Newly drafted receivers must step up early for the Jets
By Michael Pallas
The next man up philosophy will come into the New York Jets locker room early in 2017. Their newly drafted wide receivers will be taking some unexpected roles during a rebuilding year.
Right near the end of the 2017 NFL Draft, news broke that New York Jets wide receiver, Devin Smith, tore his ACL and is out for the season. It explains why the Jets drafted two wide receivers.
The news broke across several outlets ESPN’s Rich Cimini wrote:
Jets WR Devin Smith will be lost for the season after tearing an ACL on the first day of offseason workouts, the team announced. The former second-round pick injured the same ACL that required surgery late in the 2015 season.
That’s on top of the Jalin Marshall getting hit with a four-game suspension and Eric Decker coming back from severe injury. Decker will more than likely be out until October.
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That means, excluding those three, as of now, the Jets enter camp with 15 receivers (WR and TE) on their roster, three of whom are rookies. Once they sign UDFAs, that rookie number will increase.
That means ArDarius Stewart, Jordan Leggett, and Chad Hansen, the Jets top three draft picks that are expected to be receiving targets, will have to step up. As of now, the wide receivers will most likely be Decker, Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa, Marshall, Charone Peake, Stewart and Hansen
The tight ends will likely be Austin Seferian-Jenkins (who is also injured), Leggett and Brandon Bostick. As a result of the injuries, young receivers will have to carry the load early on in 2017. It’s actually good for the Jets.
Young weapons and a young quarterback developing a relationship are good. Therefore, these circumstances could be a blessing in disguise. The future is looking bright. Now it could be even brighter at wide receiver.