Rumors

4 under-the-radar wide receivers the NY Jets can trade for

NY Jets, Diontae Johnson
NY Jets, Diontae Johnson / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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NY Jets
NY Jets, Sterling Shepard / Al Bello/GettyImages

2. The NY Jets could trade for Sterling Shepard

In contrast to what Diontae Johnson would provide (strong availability), Sterling Shepard poses a more dubious option when it comes to his health and games missed of late. It's been three years in a row for Shepard playing 12 or fewer games as he's missed a total of 20 outings since 2019.

When healthy and available, though, Shepard has been a reasonably good receiver, and quite a prolific one: only 30 receivers have racked up more than 515 targets since the start of the 2016 season than Shepard (522), and just 12 of those have similar hands to Shepard (67% or higher catch rate).

It should also be taken into consideration how his injury woes might lower the asking price from both the Giants and the very own receiver when it comes to signing an extension with the Jets if they landed him.

Shepard has averaged at least 9.9 yards per reception in all of his six years as a pro. Other than in 2021 (just seven games played), Shepard had scored 3+ touchdowns each season prior to that, racked up a minimum of 576 receiving yards, and caught at least 57 receptions.

All things considered, and since Shepard made his debut back in 2016, only 20 wideouts have put up more receptions (349) than the Giants' wide receiver while having an average yards/target higher than Shepard's 7.4 figure.

While not a WR1 career-wise, Shepard could be a nice secondary receiver to throw on the field on a play-by-play basis for a couple of years until the Jets' true No. 1 wideouts (including those probably drafted at the end of April) pan out and fully learn the offense as they develop into legit go-to threats.

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