1. Standout: Jeremy Ruckert, TE, NY Jets
If not for Garrett Wilson, the star of Wednesday's practice might just have been second-year tight end Jeremy Ruckert. A fourth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, Ruckert was a relative nonfactor in his first NFL season, but the Jets still have high hopes for him in the future.
Ruckert has made a noticeable impact in both of the Jets' OTA practices open to the media so far this spring. He made a few nice grabs on Wednesday and nearly missed a big play up the seam as a result of an errant Zach Wilson pass.
The Jets' tight end room is crowded with Tyler Conklin, C.J. Uzomah, Kenny Yeboah, and seventh-round pick Zack Kuntz, but all signs point to Ruckert being ready to take on a larger role in 2023.
It's very common for tight ends to essentially have redshirt rookie seasons in the NFL. Just look at Conklin and Uzomah, for example. Both former fifth-round picks, Conklin and Uzomah, combined for six catches during each of their rookie seasons.
Travis Kelce notoriously played just one game as a rookie. Dalton Schultz hauled in 13 catches over the first two years of his NFL career. Even high-profile rookies like T.J. Hockenson rarely produce a lot early in their careers.
The Jets are very encouraged by the progress that Ruckert has made so far this offseason, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him push for snaps this year.
He may not become a featured part of the offense just yet, but there's absolutely a reality in which Ruckert is the Jets' TE1 in 2024. He's been one of the most notable standouts from OTAs thus far.