The wide receiver corps of the New York Jets over-exceeded expectations but came up short in the grand scheme of things. Here’s a final report card grade for the positional group.
In 2017 right before the regular season began, the New York Jets made headlines across the football world. They made a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Seahawks involving defensive end Sheldon Richardson and wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. The Jets, devastated with the season-ending injury to Quincy Enunwa during the preseason, needed to add another premier wide receiver to the mix.
The trade was a successful one as Kearse was the second-best receiver on the team. Of course, Robby Anderson led the way all season long as he was on top of the depth chart with the most receiving yards and touchdowns. Both receivers would have solid seasons but unfortunately, nothing extraordinary.
Kearse ended the year with 810 receiving yards, 65 receptions, and five touchdowns. Anderson had his best season yet of his young career with 941 receiving yards, 63 receptions, and seven touchdowns. Unfortunately, not a single wide receiver on the Jets was able to crack over 1,000 yards for the year.
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Besides Kearse and Anderson, the next best-receiving option on the Jets wasn’t even a wide receiver. It was tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins who ended the year with 357 receiving yards, 50 receptions, and three touchdowns.
Rookies Chad Hansen and ArDarius Stewart didn’t do much of anything on offense as they were sparingly used and well, that’s pretty much it. Even the return of Jeremy Kerley wasn’t much to get excited about as he barely got over 200 receiving yards on the year and only scored a single touchdown.
Hopefully, the Jets can get more out of their two rookie wide receivers in Hansen and Stewart in the future but it’s hard to tell what things will look like come next season. With Anderson getting arrested and his roster spot potentially being in jeopardy, the Jets might look to either free agency or the 2018 NFL Draft to bring in another option or two for depth. Especially since there is no guarantee Enunwa will come back and resemble the same player he was before his severe neck injury.
Overall, the Jets receiving corps was a pleasant surprise but still had a lot of inconsistency from dropped passes, miscommunication, and not being able to punch it in on red-zone drives. Still, though, they weren’t as bad as everyone thought they would be at the start of the regular season.