The New York Jets drafted Elijah Moore in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft. The selection of Moore was an exciting one for Jets fans. Moore is a young wide receiver with great talent. Had the Jets not traded up for Alijah Vera-Tucker, Moore could have been the pick 23rd overall. It was a shock that he was still there for the Jets with the 34th pick. Moore will play his second year with the Jets at only 22 years old. Moore is primed for a big 2022 season.
Brief review of 2021:
As a rookie, Moore had a very good start to his career. He played in 11 games, had 43 catches, 538 yards (12.5 per catch), and five touchdowns. Also, he recorded 54 rushing yards with one touchdown on the ground. Moore showed all of his top traits in 2021. His reliable hands, speed, quickness, route running, ability to get yards after the catch, versatility, and big-play ability were all proven.
Most importantly, Moore was awesome in his final six games before an injury ended his first season. Over that stretch, Moore had 34 receptions, 459 yards (13.5 per catch), and all five of his receiving touchdowns. The hope is that he picks back up right where he left off and continues to propel the Jets’ passing attack.
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Moore is not the biggest at 5-foot-10 and 178 pounds. However, he plays with incredible toughness. He showed last year that despite his smaller size, he can line up on the outside and win. He has quick footwork with his releases to beat press coverage. From there, Moore offers Mike LaFleur a ton of versatility. Whether it is on the outside, in the slot, on jet or orbit motions, and running the football, Moore can do it all.
In the passing game, Moore is a relatively complete wide receiver. As stated, his rock-solid hands are one of his best attributes. He runs great routes on all three levels. In the short game, Moore wins with quickness. He can help on screens and underneath patterns with his dynamic ability after the catch. He is tough to bring down in space. Over the middle, Moore proved his ability to separate and toughness as a rookie to win on the intermediate level. Moore offers great 4.3 speed and can win downfield. Lastly, he showed he can make an impact in the red zone last year, where five of his six touchdowns were scored. Moore is a terrific athlete. Across the board, he offers the ability to create big plays for the Jets offense.
Look for Moore to consistently be a focal point to lead the Jets’ passing game week-to-week. He is extremely talented. With Garrett Wilson and Corey Davis, it is unknown who exactly the Jets’ number one receiver is. Nonetheless, expect Moore to be on the field in most two wide receiver sets. His weekly target amount range should be at least eight and up to 10 a game. Last year, he averaged seven per game, expect an increase. As stated, his usage should be all over the field pre-snap. Moore is the Jets’ top wide receiver against press coverage. He has excelled in the slot and can be utilized in a gadget role as well. It will be key to get the most out of Moore with all that he offers. Ultimately, Moore has what it takes and is ready in year two to be a catalyst for the Jets’ offense.
2022 stat projection:
LaFleur recently spoke on the fact that Moore told him at the end of last season that he wants to be the best. Should Moore play in all 17 games, anticipate at least 130 targets and up to potentially 150. If so, Moore should catch at least 75-80 passes in 2022 and possibly even more. With his automatic hands, expect Moore to have an improvement when it comes to his catch rate. It should be over 60% this season. Moore should eclipse 1,000 receiving yards in year two with the Jets. He averaged 48.9 yards receiving a game last year. With his excepted jump, that should go well over 55 and close to 60 this year. Considering his red zone and overall touchdown production last season, Moore should catch roughly seven or eight touchdowns.
In the running game, Moore should gain some opportunities. Based on his rushing production in just 11 games last year, Moore can gain 100 yards and a touchdown or two in the ground game. Add this to his receiving production, and if Moore can finish this year with 1,100 yards and close to 10 touchdowns, it would qualify as a great leap. In the end, Moore will generate many big and thrilling plays for the Jets.
Final preview thoughts:
Moore is easily one of the best assets the Jets have. He has all the talent, off-field character, and work ethic to be special for years to come with the Jets. The 2022 season will be a big step for Moore as a young player in his development. He will bring a ton of excitement weekly for Jets fans. Moore could very well be the Jets’ best player this year.