New York Jets 2019: Ranking the 53-man roster — #26 Braxton Berrios
By Steven Blush
The New York Jets season is over so it’s time to evaluate the 53-man roster. Let’s continue this daily ranking with #26, punt returner Braxton Berrios.
It seemed like every NFL team besides the New York Jets believed that Braxton Berrios was gonna be a steal in the 2018 Draft. The 5-foot-9, 190 pound Miami kid played four years at “The U”, where he graduated as class valedictorian with a near-perfect GPA. In his senior year, he reached his potential as a star slot receiver (55 receptions, nine TDs) and lethal punt returner.
The Super Bowl champion New England Patriots took Berrios in the sixth round (210th overall). But he got hurt (undisclosed) in 2018 training camp and spent the year on IR. This season, he tweaked his hamstring and did not survive final cuts. Jets general manager Joe Douglas quickly claimed the WR/KR and offered him a roster spot.
Berrios made some of this season’s highlight-reel plays in green-and-white. As a punt returner, he led the NFL with 11.4 yards per return (right behind him 2018 Jets All-Pro returner Andre Roberts).
In the season’s first half, he’d been a “fair catch machine”, until his 26-yard return against Oakland, three returns for 48 yards vs the Baltimore Ravens, and 20-yarder against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
As a wide receiver, he had one reception for 69 yards that broke open the Jets’ demolition of the Raiders. But coach Gase rarely puts the 24-year-old in offensive field formations (six catches for 115 yards) — quite a statement, considering he was the most legit slot-man on the injury-depleted late-year roster.
Given this franchise’s dearth of talent depth, Douglas cannot allow Berrios to escape Florham Park. Even if Gase doesn’t see Braxton as a receiver, he is a lethal special teamer, a workout warrior and a likely 10-year pro. Braxton is a winner in every sense of the word.
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