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Young talent has improved receiving corps

By Shane Marshall
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (83) scores a touchdown as Washington Redskins defensive back Jeremy Harris (37) defends during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (83) scores a touchdown as Washington Redskins defensive back Jeremy Harris (37) defends during the second half at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
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Two weeks into preseason games, the New York Jets may have found some quality options to add to their receiving corps in Charone Peake and Robby Anderson.

Through the first two weeks of the preseason, the New York Jets have gotten impressive performances from young wide receivers. Charone Peake and Robby Anderson have each caught a touchdown pass in exhibition games and could be suiting up for the Jets in Week 1.

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The door for the competition is wide open, and Peake and Anderson aren’t making the decision easy on the coaches, who will need to trim the roster to 53 in a few weeks. Peake opened camp with one of the top highlight-reel plays when he clawed a pass out of the air along the sideline while working against fourth-round pick Juston Burris.

Then, Peake shined in the Jets preseason opener against Jacksonville when he was able to toe-tap in the endzone for a 17-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Geno Smith.

The 6-foor-2, 209-pounder currently has eight catches for 87 yards and a touchdown in the preseason.

While at Clemson, Peake finished his career with 99 receptions for 1,172 yards and 10 touchdowns. For what it’s worth, Peake was part of a stacked Tigers receiving group that helped sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson lead the team to its first appearance in the National Championship.

Anderson emerged on the scene with a stellar performance in the second exhibition matchup, finishing with six catches for 131 yards and a 42-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Bryce Petty, which gave the Jets a lead late in the fourth quarter.

At 6-foot-3, the rookie gives the Jets another tall addition, but Anderson’s speed may be an even bigger factor towards making the roster. He made a statement so far and joined the mix of potential 53-man roster candidates.

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With the departure of wide receiver Jeremy Kerley to Detroit, the Jets will now need someone who can return kicks, and give them a threat in the slot.

That’s where the opportunity lies for wide receiver Jalin Marshall.

At 5’10”, Marshall isn’t going to sky over defensive backs and make phenomenal catches week in and week out, but he has proven in practice that he can find open space and make big plays with the football in his hands.

At 21-years-old, the sophomore decided to try his chances at a professional career, leaving two years of eligibility left with the Buckeyes, which played a factor in him going undrafted despite his talent.

His ability in the return game will be his biggest threat as the Jets look to fill Kerley’s void.

However, this preseason, he’s caught five passes for 47 yards and has seen time with the first-team offense.

In just two seasons under Urban Meyer, Marshall caught 74 passes for 976 yards and 12 touchdowns. Even more impressive was his consistency. The youngster averaged 13.1 yards per catch his freshman year, and 13.3 in his sophomore campaign.

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Preseason games aren’t always as entertaining once the first-teamers finish their reps, but the Jets are getting quality performances from guys deep in their receiving corps. As the team waits for wide receiver Devin Smith to fully recover and for the tight ends to become relevant in the passing game, the competition among wideouts has been a thrill to watch.

It should also bring a great new dynamic to the Gang Green offense.

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