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Quincy Enunwa poised for a breakout season

Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs the ball during overtime against New England Patriots cornerback Leonard Johnson (34) at MetLife Stadium. New York Jets defeat the New England Patriots 26-20 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
Dec 27, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Quincy Enunwa (81) runs the ball during overtime against New England Patriots cornerback Leonard Johnson (34) at MetLife Stadium. New York Jets defeat the New England Patriots 26-20 in OT. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
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For the New York Jets heading into the regular season, hybrid athlete Quincy Enunwa is posed for a huge year.

Going into 2015, the tight end position of the New York Jets was non-existent. The underwhelming group consisted of journeyman blocking specialist Kellen Davis (who inexplicably couldn’t block in 2015) and Jeff Cumberland. Yes, the Jets’ tight end situation was a mess as it was so bad that their tight ends combined for eight receptions.

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Offensive coordinator Chan Gailey, the creative mind that he is, decided to take 2014 sixth-round pick wide receiver Quincy Enunwa and turn to him to cover up the incompetence of the tight ends. Enunwa, a wide receiver at the University of Nebraska, missed all of 2014 due to injury.

Enunwa was buried behind wide receivers Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley and Devin Smith. He wasn’t going to make this team as a wide receiver. Enunwa, who stands at 6’2 and 225 pounds, is a big bodied receiver who can block. Gailey decided to make him an h-back type player who would be used in motion to block in-line and in the slot.

He did much more than blocking in 2015 however. Enunwa ran an impressive 4.44 in the 40-yard dash. Having a guy that fast line-up against linebackers is just unfair. Enunwa finished the season with 22 receptions for 315 yards. Those numbers are far from flashy, but in an offense that feeds the rock to Marshall and Decker on a weekly basis, targets are hard to come by. His 48-yard catch and run against the New England Patriots in Week 16 won them the game.

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In 2016, it is likely that Marshall and Decker will regress slightly from the ridiculous stats they accumulated in 2015.

Also, the Jets have running back Bilal Powell, who was third in targets and receptions in 2015, and they added running back Matt Forte as well.

Forte figures to get a ton of targets in the passing game and so does Powell.

Still, the Jets need to find a way to get the ball to Enunwa more often.

One area Enunwa did struggle with was his drops. Some dropped passes, including a crucial one on a screen against the Buffalo Bills in Week 17, hindered his success in 2015. If Enunwa can lower his drops by a substantial amount, he should be poised for a breakout season in 2015.

Enunwa’s size and speed allow Gailey to deploy him in a multitude of ways. He can use him as a traditional tight end, in the slot, in motion or even in the backfield. One effective way to use him would be to split him out wide, pre-snap. Best case scenario, a linebacker would follow him out-wide, which would set up a huge mismatch for whoever is playing quarterback.

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Given the amount of tough defenses that the Jets will face this upcoming season, they will need their secondary targets to step up. These defenses will have cornerbacks to limit Marshall and Decker. The Jets’ offense has enough weapons to still thrive, even if Decker or Marshall are having an off-day. Although Forte and Powell will most likely be the third and fourth options in the passing game after Decker and Marshall, Enunwa has the talent to become a great asset to the Jets starting this year.

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