NY Jets WR Garrett Wilson will solidify superstar status in 2024

2024 will be the year of Garrett Wilson
Garrett Wilson
Garrett Wilson / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

NY Jets wide receiver Garrett Wilson was a trendy pick for Offensive Player of the Year going into the 2023 season. The expectation was that Wilson, one of the sport's ascending stars, would take that next step forward with Aaron Rodgers now under center throwing him passes.

After all, Wilson managed to top 1,100 yards as a rookie in one of the NFL's worst offenses with Zach Wilson as his quarterback. The stage was set for the former Ohio State star to ascend into superstardom in his second NFL season.

Then disaster struck. Rodgers went down with a torn Achilles just four plays into the season, and Wilson was forced to struggle through another year with the worst quarterback play in the NFL.

Wilson still finished with a career-high 95 catches for 1,042 yards, but his box score output didn't match the pre-season hype he received. But Rodgers is back in the fold, and with a revamped offensive line and receiving corps, Wilson once again seems primed for superstardom.

Garrett Wilson will take the NFL by storm in 2024

It's hard to put into perspective how impressive Wilson's first two seasons in the NFL have been. Of the 273 wide receivers drafted to the NFL between the years 2015 and 2022, only eight have managed consecutive 1,000-yard seasons to begin their pro careers.

The list is riddled with the NFL's great wide receivers, with names like Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson, Michael Thomas, Amari Cooper, etc. among those to earn that accolade. Wilson has been put in by far the worst situation of all of them.

Wilson led the NFL with a staggering 35 percent off-target rate on targeted passes in 2023, a direct result of one of the worst quarterback rooms the modern NFL has ever seen.

Combine that with an offensive line that played 14 different players and a wide receiver room that featured undrafted rookie Xavier Gipson as its second option and you'd be hard-pressed to find a worse situation for any wide receiver over the first two years of their career.

Despite all of this, Wilson has still been one of the NFL's most productive wide receivers. Over the last two seasons, only 10 wide receivers have hauled in more catches than the Jets' star wideout. He's been more productive than players like Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, DeVonta Smith, Brandon Aiyuk, Jaylen Waddle, etc.

A deeper dive into Wilson's analytical route breakdown shows that he's already emerged as one of the NFL's elite wide receivers. Wilson's 82.0 ESPN open score ranked fifth among all qualified wide receivers in 2023, just behind Miami Dolphins star Tyreek Hill.

Reception Perception (RP) is a metric created by Matt Harmon that attempts to separate the receiver’s results (his statistics) from his process (how he runs routes). Below is Wilson's overall RP breakdown.

That's the makeup of an elite wide receiver. Few players in the NFL feature a more impressive route success rate than Garrett Wilson. The box score numbers haven't caught up to his talent yet, but every metric points to Wilson being one of the 5-10 best wide receivers in football.

The difference for Wilson will come with the external factors. The hope is that the 2024 season will be the first year that Wilson has had competent quarterback play. Even a below-average QB season would be a substantial improvement over what he's seen to this point.

The Jets also hope that a revamped offensive line will allow their quarterback more time, allow their running game to flourish, and take pressure off Wilson to be the guy on offense. An improved receiving corps headed by Mike Williams and rookie Malachi Corley should help as well.

So, what does all of this mean? Just how high is Wilson's ceiling entering the 2024 season? To borrow an overused phrase, there is no ceiling. Wilson has the potential to be an Offensive Player of the Year frontrunner and a bonafide superstar if his situation improves and his positive trends continue.

Buy your Garrett Wilson stock now before it's too late. The hype train is rightfully starting up again.

This article is part of the "Summer Spotlight" series on The Jet Press, dedicated to highlighting individual players on the Jets roster throughout the summer. Stay tuned for more features as we provide in-depth profiles and insights on various Jets players before the season kicks off.

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