcoming season.
Despite missing a season due a torn ACL which led to a second knee surgery, the New York Jets shouldn’t be weary of that. Despite his two knee surgeries, he ran a 4.37 at the 40-yard dash at the 2016 NFL Combine.
His hands are small, but it’s ok. He showed big talent in his final two seasons at Clemson. Not only could Peake contribute on offense but also make a big impact on special teams.
Without further ado, here are the top five reasons why the Jets selecting Peake makes sense in the grand scheme of things.
Next: 5. Making an impact on special teams
Jan 30, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad wide receiver Charone Peake of Clemson (9) runs from North squad cornerback Tavon Young of Temple (21) and safety Darian Thompson of Boise State (4) in the first quarter of the Senior Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
5. Making an impact on special teams
Last season, the Jets tried everything on special teams, but to no avail. Considering the fact that they were a playoff contender, they probably had the worst special teams unit in the NFL.
In 2015, their punt return unit averaged 8.5 yards per return, which put them in the middle of the pack and their kickoff return average wasn’t much better at 20.6. It tied for 26th in the league and didn’t give the Jets ideal field positioning. Peake has 4.3 speed and can definitely help the unit tremendously.
Peake’s speed can help the Jets in the all important field position game, which the return game didn’t do last year. Maybe his speed can help them even score and take some of the burden off the offense.
It’s a three-phase game, and Peake can be an impact player to help the special teams unit. It will give him an opportunity to be a contributor right away.
Next: 4. Peake's ability in the slot
Jan 11, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Clemson Tigers wide receiver Charone Peake (19) runs the ball against Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Geno Matias-Smith (24) in the 2016 CFP National Championship at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
4. Peake’s ability in the slot
Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa was the team’s slot weapon last year. Enunwa though, isn’t as fast as Peake, which can limit the Jets offensively when he’s in the slot.
Having a speed receiver in the slot opens up the offense so much more. Now the Jets can burn teams from the slot if need be.
It gives the Jets so many more combo routes with the outside receivers as well. He will be able to keep those chains moving by burning opposing cornerbacks or safeties assigned to him.
He slipped to the seventh round due to two knee injuries but with that being said, it didn’t seem to slow him down during the combine.
Next: 3. Has potential to be next Hines Ward
3. Has potential to be next Hines Ward
Wide receiver Hines Ward made some nice catches for the Pittsburgh Steelers in his day. He was also known for something else; his ability to block in the running game.
Peake has a lot of good qualities listed on his scouting report. NFL.com has a very key one: “Has potential to be dominant run blocker if he commits.”
That means, if Peake wants to, he could play on some obvious running downs or even some not so obvious ones. Peake’s ability to block adds another dimension to the Jets’ offense.
Now teams can’t gear up for the pass when he is on the field. That will allow the Jets to use more play action and runs in the in-between distances that could be run or pass.
Next: 2. Peake's incredible speed
Jan 30, 2016; Mobile, AL, USA; South squad wide receiver Charone Peake of Clemson (9) gets past the tackle of North squad player Deiondre
2. Peake’s incredible speed
NFL.com projected him as a third round pick, but he dropped due his knee surgeries. That doesn’t seem to have slowed him down one bit.
Scouts raved about Peake’s speed. He not only has straight-line speed, as evident by his 4.37 time at the combine, but he has great added acceleration when he needs to hit it.
NFL.com had this to say:
"Three-level potential as a pass catcher. Shows cornerbacks varied route speeds. Sells route at his top speed, but has another gear saved up to overtake defender when he hits the gas. Legitimate deep ball threat."
The Jets don’t have a speed threat right now like Peake. You can’t teach speed, and it’s an important weapon to any offense.
Next: 1. Quality wide receiver depth
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) crosses the goal line for a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
1. Quality wide receiver depth
Running back Bilal Powell was a key contributor to the Jets’ receiving game last season. However, he was too much of a key contributor.
He was third on the Jets in receptions. None of the teams that made the NFL Playoffs in 2015 had a running back in their top three.
The combination of Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Jace Amaro and Peake along with the pass catching running backs gives the Jets an even more potent passing attack than last season’s record-setting team. Peake in the slot gives them more options, and they can use him on the outside as a speed threat once in a while.
Ultimately, Peake’s addition in the seventh round makes sense, because his ceiling is high and if he doesn’t pan out, it was just a seventh round pick at the end of the day.