Allen Lazard struggles with drops in disaster day at NY Jets OTAs

It wasn't a good day for Allen Lazard...
Allen Lazard
Allen Lazard / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The 2023 season was far from ideal for NY Jets wide receiver Allen Lazard. The former undrafted free agent signed a four-year, $44 million contract with the Jets that offseason with the expectation that he would serve as a capable WR2 opposite Garrett Wilson.

Lazard was hoping to reunite with the only quarterback he had ever caught passes from in the NFL, Aaron Rodgers, but a torn Achilles sidelined his QB for the season. As a result, Lazard put together a disastrous season that was easily the worst of his NFL career.

The Jets aren't expected to rely on Lazard in the way that they did a year ago, but there has been some optimism that he could bounce back after his calamitous first season in New York. He's not off to a very good start, though.

Lazard has had an unfortunately slow start to the spring, with his worst performance coming on Wednesday. Let's just say it was a day to forget for the former Green Bay Packers wideout.

Allen Lazard was a mess for the NY Jets on Wednesday

Rodgers finished Wednesday's practice completing 11-of-17 pass attempts, and no player was targeted more than Lazard. But while Rodgers was actually 10-of-12 when targeting players not named Lazard, he was just 1-of-5 when throwing to his former Green Bay teammate.

Yes, that means Rodgers had twice as many incompletions when throwing to Lazard as he did every other player on the Jets' roster combined. Those four incompletions included a pair of drops in what was a frustrating day for the offense.

The other two incompletions came on 50/50 balls in which Lazard was matched up with D.J. Reed and rookie Qwan'tez Stiggers, both of which the receiver failed to come down with the ball.

Lazard is not expected to be a primary starter for the Jets in 2024, but he is expected to compete with rookie Malachi Corley for reps as the team's third wide receiver. He's also an important depth piece, especially with Mike Williams still recovering from a torn ACL.

It would be nice to have the Packers version of Lazard serving as the third or fourth wide receiver on the Jets' depth chart. While it's still early and it's never wise to put too much stock into OTA sessions, this is hardly an ideal start to the season for Lazard.

Aaron Rodgers is back, and he's still looking Lazard's way more often than not, but you have to figure that will change in a hurry if his longtime Packers teammate continues to struggle. The Jets need more from Lazard in 2024.