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NY Jets: Elijah Moore beginning to show signs of stardom

By Kristen Wong
NY Jets, Elijah Moore
NY Jets, Elijah Moore / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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It only took half a season, but NY Jets rookie Elijah Moore is finally coming into his own as a legitimate offensive threat in 2021.

The Ole Miss product showed flashes of potential in training camp, but in the last few weeks, Moore has proved exactly what kind of wide receiver he can be for the Jets. And it's a good one.

No player has benefitted from New York's recent roster changes more than Moore. With Corey Davis out and with strong quarterback play from Mike White and Josh Johnson, Moore has soared to the top of the team's receiving ranks.

Zach Wilson's own rookie pains and interception-heavy performances may not have given Moore a fair chance to establish himself as a dependable wideout at the start of the season.

Prior to Week 9, Moore was the target of the highest percentage of uncatchable passes in the league (47 percent) according to Pro Football Focus.

Odell Beckham Jr. ranked third on that list, but you don't see Moore complaining about his lack of targets. Granted, Moore is a rookie, but at least he's still got the mentality that things won't be handed to him on a silver platter. Not on the Jets, at least.

That's the mentality that has gotten Moore to the fringe of breakout stardom.

In his past two games, Moore has recorded a 92.9 percent catch rate compared to the 34.6 percent catch rate he recorded through his previous five games.

In the Jets' most recent matchup against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9, Moore nabbed two touchdowns and set new career highs with seven catches for 84 yards.

NY Jets wide receive Elijah Moore is on the verge of becoming a bonafide stud

The 2021 34th overall pick has been especially effective in accumulating yards after the catch. Out of Moore's 230 receiving yards this year, 82 of them have come after the catch, which is a nice testament to his elite route running abilities and YAC ability.

Though Davis is expected to return in Week 10, Moore should still see plenty of targets in the second half of the season.

New York has used Moore mostly on the outside where Moore has received a consistent share of targets regardless of which receivers he's playing with on the field.

Moore saw at least six targets in three of the five games he played with Davis, so his target share hasn't been a problem. The improved quality of those targets, though, has arguably made Moore's job easier, and he finally looks like the top-tier receiving threat he's striven to be all season.

In other words, Moore has always been this good. It's just that the looks he's getting have been better.

What may be in Moore's best interest is keeping Mike White or Josh Johnson under center.

When Wilson was on the field, Moore never finished a game with more than four catches for 47 receiving yards.

A duo of White and Johnson in the last two weeks has helped the Jets average nearly 500 offensive yards per game. It's the kind of environment that Moore, with his high upside and previously unleashed potential, absolutely thrives in.

Ideally, New York wants both rookies to succeed, which could mean offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur needs to tinker with the passing schemes a bit once Wilson returns.

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For now, Moore deserves to enjoy all the attention as one of the Jets' most dazzling youngsters in 2021. The others can catch up on their own time.

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