NY Jets: Jeff Smith may be a hidden gem in a dismal season

NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
NY Jets Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The NY Jets may have found some hidden talent in second-year wide receiver Jeff Smith.

There was very little to smile about after the NY Jets‘ 37-28 loss against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Although, one player may have provided a slight glimmer of hope for what has been a dream-deprived season to this point.

Wide receiver Jeff Smith, who was just recently activated off of injured reserve after suffering a shoulder sprain that sidelined him for the first three weeks of the season, may be coming on at just the right time.

The Jets have been deprived of talent for the majority of this season, leading them down the shallow road to another 0-4 start for the second-consecutive year.

It isn’t much of a surprise that the Jets couldn’t find much offensive success through the first quarter of the season. Heck, Josh Malone was running routes against starting-caliber cornerbacks.

While Smith hasn’t completely turned the heads of every NFL defensive coordinator to this point, he’ll surely bring upon respected competition as the Jets are set to face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 5.

Smith, 23, hasn’t found much success in the NFL as of yet. Thursday’s game against the Broncos was just Smith’s second-career start. If Thursday was any indication of how his career path will eventually develop, he may be in good hands.

Jeff Smith could be one of the breakout players for the NY Jets this season.

Smith, who ran a 4.36-second 40-yard dash at his pro-day, showcased his rare speed and athleticism while often being covered by one of the better slot cornerbacks in the league in Bryce Callahan.

Smith was often getting open on crossing-routes and drag-routes that most times resulted in a crucial first down. Smith’s yards-after-catch ability was also put on display while working up the field against a respected Broncos secondary.

With the Jets set to have rookie wideout Denzel Mims return from short-term IR, Smith should still receive the opportunity to play a prominent role in Sunday’s match-up against the Cardinals.

Smith is surely looking to build upon his 7-reception, 81-yard performance against Denver. He won’t likely attract the likes of cornerback Patrick Peterson, but defensive coordinators may respect Smith’s speed while worrying about a potential thrashing over-the-top.

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It will be interesting to see how head coach Adam Gase utilizes Smith’s play-making ability against a formidable team like Arizona — because they’ll need it.