Top 4 wide receivers that may replace Eric Decker
By Ian Wylie Jr.
Oct 23, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) runs with the ball while avoiding a tackle attempt by Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tavon Young (36) during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
The New York Jets are committed to ushering a youth movement this upcoming season. With the release of wide receiver Eric Decker, here are four players that might be able to replace his production in 2017.
For many, the New York Jets releasing Eric Decker came as a complete and utter shock. Everything seemed fine as he was rehabbing well and on his first day of not wearing a red no-contact jersey during OTAs, it was announced he would either be traded or released.
It’s a tough pill to swallow but at the end of the day, the Jets now have another roster spot up for grabs as they’ve stockpiled several young receiving options for the upcoming season. Training camp won’t be until around the end of July but the Jets might have several surprises at wide receiver that could produce some consistent results.
With Decker released, which young receivers will step up to fill his shoes? Let’s look at some of the in-house options the Jets have to replace Decker.
Next: 4. Robby Anderson
Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Robby Anderson (11) gathers in a second half touchdown pass against the Indianapolis Colts at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
4. Robby Anderson
The speedster from Temple impressed Jets coaches and fans last season with his production. Running a 4.34 at his pro day, there is a lot to work with when it comes to Anderson. As an undrafted free agent, he turned many heads, especially late in the season when there happened to be a change at the quarterback position (Ryan Fitzpatrick to Bryce Petty).
Anderson’s specialty is the deep passing game, but fans didn’t get to see much of it last season because the Jets didn’t take that many shots down field. Listed at 6’3, Anderson is also effective with the 50-50 footballs, given his height. He works best as an outside receiver because at any given point he can take the top off of the defense. The number one thing to be excited for personally is his room to grow, being so young his potential is through the roof.
Working with former NFL great Chad Johnson, this offseason, Anderson will come into camp hungry to show the new offensive coaching staff his skill set and how much he has progressed throughout the offseason (fantasy owners keep his name in mind).
Next: 3. Quincy Enunwa
3. Quincy Enunwa
Quincy Enunwa has become a household name for most Jets fans, with his recent touchdown grabs and tough persona. The former Cornhusker has all the tools to become a great wide receiver in the NFL. He had a nice season under Chan Gailey’s tutelage and should have an increased role in the new offensive system installed by John Morton.
One thing that has always stood out about Enunwa, is his ability to block at a high level. That quality goes overlooked when talking about players at skill positions, blocking is key to having a successful team. It is a great feeling knowing that Enunwa can not only help receiving the football but also blocking for teammates.
Enunwa is 6’2 and weighs in at 225 lbs (big enough to play tight end), he also can play on the inside and on the outside. He snagged 58 catches for 857 yards this past season with four touchdown grabs. At age 25, he still has so much potential to reach, and hopefully, fans will see a lot of growth this season.
Next: 2. ArDarius Stewart
Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (13) prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
2. ArDarius Stewart
ArDarius Stewart is another name to watch when thinking about who could replace Eric Decker’s production. The Jets 3rd Round draft selection showed a lot of explosiveness during his tenure with the Crimson Tide. Capable of playing inside and outside, he is the definition of an offensive weapon. Screen passes, reverse plays, or just regular routes, Stewart can do them all.
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He reminds me a lot of ex-Gator, Percy Harvin when he was coming out of college.
They both had the same type of on-field skill sets in the South Eastern Conference (SEC). Stewart may not see a whole lot of time at as the X receiver, but he has a unique set of skills as there will be a major role for him this season.
Another thing to think about is this, Morton’s previous jobs were as wide receiver coaches, so Stewart has high hopes of being a real offensive weapon.
Being a rookie, he can provide a winning ‘Bama attitude along with some production on the field this season for the Jets.
Next: 1. Chad Hansen
May 23, 2017; Florham Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Chad Hansen (6) runs with the ball during organized team activities at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
1. Chad Hansen
Chad Hansen is going to be another rookie wide receiver for the Jets this season. The former Golden-Bear brings an interesting skill set to the team. Only being at Cal for one season, he made his mark fast. A transfer-walk on from Idaho State had a lot to prove when he arrived on campus at Berkeley and opened some eyes, especially in 2016, where he made second team PAC-12.
One thing about Hansen after watching his tape at Cal is that his hands were fantastic in college. It seemed like no matter what the route was, he seemed to fight for the ball and play through the whistle, which is something the Jets desperately need. As Jets fans, that’s really encouraging because you can never have enough pass catchers on a team.
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Highly productive at Cal, he still somehow managed to slide to the 4th Round where the Jets selected him, even though most had a 3rd round grade on him. Hansen managed to grab 92 catches and 1,249 yards in the 2016 season. The rookie combo of Hansen and Stewart should be an interesting storyline throughout training camp and preseason football.