NY Jets Week 12 Rookie Stock Report: Garrett Wilson is WR1 and Zonovan Knight shines

Garrett Wilson, NY Jets
Garrett Wilson, NY Jets / Al Bello/GettyImages
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After a wild week of controversy off the field, the NY Jets answered the bell headlined once again by outstanding play from their rookies.

In what was a get-right game for the organization, the team leaned on their young talent to outplay an inferior opponent which is exactly what happened. Below shows yet another reminder of just how dominant this Jets rookie class already is.

Stock Back Up: Garrett Wilson, WR, NY Jets ($GDUB)

  • Stats: 8 targets, 5 receptions for 95 yards, 2 touchdowns, 83% snap count

Garrett Wilson once again showed that he is the type of receiver that can be the featured player on a winning NFL offense.

While the Jets expected to see some potential flashes from Wilson this season, as is the case with many rookie performers this year, he is outperforming expectations.

Wilson has had 50+ receiving yards in every game that Zach Wilson has not played in, he also has all four of his touchdowns in those games with a different quarterback.

While his talent was able to shine through for a couple of performances with Zach under center, it's clear that with respectable quarterback play the rookie wide receiver would be producing eye-popping numbers nearly every week.

Mike White was able to put the ball in the right places for the majority of the game. As long as the offense is humming anywhere close to what it was against the Bears, fans will be seeing even more highlight plays from a talent as special as Garrett Wilson.

Stock Flat, But Still High: Sauce Gardner, CB, NY Jets ($SAUCE)

  • Stats: 3 tackles, 100% snap count

The bar is already set so high for Sauce Gardner based on his consistent level of play on a weekly basis. It almost feels like a disappointment when Gardner doesn't have an interception or a game-changing pass defended; this however is not a good standard for any corner, nonetheless a rookie.

Gardner once again did what he needed to do by playing sound football and not allowing anyone he went up against get much in terms of significant yardage.

On one play, Gardner got beat by Chase Claypool and the internet proceeded to attack him for it.

Cornerbacks are going to get beat every once in a while and the fact that so many people are quick to jump to hate on Gardner goes to show that he has already reached an elite level.

The Week 13 matchup against the Vikings will be a juicy one in which Gardner is likely to be matched up against wide receiver Justin Jefferson during at least part of the game.

A player as confident as the fourth overall pick out of Cincinnati will surely be fired up to go up against one of the best receivers in the league.

Back on the Market: Max Mitchell, OT, NY Jets ($MM)

  • Stats: 86% snap count

After an injury to starting tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, the Jets needed to deploy Max Mitchell a bit sooner than they expected to against the Bears. Mitchell was working his way back from injury, likely with the intention to play starting Week 13.

While that might have been the plan, Mitchell had no problem plugging back into the starting lineup. In fact, the combination of the fourth-rounder and Nate Herbig were able to dominate in the run game to help another rookie make a name for himself (will get to him later).

In his return, the rookie was also very sound in pass protection. This allowed Mike White the time needed to run the offense smoothly and efficiently for one of the best performances the team has seen from that side of the ball all season.

As long as his health holds up, Mitchell appears to be the favorite to keep the starting right tackle position for the rest of the season. This is a good sign for his path toward becoming a reliable starter for this team in the long term.

Just IPO'd: Zonovan Knight, RB, NY Jets ($BAM)

  • Stats: 14 rushes for 69 yards, 3 receptions for 39 yards 48% snap count

The new kid on the block! Zonovan "Bam" Knight finally got his opportunity to shine and he sure did. In what was a surprise move before the game, the Jets did not have running back James Robinson active.

After a hard look at the performance against the Patriots, it seemed like the coaching staff wanted to try something new based on Robinson's running style.

There also is an incentive for the team to not have Robinson get to 260 rushing yards with the Jets as it would turn the sixth-round pick given away into a fifth-round pick.

Whatever the reasoning, this paved the way for Knight to get touches behind lead back Michael Carter. Once Carter went down with an ankle injury in the middle of the game, it was the Bam Knight show.

The undrafted rookie who was maintaining buzz all throughout the preseason was able to show off what he could do including his ability to break tackles and catch the ball. Knight will likely get more opportunities as the season goes on if he continues to play at this level.

11 players who can be the starting QB for the NY Jets in 2023. dark. Next

In what was already an incredible rookie class, another member joins in while making history in his NFL debut.

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