The NY Jets saw their wide receiver depth chart get completely upended when Corey Davis, projected by many to be either the No. 2 or No. 3 wide receiver on the depth chart in tandem with Allen Lazard, told his teammates that he was retiring from the NFL at just 28 years old.
Davis, who spent four years with the Tennessee Titans after being picked No. 5 overall in 2017, saw his body and quarterback fail him in New York. He recorded 66 catches, 1,028 yards, and six touchdowns in two seasons, where he missed 10 games due to various unlucky injuries.
Davis brought a lot to this team as a blocker, possession receiver, and veteran leader. On a Jets offense that is already quite young and still adjusting to Aaron Rodgers, losing a veteran player like Davis is going to have repercussions.
From a practical point of view, the Jets need to soldier on and focus on putting together the best wide receiver room they can. Be it with another veteran coming in or a collection of UDFA youngsters stepping up, the depth chart has been thrown into disarray.
Updated NY Jets depth chart after Corey Davis retirement
- Locks: Garrett Wilson, Allen Lazard, Mecole Hardman, Randall Cobb
- Roster Fringe: Jason Brownlee, Malik Taylor, Xavier Gipson
- Roster Longshots: Irvin Charles, Alex Erickson, Jerome Kapp, T.J. Luther
The Jets will carry at least four wide receivers. Wilson is the unquestioned star, Lazard was one of the big-name free-agent acquisitions, and Hardman is the speed threat who can stretch the field. Even though Cobb is getting old, Rodgers clearly likes having his presence around.
Unless the Jets make a major veteran acquisition, at least one (potentially two) of those three fringe candidates will make the roster. They all have a legitimate case. Brownlee is stylistically similar to Davis with great verticality, Taylor has speed and a Rodgers connection, and Gipson has returner ability.
The free-agent market is quite thin, so the Jets might need to roll with their collection of less-heralded backups until a better option becomes available. While Davis wasn't perfect, the poor quarterback play and injuries he had to deal with in New York put a cap on his potential.
The Jets will need to work hard to replace Davis, as the impact he had on this team went beyond the simple box score stats. The Jets wide receiver room went from a deep, experienced unit to one with some serious question marks that will task role players with a greater deal of responsibility.