As the season looms, I decided to take a deep dive into each New York Jets position group within the organization and grade each group. Today’s group is one I had to do before I had a meal in my stomach because of the extreme lack of depth this group has. For a team that values putting pieces behind its franchise quarterback, this group is fairly pathetic. Nonetheless, I’m going to evaluate each target and grade the group as a whole.
WR 1: Breshard Perriman
Perriman joined the team on a prove-it deal after finishing the season in Tampa on a really strong note. Perriman was a blue-chip prospect that has struggled to truly make an indent on the league. At 26, you could firmly make the case that he’s just on the cusp of his prime. After struggling in Baltimore and Cleveland, he had a really impressive end to the season in 2019 and now looks to build on that with the Jets.
Perriman put up 36 catches for 645 yards and 6 TDs but only played 56 percent of snaps. Perriman now has to adapt to a new offense on a shortened practice schedule because of COVID. To make matters worse, he’s had injury issues throughout camp, and that’s not a good sign. I truly think Perriman would be a solid second option, but his potential as a lead target is worrisome to me because he isn’t as proven as you would hope for. Then, add in the severity and longevity of his injury issues, and I don’t have the highest of hopes for Perriman.
WR 2: Chris Hogan
Hogan was a late roster addition due to the depletion of the initial receiver core. The former Super Bowl champion was a favorite option for Tom Brady in his years in New England. His crisp route running style and high football IQ made him a valuable commodity when he hit the free-agent market in 2019. After finding a home in Carolina, he was sidelined for the year with a knee injury. Now, Hogan is back and has reportedly picked up the offense quickly. The journeymen receiver may end up being the number one option until Perriman and Mims are at a hundred percent. Hogan will inherit a lot of pressure and will be forced to form an in-game connection with Sam Darnold quickly. I do think Hogan is a good player, but I’m worried about the change of scenery this offseason and the quickly acclimation and how he’ll handle that.
WR 3: Jamison Crowder
My favorite receiver on the roster and overall the most talented one, Crowder, is likely facing his biggest season yet. The vet took very little time finding a role within the Jets as the premier slot option. Now, as he enters his second year in the green and white, more teams are aware of his connection with Darnold. If teams give Crowder more attention, that could open up opportunities over the middle for guys like Herndon and even opportunities over the top for Perriman. As long as Crowder can continue to stay healthy, he is the most talented receiver on the roster and the most important to Darnold’s development.
WR 4: Denzel Mims
Mims is the highly anticipated rookie. Mims, though has missed significant time in camp. Now, in terms of true quantity, it was not that significant. In terms of lack of time to get a grasp on the playbook, it is truly impactful in a season like this. With minimal time to adapt to the roster and the lack of in-game reps, how quick Mims picks up the offense fully is something to watch. Still, Mims is a really talented receiver. Mims is a deep threat and a physical receiver. He fights for 50/50 balls and has an insane catch radius. Mims is everything Darnold needs as a long term option. It’s just a matter of how quickly Mims can get acclimated to the offense and proper usage by Sam Darnold.
The rest of the receiver room shows a complete lack of depth. Braxton Berrios is a special teams stud and solid burner as a backup. Aside from him, there isn’t much here, though. Donte Moncrief is likely going to have to hurry to pick up the offense before getting any real reps. Vyncnt Smith will be back quicker than expected, but he is still going to miss a few games early. When he does get back to 100%, he will likely play a big factor. Jeff Smith and some of the other practice squad pieces could play a role, but the fact I’m reaching for names that deep should say something. The receiving group lacks serious depth, and with the injury history of all four lead receivers, that is not encouraging. The Jets need to watch the trade market and waiver wire actively because upgrades are needed desperately.
If all of the Jets receivers stay healthy, this group could be a solid one. That also factors in proper usage by Adam Gase and consistency with Darnold. All of that feels like too much uncertainty to give this group a high grade. The potential is there, and I’m hoping for the best. I just have a lack of faith in Gase to use these guys properly and for all of them to stay healthy.