The most important player on the offense of the New York Jets this season wears the No. 81, and his name is Quincy Enunwa.
Generally speaking, teams go as the quarterback goes, and for the New York Jets, that may be difficult in 2017. Wide receiver Quincy Enunwa is poised for a breakout season in 2017 and is quickly becoming the Hines Ward of the Jets. In 10 of Ward’s 14 seasons, he was targeted 100+ times. He had six 1,000+ yard seasons, and he had one 100+ catch season. Similarly to Ward, Enunwa had 100+ targets in his first season in which he started at least 10 games.
Enunwa also shows another trait that Ward showed in his days in the NFL, his toughness. Enunwa uses his 6’2”, 225 lb. frame to his advantage. Even though bigger cornerbacks (like Richard Sherman) have become more prevalent in the NFL, even “big cornerbacks” are general smaller than Enunwa. He is not only effective in shedding jams at the line of scrimmage, but he can also break tackles like a running back and can block.
Even his participation has gone up over his entire three-year career. In his rookie season, he only played one game, and that game amounted to 0.3 percent of the total snaps for the season. In 2015, he played in 12 games and 47 percent of the snaps. Finally, last season, he was the main starter (starting 13 out of 16 games), and that amounted to 83.7 percent participation. The only skill offensive position player who played more was Brandon Marshall.
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The best part of Enunwa’s game is that he doesn’t drop the football. He has nine drops on 151 targets in 2015-16. Despite have almost double the number of targets that he did in 2015, in 2016 his drops went from five to four.
The performance of Enunwa can also open things up for the other receivers. So, he can be the catalyst for big change in New York. If he can establish himself as a go-to guy, the sky’s the limit for this team.