NY Jets Optimistic Roster Breakdown: WR Braxton Berrios

Justin Fried
NY Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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NY Jets’ wide receiver Braxton Berrios will be competing for playing time on offense in 2020.

The NY Jets‘ wide receiver corps will look vastly different in 2020 than it did a year ago. Gone are the likes of Robby Anderson and Demaryius Thomas who have been replaced by offseason additions Breshad Perriman and Denzel Mims.

Now, there’s no argument that the Jets still appear very thin at the position. But that apparent lack of depth only provides more opportunities for overlooked players to stand out amongst the pack.

And one player who could do just that is Braxton Berrios.

Originally a sixth-round pick of the New England Patriots in 2018, the Jets claimed Berrios off waivers following his release from the Patriots this past summer. And he would go on to play in all 16 games for the team during the 2019 season.

Berrios served as the Jets’ primary punt returner averaging the second-most yards per return out of every qualified player in the NFL. He was also used sparingly on offense hauling in six catches for 115 yards including an explosive 69-yard catch in Week 12 against the Raiders.

The former Miami star will be competing for both a role in the offense and a roster spot this summer. So how could Berrios make 2020 a successful season?

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Let’s take a look.

How Braxton Berrios can find success with the NY Jets in 2020

Berrios’ most significant contributions to the team came on special teams last season where he was one of the most efficient punt returners in the NFL.

After years of disastrous performances at the position, the Jets stumbled upon two success stories in Andre Roberts and now Berrios.

As previously mentioned, Berrios trailed just Diontae Johnson of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the highest average yards per punt return. But even saying that understates his incredible consistency.

Johnson averaged a stellar 12.40 yards per return, but that includes an 85-yard touchdown he secured in the team’s Week 14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Meanwhile, Berrios averaged less than a full yard per return less (11.43) without an 85-yard outlier.

In fact, Berrios’ longest return was just 26 yards meaning that while he never broke one to the house, he consistently returned punts for a modest gain at worst. And when he wasn’t actually returning punts, he was confidently fair catching them as he led the league with 32 fair catches.

Berrios was the model of consistency as a punt returner and if he could continue to prove his worth in the return game, there’s no reason he shouldn’t secure a roster spot.

As for his role on offense, that’s a little trickier.

While the Jets are thin at receiver, Berrios doesn’t exactly have the versatility to play either inside or outside — he’s strictly a slot receiver. That means that it would probably take an injury to Jamison Crowder for Berrios to see any meaningful playing time.

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That doesn’t mean he can’t make an impact, however. His agility and explosiveness could make him a worthwhile depth receiver who could see the field in numerous sub-packages on offense.

That 69-yard reception from last season is evidence of the game-breaking impact he could have on offense.

Assuming there’s a preseason, Berrios should be given plenty of opportunities to make an impact on offense. If he could impress when on the field, Adam Gase might just have to find a way to get him on the field.

Ultimately, Braxton Berrios is never going to be the most complete receiver. His physical limitations hold him back and he’s far from the most polished receiver on the team.

But his skill set is intriguing nonetheless and he could force his way into a semi-regular role on offense with a strong showing in the summer.

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At the very least, his roster spot appears safe as long as he continues to be a stout special-teamer.

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