NY Jets: Wide receiver is no longer a pressing draft need

NY Jets (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NY Jets (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets enter the 2021 NFL Draft with holes up and down the roster. As was to be expected given the state of the roster following a disastrous 2020 season that saw the team finish 2-14.

General manager Joe Douglas was never going to be able to fill every need on the roster. That said, he did manage to add a host of players who should play key roles in 2021.

One position that was more than adequately addressed was wide receiver. The Jets entered free agency with a gaping hole at the position with just Jamison Crowder and 2020 second-round pick Denzel Mims slotted into starting roles.

Behind them, the likes of Braxton Berrios and Vyncint Smith headlined a razor-thin wide receiver depth chart. It was clear that additions needed to be made this offseason.

And those additions came during the free agency period.

The NY Jets shored up the wide receiver position in free agency

The Jets signed former Tennessee Titans standout Corey Davis on the first day of the legal-tampering period inking the former top-five pick to a hefty three-year, $37.5 million contract.

Davis flashed big-play potential in Tennessee and put together a career year in 2020 finishing just shy of 1,000 yards despite missing a pair of games and playing second-fiddle to A.J. Brown in a run-heavy Titans offense.

It isn’t hard to see why he got paid as much as he did in free agency.

But the Jets didn’t stop there signing former Jacksonville Jaguars wideout Keelan Cole to a one-year, $5.5 million contract. Cole started 23 games over the last four years in Jacksonville and is fresh off a 55-catch, 642-yard year in 2020.

Despite this, he’ll enter the year as the Jets’ No. 4 wide receiver on the depth chart. The foursome of Davis, Mims, Crowder, and Cole gives the Jets one of the stronger wide receiver groups in the NFL with depth they haven’t had in years.

No, there isn’t a solidified No. 1 wideout on the roster. But Davis and Mims both have that potential, and the NFL is shifting away from defined “No. 1 wide receivers” regardless.

The Jets have a league-average starting trio with Davis, Mims, and Crowder and they have better depth than many NFL teams do as well with Cole, Berrios, Smith, and a few others vying for roster spots.

Can it be improved? Absolutely. But by no means should it be a priority in the draft.

The Jets have far too many needs to spend any significant draft capital on the wide receiver position. The offensive line, cornerback, edge-rusher, and even linebacker could all be addressed on day one or two of the 2021 NFL Draft.

This isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be worth taking a flier on a wide receiver early on Day 3, especially given the depth of this class. And if one of the better receivers happens to fall into their laps, it’ll be hard to pass on Day 2.

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But the wide receiver position is no longer a draft priority for the Jets.